What are the “World’s Unhealthiest Foods”?

The “unhealthiest” foods tend to be those that least resemble their original natural ingredients and have the most added refined and artificial additives. Prime examples are the “white foods”—white sugar, white flour, and white fat, and the gamut of foods in which they are the principal ingredients.

  • “White sugar” includes refined sugar cane or sugar beets having virtually all B vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other essential nutrients removed. Corn syrup is also a “white sugar,” made from processed cornstarch and essentially devoid of other nutrients.
  • “White flour,” analogously, is whole wheat flour minus its nutrient-packed wheat germ and fibrous bran. Nutritionally speaking, white flour a ghost-like shadow of its original whole grain.
  • “White fat” can include rendered animal lard, vegetable oils “hydrogenated” to make them hard at room temperature, and refined tropical fats such as cottonseed oil. Hydrogenation is a chemical process that transforms natural fats into more saturated “trans”-fatty acids that do not occur naturally and are strongly associated with cardiovascular disease.

Foods having “whites” as their primary ingredients are frighteningly ubiquitous! Examples include soft drinks, most breads, crackers, pasta, pastries and pastry fillings, cakes, frostings, margarine and bread spreads, jellies, sweets and candies, frozen dinners, hamburger and hotdog buns, snacks, doughnuts, pizzas, pies, candy bars, and cookies—all of which are common snacks and convenience foods. Indeed, many of these combine all three whites together—white sugar, flour, and fat! Furthermore, these foods frequently contain artificial colors, artificial flavors, preservatives, texturizing and processing agents, and other additives that further detract from their nutritional stature and your health.

This page was updated on: 2002-01-10 12:26:51
© 2002 The George Mateljan Foundation