Credit: Wonho Frank Lee via Eater Los Angeles

Restaurant french toast

Credit: Pinterest

Indulging in restaurant-made French toast may seem innocent, but it can contain many calories. Cheesecake Factory’s Bruléed French Toast boasts nearly 2,000 calories, laden with 64 grams of saturated fat and four grams of trans fat, raising concerns about cardiovascular health and overall well-being. If you can, try making an alternative at home.


Credit: Weekend Bakery

The buttery, flaky allure of croissants conceals a high-fat, low-nutrient reality. With up to 25 grams of total fat and 16 grams of saturated fat, these pastries contribute to excessive calorie intake and pose risks to heart health. They might be light in weight but aren’t in calories. Try pairing them with fruit for a more balanced breakfast.

Soybean oil

Credit: Pharma Nord

Found in numerous processed foods, soybean oil’s potential links to obesity and neurological issues warrant caution. While research on its human impact is ongoing, opting for healthier cooking oils like avocado or olive oil remains a prudent choice. Whilst it might be an alternative choice to traditional oil choices, further research is needed to understand the full impact.

Canned soup

Credit: Cleveland

Despite its reputation as a comforting, healthy option, some canned soups harbor excessive sodium levels. Brands like Campbell’s Homestyle Chicken Noodle, with 890 milligrams of sodium per half cup, can disrupt satiety cues and contribute to water retention and bloating. Homemade soup is always the better option, and is significantly more healthy.

Bouillon cube

Credit: Diana Chistruga via The Spruce Eats

Concealing palm oil, caramel color and Yellow 6, typical bouillon cubes may contain unsettling ingredients. Palm oil’s association with increased LDL cholesterol and potential carcinogen contamination in caramel color raises concerns about their impact on health. Homemade stock avoids these unhealthy ingredients and will provide a fresher, richer taste.

Pre-made muffins

Credit: A Magical Mess

Indulging in pre-made muffins might seem like a quick breakfast fix, but they often pack a sugary, high-calorie punch. Loaded with preservatives, bleached flour and additives, these store-bought delights can contribute to excessive calorie consumption and provide little nutritional value.

Boxed mac and cheese

Credit: Walmart

The beloved boxed mac and cheese might be a comfort food, but it’s also a sodium powerhouse. Brands like Kraft can contain at least 750 milligrams of sodium per one-cup serving, contributing to increased hypertension and heart disease risks with every bite. Whilst it might be a convenient evening choice, you might be better off leaving it on the shelf thanks to its unhealthy nature.

Frozen pies

Credit: Dani Zoeller via Tasting Table

Frozen pies, while convenient, often harbor unhealthy ingredients like hydrogenated soybean oil. Despite claims of zero trans fat, the presence of such oils raises concerns about their impact on weight gain and overall health. Opting for homemade alternatives ensures a healthier dessert option, but you will also save money and have a wider range of flavor options.

Hot dogs

Credit: 1A

Hot dogs, a barbecue staple, conceal potential health risks within their sodium phosphate and nitrite-laden ingredients. Linked to cardiovascular and kidney issues, these processed meats may pose long-term health risks. Choosing organic, uncured options can mitigate some of these concerns, but generally they should only be eaten in moderation.

Deli meats

Credit: Provender Brown

The deli meats you love in your sandwiches might be putting your health at risk. Packed with excess sodium and preservatives like sodium phosphate, these processed meats contribute to high blood pressure and potential kidney issues. Opting for fresher, natural alternatives is advisable for better overall health.

Instant oatmeal packets

Credit: Savory Saver

While convenient, instant oatmeal packets often harbor hidden sugars and excessive sodium. A seemingly healthy choice can turn into a high-sugar breakfast option with as much as 14 grams of sugar per serving. Opting for homemade oatmeal allows better control over ingredients and helps avoid unnecessary additives.


Credit: Ebay

Indulging in candy may provide a quick sweet fix, but the artificial coloring, added sugars and saturated fats present health risks. Certain candies containing artificial colors like Yellow No. 5 and Yellow No. 6 may even contribute to attention and hyperactivity issues in children. They should ideally only be consumed in small and infrequent amounts.

Boxed cake mixes

Credit: The Pioneer Woman

Despite their easy preparation, boxed cake mixes often contain unhealthy ingredients, such as polysorbate 60. This emulsifier, derived from corn, palm oil and petroleum, may contain contaminants linked to cancer. Opting for homemade cakes allows control over ingredients and avoids potential health hazards.

Coffee creamer

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde via Sporked

While they do add flavor to your coffee, commercial coffee creamers often contain trans fats and added sugars. These can contribute to weight gain and cardiovascular issues. Choosing natural alternatives like milk or plant-based options ensures a healthier morning beverage without compromising on taste.

