9 Healthy Foods and Drinks You Shouldn’t Binge and Why

A lot of advice about how to eat healthy boils down to one simple idea: everything in moderation. Even healthy foods like cruciferous vegetables, fish, and avocados fall into this category.

Most people would be better off if they ate more healthy foods, but it is possible to eat too much of some foods by eating them most days of the week.

Here are nine healthy foods that you shouldn’t eat too much of, along with why.

1.Cruciferous Vegetables

Holly Klamer, RDN, a nutrition educator from Kalamazoo, Michigan, says, “We always want to include a variety of vegetables, a variety of protein sources, and a variety of fat sources.”

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans from 2020 to 2025 say that half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables. And yes, cruciferous vegetables like kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and others are full of vitamins and minerals like folate and vitamin K. But they also have a lot of soluble fiber, which the Mayo Clinic says can lead to too much gas. If you eat too many of these vegetables, especially in amounts your body isn’t used to, it can make your stomach hurt.

Klamer also says that cruciferous vegetables can make it hard for your thyroid to use iodine. The Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health says that iodine helps your body make thyroid hormones and is important for bone and brain growth during pregnancy and early childhood.

Klamer says that eating these vegetables in small amounts is probably fine, but eating too many of them every day could be bad.

Klamer says that people who take blood thinners like Warfarin (coumadin) should watch what they eat because vitamin K can change how well the medicine works. She says, “At least run it by your health care team first.”

2.Foods with a lot of good fats

In this group are avocados, nuts, and olive oil. The American Heart Association says that they are high in monounsaturated fats, which can help lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Healthy fats are good for you as long as you don’t eat too much of them. However, they are full of calories that add up quickly.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says that one avocado has about 322 calories and that one cup of whole almonds has 828 calories.

Also, many packaged nuts are salted with regular table salt and sometimes even soaked in vegetable oil, says Shannon Henry, a registered dietitian in San Francisco who works for the online healthcare service EZCare Clinic. She says that can cause high blood pressure and make you more likely to get heart disease.

3. Lemonade

Lemon water is a fun way to drink water that is low in calories and sugar. Klamer points out, though, that lemon is acidic and can damage your tooth enamel and make you more likely to get cavities.

“I have actually been through this myself,” she says. “I went through a time when I said, ‘I’m going to start drinking a lot of lemon water,’ and I noticed that it made my teeth more sensitive.” Mouth Healthy, a website for consumers from the American Dental Association, suggests limiting other acidic fruits like oranges, limes, and tomatoes, as well as acidic drinks like lemonade and orange juice.

Use a straw and rinse your mouth after drinking lemon water or other acidic drinks. This can help make any negative effects less severe.

4.Flavored Yogurt

Rachel McBryan, RD, who works with the College of Dietitians of British Columbia in Nanaimo, says that some brands of yogurt have a lot of added sugar. Yogurt is an easy-to-get snack that is full of nutrients, but some brands have a lot of added sugar. This is especially true of the ones with less fat, which makes them “more of a dessert than a snack,” says she.

The USDA says that, on average, one container of low-fat peach yogurt has 10 grams (g) of added sugar. The American Heart Association recommends that women don’t eat more than 25 grams of sugar per day and men don’t eat more than 36 grams per day.

McBryan says that instead, you should choose plain, low-fat yogurt and add your own healthy toppings, like fruits and nuts. Go Greek to take the yogurt to the next level: The USDA says that a 7-ounce serving of this kind has nearly 20 g of protein, while a 7-ounce serving of regular yogurt has about half that amount.

5.Oatmeal in a Hurry

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health says that oats are good for you because they have fiber, magnesium, and zinc. McBryan says that many brands of instant oatmeal have a lot of sugar. For example, 12 g of added sugars are in a packet of Quaker Instant Oatmeal Maple and Brown Sugar.

McBryan suggests making overnight oats instead. To do this, mix a half cup of plain, raw oats with a half cup of dairy or plant-based liquid, mix, and put in the fridge. She says to add fruit or a tablespoon of peanut butter in the morning.

6.Fish that have mercury in them

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says that fish is a great way to get protein, vitamin B12, zinc, iodine, and omega-3 fatty acids (FDA). A review of 20 studies with hundreds of thousands of people found that eating one or two 2-ounce (oz) servings of fatty fish a week cut the risk of dying from heart disease by 36%.

But if you eat too many of some kinds, you might be more likely to get mercury poisoning.

The FDA says that catfish, flounder, haddock, salmon, scallops, squid, and tilapia are the best fish to eat. This is because they have the least mercury in them. The FDA says that canned light tuna is also a good choice because it has three times less mercury than albacore tuna. All of these kinds of fish can be eaten two to three times a week in a 4 oz. serving.

Other types of fish with a medium level of mercury, like bluefish, grouper, monkfish, and halibut, should only be eaten once a week, again in 4 oz servings, according to the FDA. On the other hand, the agency says to stay away from fish with the most mercury, such as king mackerel, shark, marlin, bigeye tuna, orange roughy, tilefish, and swordfish.

7.Foods with a lot of fiber

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans say that getting enough fiber in your diet can lower your risk of coronary heart disease.

The Mayo Clinic says that chia seeds, berries, black or baked beans, and lentils are all high-fiber foods.

But be careful: the Mayo Clinic says that eating too much too quickly can have the opposite effect of what you want and cause constipation, gas, and bloating.

To stop this from happening, slowly eat more fiber and drink a lot of water.

8.A dark chocolate bar

People who like dark chocolate grab a bar to get a dose of antioxidants, but this healthier treat isn’t pure. In particular, it can have a lot of calories: The USDA says that about 30 g, or 2.5 squares, of a 90 g dark chocolate bar with 70–85% cacao has 170 calories. Most registered dietitians say to stick to one square (about 68 calories), especially if you want to lose weight or keep it the same.

9.Beta-carotene-Rich Foods

Mount Sinai says that carrots, cantaloupe, winter squash, and sweet potatoes all have a lot of beta-carotene. The hospital says that beta-carotene is an antioxidant that may help your immune system and lower your risk of heart disease and cancer. It also helps your eyesight and eye health.

But beta-carotene-rich foods have pigments that can change your skin color to yellow or orange. This is called carotenemia. A case study published in Cureus in July 2019 says that the discoloration usually happens on thick parts of the skin, like the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. It’s caused by eating “too much” and “for a long time” yellow or orange foods that are high in carotene, which is usually more than 30 milligrams (mg) of beta-carotene a day, according to an article in StatPearls from January 2021. (According to the Cleveland Clinic, one carrot has about 4 mg of beta-carotene. If you regularly eat about eight carrots a day, you may get carotenemia.) The Cureus study says that the condition is “unlikely to lead to any serious consequences.

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