When it comes to your kids, you probably focus on making sure they are filling up on nutritious foods. But you also want to steer clear of these 3 foods, that even in small amounts may be damaging to health:
Partially hydrogenated oil. When a food lists partially hydrogenated oil on the ingredient list, it is an indication the food contains trans fats. These dangerous fats, even in very small amounts, can significantly increase the risk for heart disease. And they are found in more places then you may realize. Microwave popcorn, French fries, crackers, and even some candies all contain trans fats. So be a savvy label reader and if you see partially hydrogenated oils on the ingredient list, leave the food on the shelf.
Soda. One of the largest sources of sugar in children’s diets in America comes from sodas such as cola. Not only does a high sugar intake provide excess calories to your child’s diet, but excess dietary sugar can also increase triglyceride levels and inflammation, and even make the body resistant to leptin, an appetite regulating hormone. It’s best to skip soda all together and instead enjoy naturally flavored seltzer, however if you do allow your child to have soda, limit it to 12 ounces per week. And remember, sweetened teas, lemonades, and juice drinks can pack their own mega doses of sugar. If you do choose a sweet drink look for those made only from 100% fruit juice or look for varieties with less than 10 grams of sugar per 12-ounce serving. Artificially sweetened drinks would not be recommended as artificial sweeteners have not been largely studied in the pediatric population and may increase inflammation in the body.
Processed meats. Meats such as hot dogs, sausage, and bacon are high in calories, sodium, and saturated fat- all ingredients that can lead to heart disease. Processed meats can also contain nitrates, a preservative added to prevent the growth of bacteria or preserve flavor. Large intake of nitrates can increase the risk of colon cancer, heart diseease, and diabetes! Choose smarter options such as white meat poultry, fish, and lean beef.