Bleached white flour bread

Credit: UC ANR

Commonly perceived as a staple, white bread can be a deceptive source of refined flour and added sugars. With minimal nutritional value, it may contribute to weight gain and blood sugar spikes. Opting for whole-grain alternatives ensures a better balance of fiber and nutrients for overall health, and can be just as tasty.

Sugar-added fruit juice

Credit: Juice Making Machine

Despite its fruity façade, sugar-added fruit juice can be a health saboteur, packing excessive sugars. Consuming such beverages regularly may contribute to weight gain and increased risk of metabolic issues. Choosing whole fruits or freshly squeezed juices offers a more nutritious alternative without the detrimental effects of added sugars.

Diet sodas

Credit: Today

Opting for diet sodas as a low-calorie alternative may seem wise, but artificial sweeteners pose potential health risks. Studies suggest these sweeteners may disrupt metabolic processes, leading to weight gain and increased cravings for sugary foods. Choosing water or unsweetened beverages ensures a healthier hydration option.

Fried foods

Credit: Health Castle

While indulging in fried foods may satisfy taste buds, the health implications are significant. Deep-frying adds unhealthy trans fats and excessive calories to foods, contributing to weight gain and cardiovascular issues. Opting for baked or grilled alternatives preserves flavor without compromising on health, and allows for more flavor variants.

Bacon and sausages

Credit: Mr Breakfast

Enjoying bacon and sausages may be a savory pleasure, but the high sodium and saturated fat content pose health risks. Regular consumption is linked to increased risks of heart disease and other cardiovascular issues. Choosing leaner protein sources (like well-seasoned chicken) ensures a more heart-friendly diet without sacrificing taste.

Sugary cereal

Credit: Mike Mozart via Flickr

Starting the day with sugary cereal may seem convenient, but the high sugar content undermines its nutritional value. Excessive sugar intake can contribute to weight gain and heightened risks of metabolic issues. Opting for whole-grain, low-sugar cereals with added fruits provides a healthier and more balanced breakfast option. Alternatively, you could go for a yogurt or homemade oatmeal.

Frozen entrées

Credit: Tori Hazelett via Insider

Frozen entrées, while convenient, often harbor hidden health hazards. Packed with high levels of sodium, preservatives, and unhealthy additives, these meals may contribute to weight gain and increased risks of heart disease. Opting for homemade, nutrient-dense alternatives ensures a healthier and more wholesome approach to meal choices.

Restaurant desserts

Credit: Cafe Sitaly

Indulging in restaurant desserts can be a sweet temptation, but the calorie and sugar content is often alarming. Excessive consumption may lead to weight gain and heightened risks of metabolic issues. Choosing homemade desserts with controlled sugar levels allows for a more mindful and healthier approach to satisfying sweet cravings. Plus, it’ll make lense of a dent in your bank account!

White sugar

Credit: Food Hacks

White sugar, when consumed in excess, can wreak havoc on health. Linked to increased risks of obesity, diabetes and other metabolic issues, excessive sugar intake should be curtailed. It can also have awful dental consequences, such as increased likelihood of teeth rotting. Opting for natural sweeteners and mindful consumption of added sugars promotes overall well-being and reduces the risk of associated health problems.

Store-bought frosting

Credit: Allison Robicelli via The Takeout

Store-bought frosting may enhance the taste of baked goods, but it comes with a hefty dose of unhealthy ingredients. Laden with trans fats, artificial colors and excessive sugars, these frostings contribute to empty calories and health risks. Choosing homemade or healthier frosting alternatives ensures a more nourishing and enjoyable culinary experience.

Pancake syrup

Credit: Allrecipes

Traditional pancake syrup, often labeled as maple syrup, can be a misleading choice. Many commercial syrups are high in corn syrup and artificial additives, contributing to excessive sugar intake. Opting for 100% pure maple syrup or natural alternatives provides a more wholesome and flavorful option for pancake lovers.

Bottled smoothies

Credit: Trendhunter

Bottled smoothies, despite their healthful façade, are often high in sugar levels and additives. Commercial varieties can contribute to excess calorie intake and a spike in blood sugar. Opting for homemade smoothies with natural ingredients allows for better control over nutritional content and ensures a healthier beverage choice.

Charred Meats

Credit: Reservalife

Charred meats, while flavorful, may pose health risks. Cooking meat at high temperatures can produce carcinogenic compounds, potentially increasing the risk of cancer. Employing gentler cooking methods and marinating meats can mitigate these risks, allowing for a safer and more enjoyable grilling experience. As a bonus, well-marinated meat creates a much more flavorsome meal option!

