7. Refined Sugar
Refined sugars contribute to calories, but they don’t provide the body with much, nutritionally speaking. So why do we eat so much of them? Well, it might be something of an obsession. After all, an excess amount of sugar can sometimes lead to addiction. Given that we can usually get enough sugar to meet our dietary needs via natural sugars in fruits and vegetables, refined sugars are overkill more often than not, and just contribute empty calories. Additionally, such large levels of sugar contribute to obesity, which is a factor in many serious illnesses. These include diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, inflammation, osteoarthritis, and more.
Caffeine is strange in the sense that it has so many variable effects. While it is generally taken to help one stay awake, there are those for whom coffee acts more as a sleep aid. But it doesn’t stop there. Caffeine has been shown to have some pro-inflammatory effects in some people and anti-inflammatory effects in others. The same could be said of headaches and pain relief. While caffeine is often thought of as a painkiller, it can also cause headaches. As such, it can be helpful for some people while also being a hindrance for others.
5. Vegetable Oils
Not all vegetable oils are created equal. While corn oil is cheap, popular, and mass produced, it is not nutritionally valuable. Many other oils are better suited to health. However, some vegetable oils tend to have significant levels of omega-6 fats. Omega-6 fatty acids essentially compete with omega-3 fatty acids for space; while there is a need for omega-3s and omega-6s, too much of the latter means that we miss out on the benefits for our heart and brain health from the omega-3s. Additionally, high levels of omega-6s generally indicate a predisposition to pain and inflammation.Related: Why You Should Take Omega 3 Fish Oil Supplements