Which foods are harmful to women’s health?
Nutritionists generally try to avoid labelling foods as ‘good’ and ‘bad’. After all, if you have a healthy, balanced diet, a single lunch at McDonald’s won’t cause you any harm.
But at the same time, it;’s widely known that there are products that can be considered ‘dangerous’ for women who are trying to get pregnant, are breastfeeding, or are dealing with hormonal imbalances.
And it’s usually recommended that you eliminate these foods from your diet when necessary, before they become a problem. Read on to learn about which foods to avoid in which situations.
Foods to avoid if you are trying to conceive
It’s recommended that you should exclude the following products at least three to six months before your expected date of conception.
We know that drinking alcohol during pregnancy is not recommended. However, if you are trying to get pregnant, it may be a good idea to give it up too. Research published in Epidemiology revealed that women who drink at least one alcoholic drink a day are at a 50% greater risk of infertility.
Despite this, some states like Nevada still have elevated rates of alcohol abuse among women. So if you live there. are planning to have a baby and are struggling to stop drinking, it may be time to get help. There are several rehabs in Nevada who can offer professional help.
2) Processed red meat
Juicy steak, crispy bacon, and tasty ham all are sadly harmful. Though these are great snack options, they can pose a threat to your health, especially if enjoyed in large quantities.
Researchers at the Harvard School of Nutrition found that women who had a diet rich in animal protein had a 39% increased risk of infertility. Meanwhile, women whose diets were dominated by plant sources of protein faced lesser fertility issues. So if you want to get pregnant, best lay off the BLTs for a while!
3) Low-fat dairy products
If you’re trying to lose weight, you may opt for low fat versions of your favourite foods. However, these products can have a downside, as studies show that switching to low fat options can result in weight gain due to their added sugar content.
But there is another serious risk. Research published in the journal Human Reproduction showed that women who ate high amounts of low-fat dairy products had a whopping 85% risk of ovulatory infertility. So this is one occasion when you can happily indulge in your full fat favourites.
Foods to avoid for your heart health
Dod you know that heart disease is the number one killer of women? Or that one in four women dies from cardiovascular disease or related complications? So, if you want to improve your heart health, avoid the following products.
1) Fruit juice
MD, cardiologist Adam Splaver says that he is ready to organize a crusade against sugar. According to him, anything that contains simple sugars is bad for your heart. This is because sugar provokes inflammatory processes in the body that give rise to cardiovascular diseases.
And liquid sugar is especially dangerous, as it causes a rapid increase in blood glucose levels. Splaver recommends abandoning store-bought juices in favor of whole fruits, which also contain fiber.
Today, in the United States alone, 50,000 deaths a year from heart attacks are caused by eating foods with trans fats. And the highest concentration of trans fats can be found in cookies, French fries, donuts, cream for tea and coffee. So if you have a family history of heart disease, or you just want to enjoy a healthier diet, it is better to avoid these products.
In addition to containing trans fats, industrial margarine also contains highly processed fats. According to scientists, trans fat is linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems.
Trans fats also apparently make your skin more vulnerable to ultraviolet rays. This leads to premature aging of your skin and the early formation of deep wrinkles. Nutritionist Isabel Smith recommends focusing on heart-healthy vegetable fats like olive oil in your diet, and ditching margarine.
Foods to avoid if you want to lose weight
We all know there are foods you need to avoid if you want to lose weight – for example, hamburgers, French fries and sausages. But even some foods you may consider ‘unhealthy’ are best given a wide berth. Like these…
1) White bread
If we compare white bread with a donut, then it definitely wins in terms of benefits for your body. However, bear in mind that both have refined carbohydrates. They are devoid of fiber, but they have the ability to cause jumps in your blood glucose levels. And if consumed excessively, they both lead to weight gain.
The Harvard School of Public Health says “sweet swings” (blood glucose surges) are especially dangerous for women with PCOS. This is because they can make it difficult to ovulate. To stabilize blood glucose, it is better to eat foods that combine fiber and protein, such as whole-grain bread and avoid white.
2) Products with added sugar
Foods containing sweetened corn syrup, white or brown sugar, and other sweeteners can cause hormonal imbalances in women if overused. A University of Pittsburgh study of women in their 50s and 60s found that participants who cut back on desserts and sugar-sweetened drinks lost more weight than those who didn’t. Moreover, it worked both in the short term and after four years!
3) Diet soda
When embarking on a diet, many people replace their usual carbonated drinks with diet soda, believing that it will not harm them. But the calorie content of diet drinks can be just as impressive as in the regular version. Sweet soda also contains unhealthy substances of synthetic origin, which scientists have associated with several different diseases.
A study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society showed that participants who drank diet soda instead of regular soda gained almost three times more weight. So choosing the ‘diet’ option may not be the quickest and heaviest route to losing weight!
We know that takeaways and ready meals aren’t the healthiest option, but there are are some days when we just fancy one, or don’t have time to cook from scratch.
If you are opting for a takeaway, try to choose a healthy version. Study the ingredients, and remember that they are listen in order of volume. The more sugar, salt, and fat a product contain, the more pronounced its taste, at the expense of nutritional value.