Fast food

Credit: 2 Food Trippers

Fast food, though convenient, is notorious for its adverse impact on health. High in unhealthy fats, sodium and empty calories, regular consumption contributes to obesity and various health issues. Choosing whole, nutrient-dense foods and cooking at home promotes better health and well-being.

Energy drinks

Credit: Scottish Grocer

Energy drinks, marketed for a quick energy boost, can harbor health hazards. Loaded with caffeine, sugar and artificial additives, excessive consumption may lead to increased heart rate and other adverse effects. Opting for natural sources of energy, like water and balanced nutrition, promotes sustained vitality without the drawbacks.

Ready-to-bake pie crust

Credit: Elise Bauer via Simply Recipes

Ready-to-bake pie crusts offer convenience but often contain unhealthy ingredients. Hydrogenated soybean oil, a common component, has been linked to weight gain. Making pie crusts from scratch or choosing healthier alternatives ensures a more wholesome and enjoyable dessert experience, and you get many more flavor options for a much cheaper price.

Baked goods

Credit: Wonho Frank Lee via Eater Los Angeles

Some baked goods contain a compound called potassium bromate, which is a dough strengthener that poses health risks. Banned in some countries, this additive has been linked to tumor development in animal studies. Choosing baked goods without potassium bromate or opting for homemade treats allows for a safer and healthier indulgence.

Bottled water

Credit: Island Echo

Bottled water, though hydrating, may contain harmful BPA. This hormone-mimicking chemical in plastic packaging poses potential health risks, including hormonal imbalances and fertility issues. Choosing water stored in BPA-free containers or using reusable bottles promotes safer hydration and environmental sustainability. Or, where safe, use tap water to stay hydrated.

Dried fruit snacks

Credit: James Ellerker via Eating Well

Dried fruit snacks, often perceived as a healthy choice, can harbor sulfites and added sugars. Sulfites may pose risks for asthmatics, and added sugars contribute to excess calorie intake. Opting for unsulfured or sulfite-free options and checking labels for minimal added sugars ensures a healthier and more nutritious snack that’s convenient to have between meals.

American cheese

Credit: Organic Authority

American cheese, commonly found in the dairy aisle, conceals additives like sodium citrate and phosphate. These ingredients, aimed at preserving texture, have been linked to bone health issues and increased risk of osteoporosis. Their main benefit is only really convenience and aesthetics – far from health. Opting for natural cheeses without such additives promotes a healthier choice for cheese lovers.

Wheat bread or whole grain that isn’t 100%

Credit: 100 Days of Real Food

Wheat bread or whole grain that falls short of being 100% whole wheat may contain added sugars and refined white flour. Misleading labeling may contribute to excessive sugar intake. Choosing 100% whole wheat options ensures a more nutritious bread choice with minimal added sugars and refined ingredients, so always remember to check. This type of bread can be very tasty when prepared correctly!

Foods coated with artificial chocolate

Credit: Allen’s Lollies

Foods coated with artificial chocolate, often containing polysorbate 60, may pose health risks. This emulsifier, derived from corn, palm oil, and petroleum, can be contaminated with a potential carcinogen. Opting for foods coated with real chocolate or natural alternatives ensures a safer and more indulgent treat.

Shelf-stable, jarred pickles

Credit: Ross Yoder via Buzzfeed

Shelf-stable, jarred pickles, while a popular condiment, may harbor unhealthy additives. Checking labels for preservatives like sodium benzoate and calcium chloride is essential. Choosing refrigerated pickles or making homemade versions without additives ensures a crisp, flavorful, and healthier pickle experience. In the long-term, you should find this to be a cheaper alternative, too.

Chewing gum

Credit: Taste Tech

Chewing gum, a seemingly innocent habit, can introduce health concerns. Some gums contain harmful ingredients like artificial sweeteners and preservatives. Opting for sugar-free gums with natural sweeteners or exploring gum alternatives promotes better oral health and overall well-being. Some people also consider chewing gum as a tooth brushing alternative – it isn’t, and brushing should be done normally.

Reduced-fat peanut butter

Credit: Grist

Reduced-fat peanut butter, while often marketed as a healthier option, may compromise nutritional value. These varieties often compensate for reduced fat with added sugars and other fillers. In this case, choosing a natural, full-fat peanut butter without added sugars ensures a nutrient-dense and satisfying spread.

Sugar-free chocolate

Credit: Innit

Sugar-free chocolate, designed for calorie-conscious or diabetic consumers, may contain artificial sweeteners and additives. These substances can cause digestive issues and may not be suitable for everyone. Opting for dark chocolate with minimal added sugars or natural sweeteners provides a healthier and more enjoyable chocolate experience.