5 Bleached Foods that are Bad for Your Health

In addition to not providing you with any nutrients, white sugar is high in empty calories that cause weight gain. You should always choose brown sugar, honey, or stevia as a substitute.
5 Bleached Foods that are Bad for Your Health
Elisa Morales Lupayante

Reviewed and approved by the pedagogue in physical education and nutritionist Elisa Morales Lupayante.

Last update: 15 December, 2022

Did you know that you’re probably eating 5 chemically bleached foods that are harmful to your health? The list includes table salt, white sugar, cow’s milk, refined flour, and margarine.

In this article, we’ll explain why they’re so harmful and also suggest some healthy alternatives to improve your quality of life.

Table salt is one of the harmful bleached foods

We usually just talk about salt in general. However, today it’s important to distinguish that just like white and brown sugars, there are natural salts and non-natural salts. Refined salt is more commonly known as table salt, and is simply sodium chloride that went through a process to remove all other nutrients. It also frequently contains additives to keep it from clumping.

Not only is it an unhealthy option in general, but the regular use of table salt can also cause real damage to your body in the long run. Instead, choose natural sea salts that contain their original vitamins and minerals. The best known natural salt – sea salt – is relatively inexpensive, and there are plenty of other options as well (Himalayan salt, Celtic salt, etc.).

White sugar

White sugar doesn’t provide you with any nutrients and many nutritionists even consider it to be a poison. Consequently, it contains empty calories that contribute to weight gain and is a risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes.
Additionally, it can also damage your teeth. Once it reaches the bloodstream, the acidity of white sugar steals minerals like calcium and can weaken the teeth and bones.

To keep from cutting out sweets from your diet, replace white sugar with brown sugar, honey, molasses, or natural fruit syrups.

Cow’s milk

Plenty of nutritionists advise against drinking cow’s milk beyond the first months of life because the body loses the enzyme known as lactase, which allows us to properly digest lactose. Others argue that our bodies should only process human breast milk and not that of other animals.

According to this theory, most of the population would be lactose intolerant without being aware of it, and we keep drinking milk because we don’t have symptoms of this intolerance.

However, despite being a very whole and nutritious food, it contains no fiber, iron, or vitamin C.

It’s also probably a cause of certain problems like gastric acidity, inflammatory diseases, anemia, cardiovascular disease, and obesity. Additionally, there are some studies that imply that milk increases the risk of developing prostate cancer, ovarian cancer, and lymphoma.

Therefore, the more natural alternatives are plant-based kinds of milk that come from oats, rice, buckwheat, almonds, etc. There is also lactose-free milk and milk of other animals, which are more digestible and less harmful.

Refined flour

We increasingly find ourselves eating refined foods and bleached foods. But, we know that all those cereals that don’t contain fiber have lost a lot of nutritional value.

Refined flour, as opposed to whole flour, can cause constipation, increase fluid retention, and contribute to weight gain. It’s also a risk factor for colon cancer because the colon needs a lot of fiber to stay healthy.

Here we also include cereals and flour, but additionally any derivatives that are common in our daily menu. These are certain bleached foods such as pasta, bread, pastries, cakes, cookies, and more.


While butter is a natural food generated from cow’s milk and is of common consumption throughout history, margarine is an artificial creation of the last few decades. It’s based on vegetable oils of questionable quality. This is because they’ve been through several refining processes to obtain a solid texture, a lighter or yellowish color, to add flavor, and to preserve them. In addition, any vitamins margarine claims to contain, are there from artificial means.

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Margarine also has a lot more calories than butter and contains trans fats. These are highly damaging to the body and can also elevate the risk of heart disease. Although margarine doesn’t contain cholesterol because of its plant base, what is certain is that trans fats cause an increase in the levels of bad cholesterol in the body.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

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  • Sociedad Española de la Nutrición. (2012). Relación entre consumo de sal e hipertensión arterial. https://secardiologia.es/blog/4240-relacion-entre-consumo-de-sal-e-hipertension-arterial
  • Valdés Stromilli Gloria. Sal e Hipertensión Arterial. Rev Chil Cardiol  [Internet]. 2009  Abr [citado  2021  Ene  29] ;  28( 1 ): 107-114.
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This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.