25 Processed Foods to Steer Clear of for a Healthier Diet


Processed foods are convenient, sure, but many of them are packed with unhealthy ingredients that can seriously damage your health. These 25 processed foods contain very  high sodium levels and scary additives. If you’re trying to eat clean, it is better to avoid them like the plague!

Processed Meats: Cancer Risks Galore


Despite their popularity, Bacon, sausages, and deli meats are loaded with sodium, preservatives, and potentially carcinogenic compounds formed during processing. Regular consumption significantly increases your risk of colorectal cancer.

Frozen Pizza: A Gut-Busting Nightmare


Instead of indulging in frozen pizzas, consider healthier alternatives like homemade pizzas with whole wheat crusts, fresh vegetables, and lean proteins. By making these small changes, you’re not only protecting your waistline but also your overall health.

Soda: Liquid Sugar Bombs


Sodas are brimming with high fructose corn syrup and empty liquid calories that spike insulin levels and contribute to obesity, diabetes, and other chronic health issues over time.

Margarine: The Unhealthy “Butter” Impersonator


Made with partially hydrogenated oils containing dangerous trans fats that raise bad cholesterol and increase heart disease risk, margarine is a poor butter substitute from a health perspective.

Fruit Snacks: Candy in Disguise


Don’t be fooled by the “fruit” in the name! These gummy, chewy treats are candy with little natural fruit and tons of added sugars, providing empty calories.

Microwave Popcorn: A Buttery Chemical Cocktail 


The artificial butter flavor in microwave popcorn comes from diacetyl, a chemical associated with lung disease. Plus, the popcorn bags often contain perfluorinated compounds, another concerning substance.

Canned Soups: Salt City


A single can of soup can contain over half your daily recommended sodium intake, increasing your risk of high blood pressure and heart disease.

Frozen Dinners: Highly Processed Monstrosities


Frozen microwave dinners are the antithesis of healthy eating and are highly over-processed with sodium, preservatives, unhealthy fats, and sorely lacking nutrients.

Sugary Cereals: Fiberless Sugar Bombs 


Most sugary cereals aimed at kids are nutritionally bankrupt. They contain significantly more sugar than a reasonable candy serving while providing little to no fiber or protein.

Hot Dogs: Nightmare Meat Tubes

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With low-quality meat trimmings, sketchy ingredients like sodium nitrites (linked to cancer), and gobs of salt, hot dogs are an overly processed meat product nightmare.

Protein Bars: Glorified Candy Bars


Many protein bars are glorified candy bars full of sugar, unhealthy fats, and highly processed protein sources like soy protein isolates instead of whole foods.

Salty Snacks: Sodium Overload


Your favorites: potato chips, pretzels, and the like offer little more than refined carbs loaded with artery-clogging fats and dangerously high amounts of sodium per serving.

Breakfast Toaster Pastries: Dessert for Breakfast


Sugar, refined white flour devoid of nutrients, and unhealthy oils abound – these frosted toaster tarts masquerading as breakfast food are just donuts without a glaze.

Bottled Smoothies: Sugar Bombs in Disguise


Despite marketing as a healthy option, many bottled smoothies are loaded with added sugars and excess calories, lacking natural fruit and valuable fiber content.

White Bread: Refined Carb Wasteland


Stripped of its nutritious bran and germ during processing, white bread is little more than a source of refined carb calories devoid of fiber and other beneficial nutrients.

Chicken Nuggets: Fake Chicken Product


Chicken nuggets are among the most over-processed meat products, loaded with artificial ingredients and containing low-quality, heavily processed mystery meat.

Flavored Yogurts: Sugar-Sweetened Trickery


While plain yogurt can be healthy, flavored varieties are often packed with unnecessary sweeteners, negating yogurt’s natural nutritional benefits and protein content.

Instant Noodle Soups: Salt and Preservative Party

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With their tiny dried noodle cakes and accompanying salty powder packets, instant ramen noodle soup cups are little more than a salt and preservative party in a styrofoam vessel.

Boxed Mac and Cheese: Neon Orange Nightmare


Aside from the artificial colors and flavors, the powdered cheese sauce used in boxed macaroni and cheese products is loaded with artery-clogging saturated fats and high amounts of sodium.

Non-Dairy Creamers: Chemicals Galore


With no actual cream present, non-dairy coffee creamers are made from a slew of oils, thickening agents, preservatives, and other chemical ingredients you can’t pronounce.

Canned Pasta: A Salt Lick Disguised as Food


Aside from being highly over-processed, canned pasta products like SpaghettiOs and Alphagetti are shockingly high in sodium content to extend their shelf life at the expense of health.

Frozen Whipped Toppings: Fake Whipped Cream


Ditch the tub of non-dairy, petroleum-based frozen whipped topping. It contains few natural food ingredients and is loaded with artery-hardening trans fats instead.

Toaster Strudels: Pie Crust Filled With Sugar


Don’t let the flakey pie crust exterior fool you! The gooey fruit filling in these toaster pastries is primarily high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors.

Cheez Whiz: The “Cheese” Imposter 


With its bright orange hue from artificial dyes and smooth texture from emulsifiers, Cheez Whiz processed cheese is as far from real, natural cheese as it gets.

Candy-Coated Chocolates: Pure Empty Calories


Those colorful candy shells coating chocolate pieces are just hardened sugar layered on top of more sugar mixed with a bit of chocolate. It is a calorie bomb that will likely give you cavities. 


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