(HealthyResearch.com) – Not all foods are created equal in nutrition: There’s a clear breakfast winner, for example, in a frosted jelly doughnut versus peanut butter-topped apple slices. But experts say some foods may actually put our health at risk. From common items such as hot dogs to exotic choices like octopus, get the dish on a dozen foods to avoid.
Beware Of These 7 Common Foods
Some foods that we may eat often have the potential to be risky choices. Whether the danger is in how we prepare them (beware of that bagel!) or in the part we consume (no cheers for cherry pits!), we can benefit from understanding the dangers.
- Cherry Pits: If you like to chew on cherry pits or seeds from apricots and other stone fruits, you may want to stop — or at least limit yourself to a handful. These pits contain hydrogen cyanide, which is poisonous.
- Hot Dogs: Medical experts say these treats are considered a choking hazard. If you have children below the age of three, be especially cautious.
- Bagels: Be careful slicing that bagel. Knife injuries linked to bagels rank high on the list of potential kitchen accidents.
- Kidney beans: Kidney beans contain the toxic protein phytohaemagglutinin. To avoid potential kidney bean poisoning, soak these legumes in water for a minimum of 5 hours. Boil for at least 10 minutes to eliminate the toxin.
- Raw cashews: These popular nuts often are sold as “raw cashews” in health food stores. However, raw cashews need to be steamed to eliminate urushiol, which is the same compound found in poison ivy and poison oak. Check the label for preparation specifics.
- Alfalfa sprouts: A handful of crunchy raw alfalfa sprouts on a salad or sandwich never hurt anyone, right? Wrong. These sprouts are linked to numerous occurrences of foodborne illnesses that include Salmonella and E. coli. Pregnant women, kids, and older individuals should avoid sprouts.
- Green potatoes: Ever notice a potato with a sprout or a green spot when you slice it? The potato plant’s green areas and sprouts can result in poisoning due to the toxic ingredient solanine. Avoid that risk by tossing out any sprouts as well as potatoes with green areas beneath the skin.
Avoid These 5 Exotic Foods
Some of us with more adventurous taste buds and tummies may view sampling foods from around the world as a joy. But some choices may be hazardous to your health. Before sampling another unusual delicacy, check our list of foods to avoid.
- Starfruit: These fruits look gorgeous on everything from pudding to pie. But individuals with kidney disease should avoid the starfruit due to caramboxin. That toxin can accumulate in our bodies, resulting in symptoms ranging from nausea to seizures.
- Unpasteurized cheese: If you enjoy unpasteurized cheeses such as Camembert, you may have noticed these varieties are more difficult to find. That’s because the United States has banned imported raw milk cheeses. Made from unpasteurized milk, raw milk cheese may make you ill due to the potential for harmful bacteria.
- Pufferfish: Known as fugu in Japan, this fish ranks second on the list of the world’s most poisonous vertebrates. A single pufferfish can be deadly, containing an overdose of toxins.
- Sannakji: Tradition calls for consuming this raw octopus dish as it wiggles. Sushi chefs kill the octopus prior to serving it. But because the still active nerves cause squirming, the suction cups could attach as you swallow. To avoid choking, avoid sannakji.
- Elderberries: We love picking and eating berries when we come across them. But steer clear of raw elderberries. Although cooked versions are safe, the raw variety contains traces of cyanide, a compound that could result in vomiting and dizziness. Cooking or boiling eliminates the cyanide.
We hope you didn’t lose your appetite while learning which 12 foods may provide more of a trick than a treat. But as with many health matters, knowledge is power. From being more cautious with ordinary foods such as bagels to opting out of exotic choices such as raw octopus, you now have the power to make safer food choices.
~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!
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