It's the middle of summer, and you can't wait to celebrate the Fourth of July with your friends and family. You've got the venue, you've got the invite list, the games and activities are set and the party supplies are ready to go. Now all you need to do is start buying the traditional Fourth of July foods. But have you ever stopped and wondered just how bad a day of indulging on these types of foods can be? Have you ever thought about the possible health risks of enjoying that delicious treat at this year's Fourth of July fair?
Here is a list of unhealthy foods you should consider avoiding at this year's Fourth of July celebration:
1. Deep Fried Foods
Deep fried chicken is one thing, but eating deep fried foods that aren't normally served deep fried is just on a whole other level of BAD! When stalking the fairgrounds at this year's Fourth of July festival, you are bound to come across this list of common, deep fried foods:
- Onion rings
- French fries
- Mozzarella sticks
- Candy bars!?
- Sticks of butter!??
At one point, some of these deep fried foods had nutritional value. That is, until they were dunked in batter and thrown in a pool of cooking oil. You can expect a spike in cholesterol, blood pressure and an increased risk of heart disease if you decide to indulge in these foods during the Fourth of July. Oh, and the deep fried stick of butter was not a joke or an exaggeration. That's something your heart will truly hate you for.
2. Unhealthy Burgers
The burger is an American staple of a traditional Fourth of July weekend. Now, a lean, properly cooked hamburger patty sitting on a whole grain bun filled with spinach leaves and a slice of avocado as a cheese substitute sounds like a delicious, healthy burger. A thick, greasy, fat-filled burger sitting on a buttered bun with mounds of cheese and crispy bacon sounds like artery-clogging goodness and a ticket to a triple bypass. It's a tough decision, but honestly, there are better, healthier ways to prepare your Fourth of July burgers that can be just as a good as the unhealthier recipes. Here are some of the health risks that are associated with unhealthy burgers:
3. Explosive Chili
Chili cook-offs are a fantastic Fourth of July tradition, but the absurd amount of ridiculously spicy food people ingest at these cook-offs is something that needs to be avoided. It's amazing how many people want to subject themselves to such food torcher for the sake of challenging their taste buds. There is nothing wrong with spicy food, but too much of too spicy can equate to:
- Insomnia: spicy foods increase body temperatures and can be disruptive for sleep.
- Acid reflux: this is what happens when it feels like you have stomach acid coming back up in your esophagus. Spicy food has been known to trigger this condition.
- Gastritis: this is a condition of irritation or swelling of the stomach. It can be the cause of vomiting blood, nausea, black stools and stomach pain.
- Damaged taste buds: this is why people are constantly searching for something spicier after eating spicy foods their entire life. They have basically worn down their taste buds over years of abuse.
Holidays and celebrations are typically accompanied by an excess of sweets. For the Fourth of July, cakes, pastries, cotton candy, ice cream and pies are the prime suspects of sugar overload, and can put you at risk for Type 2 diabetes. Sweets aren't necessarily bad when eaten in moderation. The problem is they are trigger foods that can cause a person to overeat. Just think about the times you've wanted to stop eating something that was bad for you, and then you gave yourself the excuse: "Just one more...," whatever it was you were eating. Once you reach for that second helping, you've given in and finding the will to stop becomes even more difficult. Do yourself a favor this Fourth of July and just avoid the sweets.
Beer isn't exactly a food, but it's something that should be avoided because people tend to abuse it during the Fourth of July. Ice cold beer is just something that has always gone hand-in-hand with barbecue, thus, it goes hand-in-hand with Independence Day. It wouldn't be an issue if people drank beer in moderation during the Fourth of July. The problem is the Fourth of July is a holiday weekend, and with so many people off from work, it's hard not to go overboard on the liquor. Just keep in mind, there is a thin line between enjoying your alcohol and full blown alcoholism.