7 Harmful Foods That Food Experts Avoid

There are many foods that should be avoided as they carry a great risk of food poisoning. Let's see which are those.
7 Harmful Foods That Food Experts Avoid

Last update: 01 June, 2021

Sometimes, certain foods that we believe to be healthy and beneficial to us can be harmful to our health. Either because of their composition or because of the way in which we’ve decided to consume them. For example, there are many seafoods that it’s essential to prepare and cook well before putting them in our mouths, otherwise we can get infected and sick.

Informing ourselves well about what we’re going to put on our plate and how it’s been prepared, is the best way to avoid indigestion, food poisoning and other similar inconveniences. Food Safety is important. To help you with this, we’ll unravel some of the main myths and facts about the 7 foods that can be harmful to your health.

1. Raw oysters: potentially harmful food

Oysters: potentially harmful foods.

In recent years, there’s been an increase in the number of cases of people affected by vibriosis. This disease is caused by the bacterium Vibrio vulnicus which is found in coastal areas where oysters live.

By acting as a filter in seawater, oysters can host this bacterium and subsequently infect us when we eat them raw. Given that oysters do not change their appearance or taste, there’s no way of knowing which ones are contaminated and which aren’t, so it’s necessary to prepare and cook them properly.

In short, oysters should always be cooked. Boiled, fried or roasted, they’ll still be delicious. A good option to preserve their excellent flavor is to bake them and eat them with a spicy sauce.

2. Freshly squeezed juice

Some specialists consider that freshly squeezed juice, although fresh, can easily become contaminated with viruses and bacteria when proper hygiene is not maintained (i.e. when hands and fruit are not washed before handling, or when several things are prepared at the same time and cross-contamination occurs, etc.).

At the same time, juice contains a large amount of sugars, without the fiber of the fruit. Its regular and excessive consumption can lead to metabolic pathologies, according to a study published in Critical Reviews in Clinical Laboratory Sciences.

3. Undercooked meat

The consumption of undercooked meat is common in many countries. However, you should know that meats that aren’t exposed to temperatures below 70 °C may be contaminated with Echerichia coli, Salmonella and other bacteria. Keep in mind that the appearance of the mad cow disease was caused precisely due to not complying with meat treatment statutes.

Proper cooking of meat and eggs will prevent you from getting food poisoning from these foods.

The experts of the World Health Organization indicate the following:

“Cooking at high temperatures or with food in direct contact with a flame or hot surface, such as a barbecue or frying pan, produces certain types of carcinogenic chemicals (such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and heterocyclic aromatic amines).”

Be careful with these compounds. Hydrocarbons, for example, have been shown to be very harmful.

4. Sprouts

Potentially harmful foods.

According to experts, E. coli and Salmonella cause most of the infections associated with sprouted grains in the United States. Eating infected grains can cause intestinal and urinary tract infections.

Therefore, choose to cook grains properly in order to enjoy them and, of course, to avoid infections.

5. Raw milk

Unpasteurized products ─such as freshly milked milk─ can be harmful to health. There’s a high risk of contamination with bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes. Listeriosis, caused by this bacterium, can lead to meningitis, pneumonia and miscarriages. Therefore, avoid drinking freshly milked milk and buy pasteurized milk sold in supermarkets.

6. Cold cuts

Research has shown that higher quality sausages contain cancer-causing nitrates. In addition, 1 kilogram of sausage contains ─approximately─ 40% more salt and 50% more fat than a kilogram of raw beef. Therefore, it’s important to avoid consuming them regularly and in large quantities.

Replace them with dried meats and homemade terrines. Keep in mind that regular intake of processed meat products has been associated with an increased risk of cancer.

7. Chopped fruits and vegetables

In addition to tropical fruits, which are rich in several vitamins, there are other very healthy options.

In some countries, fruits and vegetables sold washed and chopped are at the expense of poor handling and environment. We mustn’t forget that bacteria, viruses and fungi are microscopic and not everyone has the same hygiene habits.

Buy intact fruits and vegetables at the market and wash them well when you get home. You’ll be able to prepare a good salad without the risk of getting sick from it.

Guarantee the hygiene of the food in your diet

As you can see, there are several foods that, although they may seem harmless in principle, depending on factors such as cooking, preparation and handling, may not be the best option for our alimentation.

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