3. Margarine: Because margarine is made from vegetable oils and has less cholesterol and saturated fat than butter, it’s long been considered the healthier option. But now that experts say dietary cholesterol isn’t as harmful they thought, margarine, which is high in salt and contains artery-clogging trans fats, isn’t looking quite so healthy.”Trans fat, like saturated fat, increases blood cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease,” explains Melissa Rifkin, a registered dietitian at Montefiore Medical Center in New York and a Rise nutrition coach.
Margarines sold in tubs tend to contain less trans fat than margarine sticks — the softer the spread, the better for you — but olive oil (or another source of monosaturated fat) is still a better bet. Real butter is a close second, according to Rifkin.
4. Regular Soda: Everyone knows that soda is Very Bad for your health. In case you missed the backstory: The average can contains about 10 teaspoons of sugar. When you consume that much, your body responds by creating excess insulin, which typically helps the body absorb sugar from the bloodstream and use it for energy.
Over time, though, this over-the-top response can increase your risk of developing diabetes and some forms of cancer. If soda’s sugar content doesn’t still doesn’t scare you, its other ingredients might: The amount of caramel coloring you’d consume in one can of soda per day was recently linked to a 58 percent greater risk of cancer, according to a new study.
5. Diet Soda: While there’s no straight-up sugar in this stuff, there are artificial sweeteners, and they’re not necessarily any better. Not all artificial sweeteners are equally offensive. However, most have a more intense flavor than plain old sugar. Over time, the extra-sweet sweeteners can dull your senses to naturally sweet foods like fruits, Rifkin says. So yes, your Diet Coke could, theoretically, make a perfectly sweet apple taste worse.
Some other problems with drinking diet soda: It’s been linked to depression, tooth decay, heightened risk of strokes and heart attacks, pancreatic cancer, and premature birth. So, there’s that.
6. “Sugar-Free” Candies: Sweets that are specifically advertised as “sugar-free” tend to contain artificial sweeteners too. (See no. 5 above.) Also: The digestive system doesn’t do a great job at breaking down sugar substitutes and sugar alcohols, Harvest says. When you overdo it (and the threshold is different for everyone) you could incur some serious stomach pains.