Is white bread harmful to health? 11 foods that can harm your health

The more we know about nutrition, the more researchers are discovering that many of the processes we use to make food delicious and shelf-stable strip food away from what makes it nutritious.

While the occasional intake of processed foods can be offset by a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and proteins, some food preparations don’t bring much nutrition to the table. When the following foods form the main part of your diet (or don’t also benefit from foods low in oil and fiber) they have been associated with negative health outcomes.

11 foods that can negatively affect your health

While the following foods are particularly lacking in nutritional value, the point of paying attention to this list is less about cutting out each ingredient entirely and more about recognizing how little you bring into your diet. We do not recommend that you completely avoid these foods as food restriction is likely to cause this disordered eating. The main takeaway here is that it’s okay to eat the foods on this list, as long as you’re also eating nutrient-dense foods that provide you with the vitamins and minerals you need.

Many of the following foods contain highly refined grains, high amounts of trans fats or other processed fats that are difficult for the body to use effectively. Food sources simply lack many essential nutrients such as dietary fiber that promote gut health. Over time, depriving your body of many vitamins, minerals, and nutrients from whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can lead to deficiencies that have medical symptoms.

White bread

White bread is made from a type of bread flour made from wheat. Processing removes the bran and germ: parts of the wheat grain. Whole wheat will generally be darker and denser, since it contains more nutrients and fiber. These two aspects are good for digestion and give your body the nutrition it needs. White bread has a nice mild flavor but is made from only the endosperm layer of the wheat grain, and has less nutritional value. Instead, choose whole grain bread, which is full of essential nutrients.

To learn more about how complex carbohydrates help keep you healthy, check this out Why you should eat more carbs and not less.

Potato Chips

Many of the reasons why eating too many potato chips can be harmful is because they do not provide a balanced A source of calories. The amount of oil and simple carbohydrates they contain make them calorie-dense, but they are not packed with beneficial nutrients such as vitamins. Potato chips without any preservatives are a good option for an occasional tasty treat, but having nothing but potato chips in a meal will make your body crave more vitamins, protein, and fiber.

French fries

French fries contain many of the same nutrients as chips, although there is more of the actual potato in french fries. However, the crispiness of French fries doesn’t have to be the result of deep fat frying, which contains a lot of oil if you eat them often. In an air fryer, a subtle sheen of oil (or even no oil) can still get a low-salt homemade batch of potato-only French fries. If your diet already contains enough oil, this can be a good way to get a crunchy treat without exceeding your daily value.

Fried chicken

Chicken is a delicious lean protein, but fried chicken bread contains a ton of white flour, oil, and salt. These three ingredients are fine in moderation, but choosing grilled chicken or air-fried chicken can help you cut back on unhealthy ingredients if you’re already getting more than the recommended amount.

processed meat

In general, processed meats contain few nutrients that are associated with negative medical outcomes when eaten in excess. Meat processing sometimes includes the addition of nitrates and nitrites, which have been linked to an increased risk of cancer when eaten in moderation. Also, sodium goes into processed meats in fairly significant levels. Whenever possible, cook and eat fresh meat.

sugary cereal

Like eating candy, sugary cereals often contain lots of carbohydrates and simple sugars compared to less protein, fiber, and vitamins. As a breakfast option, sugary cereals can also cause your blood sugar to drop making you feel hungry soon after eating the cereal. Choosing low-sugar cereals that contain more protein and fiber, as well as plant-based or dairy milk can help you feel fuller and fuller for longer.


Margarine was used when the saturated fats in butter were seen as negative for our health. However, margarine is different: in some countries, they have harmful trans fats that the body can’t easily process and in many cases they have a similar amount of processed saturated fat. Read the label or choose a less processed oil, such as olive oil, as a coating for your bread if you really want to cut butter out of your diet.

Frozen entrees

All frozen entrees are not created equal – frozen veggies and cooked chicken, for example, are sometimes low in preservatives and are a great way to eat if you need a proper food. However, for prepackaged meals, check the types of foods and other items in your meal, especially if you are concerned about preservatives or colors in your diet.

Mac and cheese

While some prominent brands of macaroni and cheese have been found to be high in harmful chemicals, the main reason they are considered unhealthy is due to their high amount of simple carbohydrates and fats and their low nutritional value. If you love mac and cheese, don’t despair: There are now a variety of versions that contain either whole grains, vegetables like cauliflower, and lower levels of preservatives and fat.

baked goods

Cakes, donuts, and other baked goods can be delicious. But they can also be loaded with simple carbohydrates and saturated fats. Plus, they contain very little fiber, protein, or vitamins. However, if you’re making your own baked goods, it’s easy to make a treat that provides more nutrition, whether that’s with some substitute whole wheat flour, unsaturated fats substituted for butter or adding grated fruit or zucchini to increase the vitamin content.

The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to provide health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goals.

Is white bread harmful to health? 11 foods that can harm your health

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to top