Experts recommend that people avoid foods such as swordfish, non-organic strawberries, artificial sweeteners and processed meats including sausages, bacon and hot dogs. Other foods to shun include sugary coffee creations, corn tortillas and muffins containing propylparaben, and certain processed foods such as microwave popcorn, margarine, granola bars and instant ramen.
Pregnant women or women intending to conceive should avoid swordfish as it contains high levels of mercury that may cause heart attacks in adults and damage children's health. Chemically grown strawberries may have harmful pesticide residues. Experts recommend organic strawberries instead. Studies have shown that artificial sweeteners are as bad as regular sugars that have high calories. Artificial sweeteners may increase blood sugar levels and cause weight gain and other health complications.
Bacon, sausages and hot dogs increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Experts also recommend watching out for the sodium content of processed foods and meats. Some processed foods such as instant ramen, granola bars and dried fruits have high simple carbohydrates content. Some margarine is high in trans fats that increase bad cholesterol and may cause stroke and heart disease. Although microwave popcorn is healthy, the bags used for popping it contain chemicals such as perfluoroalkyls that may cause poor semen quality and kidney diseases.
Propylparaben is a cosmetic chemical that contains oestrogen and can interfere with fertility and may trigger the growth of breast cancer cells. Experts recommend avoiding corn tortillas and muffins that contain propylparaben.