6 Foods That Steal Your Body’s Nutrients

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An empty bowl with a red question mark in itEven if you’re eating a well-balanced diet, you’re likely consuming some packaged foods…and some of those food ingredients are bad for you. This actually can include healthier options, such as cereal, yogurt, and frozen vegetables.

What’s the potential damage? Eating them can make you deficient in key micronutrients. Luckily, it’s not hard to rebalance your body’s nutrients.

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Just read the ingredients lists of any foods before you buy them and watch out for the following seven deal-breaker items:

Sugar cubes

1. Sugar

AKA: Agave nectar, brown sugar, cane crystals, cane sugar, caramel, crystalline fructose, dextrose, evaporated cane juice, fructose, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, honey, invert sugar, lactose, maltose, malt syrup, molasses, raw sugar, sucrose, syrup

Found in: Sodas, dessert items, candies, frozen fruits and vegetables with sauces or marinades, sauces, soups

Robs Your Body of: Vitamin C, calcium, magnesium

Vitamin C and glucose use the same transporters to get into cells, so they compete with one another. Our body wants to absorb a limited amount of fructose, and when we consume more than that, the intestine rejects it and feeds gut bacteria, leading to bacteria overgrowth. This extra bacteria tends to steal nutrients and damage intestinal cells, inhibiting absorption of calcium and magnesium.

Increased Health Risks Due to Nutrient Depletion: Weaker immune system and bones, poorer night’s sleep, compromised cellular and nerve function, chronic inflammation

Syrup dripping off of four spoons against a tan background

2. High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

AKA: Corn sweetener, corn syrup, corn sugar

Found in: Packaged foods, cookies, cakes, breakfast cereals, soda, frozen veggies, yogurt, juices, condiments

Robs Your Body of: Chromium, magnesium, zinc

The average American consumed 131 calories of high-fructose corn syrup daily in 2011, the most recent year that the USDA has data for. Biologically this sweetener has the same effects on your health as sugar, including the formation of sintestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). This is a common condition found in most people suffering from IBS, according to a 2010 report published the World Journal of Gastroenterol. Unlike sugar, however, HFCS doesn’t trigger the “I’m full” hormone leptin in the brain, making it easier to overeat, which may lead to obesity.

Increased Health Risks Due to Nutrient Depletion: Impaired immune function, hair loss, lowered blood sugar regulation, elevated triglycerides, discomfort, bloating, diarrhea, obesity

A jar of strawberry jam

3. Pectin

Found in: Jams, jellies, fruit juices, milk drinks, canned frosting, yogurt

Robs Your Body of: Beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein

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