It’s summer time and that means grills, ice cream, and popsicles. But, if you value your health, studies show there are there are some foods you may want to avoid.
Overcooked or Charred Meats
Animal proteins that are cooked directly over an open flame on a charcoal grill, for example, can develop chemicals that increase the risk for certain types of cancers. Instead, opt to eat grilled veggies since they don't produce the same toxins when grilling. If meat is a must, leaner cuts of meat are ideal to reduce over cooking and eventual charring.
Any animal product that is salted or cured, including brat wursts and salamis, are typically not great for the body. Look for meats that carry a "nitrate-free" sticker, which uses other preservatives like celery juice.
Sure, they may cool you down, but snow cones are largely made of artificial syrups made from high fructose corn syrup. If that isn't incentive enough, most of these syrups are filled with not-safe-for-consumption ingredients so go for a real fruit popsicle, or drinking an actual fruit with a straw.
Even cocktails that are made with fresh juice are often riddled with added sugars and preservative that will load up tons of calories. Bottled and premixed cocktails are just as bad, so opting for a vodka with real muddled fruit, club soda and squeezed lemon is a healthier, low calorie and sugar alternative.
Corn kernels on the cob can lodge debris between teeth while eating, which can setoff gum inflammation and plaque build up. Opting for loose corn or popcorn, not only contains fewer calories and sugar, but is less irritating on the gums. Try tossing popcorn with avocado oil, cayenne, and garlic, for a healthy snack full of good fats and flavor. If cob corn is on the menu, shuck it off the cob before eating and top with a light pat of butter or parmesan cheese. Watermelon seeds, even though they are not toxic, can obstruct your bowels if swallowed and cause extreme pain, discomfort and bloating -- so bringing some seedless watermelon may be a better option for the next cookout.
Diet and Sugar-Free Items
Artificially sweetened foods and drinks might not have the calories, but they can increase cravings for sugar. Increased sugar intake can lead to stubborn weight gain, as well as other health issues. While drinking diet and sugar-free stuff can make it seem like it's a healthy thing, having a glass of unsweetened iced tea and fresh lemon juice is a much better option for your body and peace of mind. Sugar-free desserts like frozen yogurt can cause some unwanted side effects because of substitute ingredients (like Sorbitol). A palm-sized serving of fruit gelato is a healthier, more natural option for deliciousness that will be worth every single creamy calorie.