The 10 worst foods for men may surprise you. Many of them are in your cabinets right now. You may have eaten some today. What you are about to read may shock you about American foods. Don’t worry, for every don’t we have a do. So while these 10 worst foods may not be on our recommended diet plan, we do offer “instead opt for” suggestions to help guide you to a healthier alternative. And some of our healthier options aren’t so bad either. (Hint: check out the alternative for margarine.)
You may have grown up hearing that you need to eat salt to get your iodine. Well, nobody who eats an American diet is low on salt. Yes, salt is essential to our health. The problem is that table salt and the salt in processed foods are not exactly the same as the natural salt your body needs. In fact table salt, which is 98% sodium chloride, is damaging. Avoid processed foods, which are high in sodium and low in potassium, which can affect the ratios in your body. Also, if you are over 51, black, or have high blood pressure, kidney disease, or diabetes, you should limit your salt intake to less than 1,500 mg per day.
Instead opt for pure, unrefined salt such as Himalyan sea salt (along with a whole, natural food diet). Unrefined natural salt is about 84% sodium chloride, and it has other trace mineral in it that help nutrients to get in and out of your cells, help maintain blood pressure, and help your brain communicate with your muscles to help with movement.
Margarine is filled with unhealthy fats called trans fats. Margarine and shortening are made by the process of taking healthy liquid vegetable oils and hydrogenating them and turning them to solid fat. These fats can lead to heart disease, cancer, hormonal imbalance, and bone problems. They are also filled with additives.
Instead opt for…butter! Can butter actually be better? Yes butter from grass-fed cows has conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which can help fight cancer and diabetes. Butter does contain saturated fat, and it is high in calories, so don’t overdo it, but butter is a healthier choice than margarine.
Processed tomatoes are some of the best foods for you. They are filled with the antioxidant lycopene, which is helpful in fighting cancer. The problem is not the tomatoes but the cans they come in. The cans are lined with bisphenol-A (BPA), which leaches into the tomatoes due to their acidity. This toxic chemical is linked with prostate cancer, neurological, effects, reproductive problems, heart disease, and more. Other canned foods are also good to avoid because they also have BPA linings.
Instead opt for making sauces from fresh tomatoes and looking for companies that pack tomatoes in glass or other BPA-free packaging.
A deli meat sandwich seems harmless enough, but many deli meats come from animals who have been given growth hormones and antibiotics, and come from diseased living conditions. Deli meats contain sodium nitrite as well as dyes and chemical flavorings. Nitrites have been linked with certain cancers, especially bowel cancer.
Instead opt for organic meat or wild-caught fish, such as salmon. Oily fish are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, making them a good food for men.
Vegetable oils such as canola, corn, and soy are good for your heart when uncooked, but when you heat them to high temperatures, these oils become some of the worst things for your heart. High heat damages the oil. It can convert good HDL cholesterol into bad LDL cholesterol and cause cancer and heart disease.
Instead opt for cooking with coconut oil. It is not damaged by heat. Save vegetable oil and olive oil for your salad.
Popcorn is a healthy fiber-rich and low-calorie snack, but not when microwaved in the bag. The bag is lined with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and this chemical gets into the popcorn. This chemical can disrupt the endocrine system and affect your sex hormones. It can pose such health problems as infertility, thyroid disease, prostate and testicular cancers, high LDL and total cholesterol levels, as well as problems with the immune system. All that in a leak-free bag.
Instead opt for using an air popper to make popcorn.
Non-Organic Potatoes, Strawberries, or Apples
Many fruits and vegetables are laden with pesticides, herbicides, and even fungicides. Every year the Environmental Working Group tests fruits and vegetables for their pesticide load. They create a “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides,” to help consumers get the most for their organic dollar.
According to the 2016 guide, the following produce is the most contaminated and would be best to buy organic:
- Cherry tomatoes
- Hot peppers
- Sweet bell peppers
- Kale/collard greens
Pesticides can make nonorganic produce some the worst foods for men because they can increase risk of bladder cancer, prostate cancer, and other health problems.
Instead opt for buying the above “Dirty Dozen” produce in organic form to reduce your chemical intake and the below items, the “Clean 15,” with or without the organic label. The produce with the lowest pesticide residue includes:
- Sweet corn
- Frozen sweet peas
Soy sounds healthy, but did you know that 90 to 95% of U.S.-grown soy is genetically engineered to make soy protein isolate and so that is able to withstand high amounts of herbicide? Soy protein isolate is found in many products such as protein bars, fruit drinks, soups, sauces, cereals, supplements, and meal replacement shakes. This unfermented soy can hide under names such as boullion, textured protein, and natural flavor. These worst foods for men are associated with thyroid problems, mental decline, reproductive problems, cancer, and heart disease.
Instead opt for fermented soy products, which are the only soy products with health benefits. Fermented soy products include soy sauce, fermented bean paste, miso, and tempeh.
People use artificial sweeteners to lose weight but in fact studies show that artificial sweeteners can have the opposite effect. A recent study on aspartame and saccharin found that they caused greater weight gain than sugar!
Instead opt for trying to eat less sugary foods, but when you do crave something sweet, maybe grab some organic fruit or just go for the real thing made with sugar instead of chemicals.
White Chocolate is not actually chocolate. It is mostly cocoa butter, which is a vegetable fat that comes from a cocoa bean with some added milk fat, milk solids, sugar, and vanilla, to make it taste good. It has none of the cocoa health benefits.
Instead opt for dark chocolate, which actually has antioxidants and phytonutrients good for brain health, mood, focus, and blood vessels. The higher the amount of cacao, the darker the chocolate, and the more health benefits.
Avoiding the Worst Foods for Men
Overall, look to organic whole foods. Avoid processed foods to avoid many of these chemicals. Following the advice on the 10 worst foods for men list can help you have a healthier heart, lower cholesterol, and a lower risk of cancer and diabetes. Consider The Prostate Diet as a healthy guide for men to eat well for prostate health and whole body wellness.