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POSHAN Maah: Five Foods That Should Be Avoided From Daily Diet

Unhealthy foods have penetrated in our lives in many forms, says Dr. Jagmeet Madan, National President, Indian Dietetic Association and Principal, Sir Vithaldas Thackersey College, Mumbai. She further says that in order to work towards eating healthy, one must understand the difference between 'everyday foods' and 'sometimes food'. She explains that while everyday foods consist of all food items that are must to meet the body's daily nutrition requirements and ensure good health, like fresh fruits, vegetables of different colour, curd, eggs and so on, 'sometimes foods, are all the food items that are not as nutrient-rich like desserts, sweet beverages, chips, burgers or preparations like chole-bhature to name a few. Dr Madan emphasises that people should not make 'sometimes food' as their everyday food. She says, 'Eating highly processed and foods high in sugar and salt regularly increases the chances of non-communicable diseases caused by bad lifestyle like obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure.'

Here are some foods to be avoided from daily diet.

Highly Processed Foods

Highly processed foods are prepared in factories and contain little to no proportion of real foods. According to Dr. Madan, while these are palatable, highly processed foods contain preservatives, artificial flavours and colourants, which means addition of chemicals that are harmful for the human body. Some of the common examples are instant soups, noodles, packaged breads, ice-creams, biscuits, cakes, butter, cheese among others.

Food High In Salt

Dr. Madan says that although sodium is essential for the body, the key is to consume it in moderation. She warns that food high in salt like instant noodles, frozen foods, breakfast cereals, canned soup, salty seafood among others can lead to many health complications like high blood pressure, kidney diseases, osteoporosis and other such diseases.


According to Dr. Madan, caffeine is safe only when consumed moderately. She says, 'Caffeine is generally considered as safe but it can pose some health risk if it becomes an addiction.' Consuming caffeine in high quantities may raise blood pressure and insomnia. Coffee, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks are the most common sources of caffeine.

Canned Foods

While canned foods are ready-to-eat, these are not as good and nutritious as freshly cooked food, as per Dr. Madan. She warns that the canned foods may contain Bisphenol-A (BPA), which is a chemical that is often used in food packaging. BPA can enter into the food from the can leading to various health hazards. Apart from this, canned foods also contain preservatives, sugar and sodium that should be avoided in daily diet.

Sugary Drinks

Dr. Madan highly recommends removing sugary drinks like industrially produced juices, soft drinks and flavoured energy drinks from daily consumption. She says that these drinks are loaded with sugar, artificial flavours and a lot of empty calories. When a person consumes empty calories, the person may end up consuming way more calories than required by the body. Dr. Madan further warns that sugary drinks can cause serious conditions including type 2 diabetes and heart diseases.

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