The Villains of Health

Learn which are the foods responsible for the main current diseases like obesity, cancer and hypertension.

Study in the Bible:

The big villains of health are delicious, cheap and are sold in mass in the supermarkets.

Fair enough, sugar, sodas, processed and fried food in general are gradually reducing your days on Earth.

The villains of health are part of the everyday of the citizens of America due to their convenience and popularity. In Brazil and in the United States, for instance, people justify their bad nutrition to the busy routine of work. In other words, there is little time left for preparing meals in their own kitchen. Then, the use of industrialized food ends up being the most viable option.

Another excuse is the cost of a healthier lifestyle. If someone is strict vegan or vegetarian (that only restricts to meats), he or she needs to eat a variety of grains, cereals, fruits, greenery and nuts as substitution. The food that is prepared at home has a process to be planned, executed and consumed. This requires time, money and pleasure in cooking, what people have less and less.

Despite the excuses for the use of food that is harmful to the health, experts warn that you need to avoid or even eliminate them from your diet. North American nutritionist and author of best-sellers about nutrition Michelle Schoffro Cook launched a list of the 10 worst foods for the human consumption. They are: diet soda, common soda, doughnuts, hot dog, bacon, potato chips, french fries, frozen pizza, corn chips and ice cream, in order of severity.

Get to know why you should abandon once and for all the main villains of health:

SUGAR: Refined sugar (or sucrose) is 100% caloric and does not present any nutritional value. The food is a carbohydrate composed of glucose and fructose that makes other foods tastier. When it is consumed in excess, it is stored in the body as triglyceride, what increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Overall, this food is the main responsible for the increase in the population’s weight. Because it is caloric, it can take people to obesity and in addition it increases the risk of diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia. Carbohydrates in general, like pastry and white rice, are transformed by the body into “sugar”. In other words, the ideal is to avoid the consumption of
these foods as well. 

SODA: Diet and common soda have an almost null nutritional value, besides having tens of substances that are artificial and harmful to the health. Cola-based drinks, for example, have a big quantity of phosphates that, in excess, weaken the bones
(osteoporosis), causes early aging, renal and muscular problems. Common soda cans (350ml) have in their composition 30 to 37 grams of sugar, what contributes to weight gain and the appearance of tooth decays. According to the Brazilian National Institute of Cancer (Instituto Nacional do Câncer – INCA), most sodas have a carcinogenic element called 4-MI (4-metil-imidazol). In addition to all that, these drinks contain sodium, what can take the consumer to a condition of hypertension. 

FRIED FOOD: The process of frying makes chemical changes in the oil (even if it has good quality) and transforms it in saturated fat, that can cause several diseases when in excess. Fried food promotes the formation of trans fat, which is related to the increase of cardiovascular diseases and worsens health in general. Fried foods are very caloric and increase blood pressure. Frying also promotes the formation of acrolein in the food, a highly carcinogenic substance. A portion of
100g of french fries, for example, has 14% of the daily value of acceptable saturated fat.

FROZEN MEALS: They are rich in saturated fat and, thus, promote the increase of the level of bad cholesterol and the development of cardiovascular diseases. Overall, they have a lot of sodium that, in excess, increase blood pressure. In most cases, this kind of food have very low nutritional value, which does not contribute for a good health.

PROCESSED FOOD: The World Health Organization (WHO) made a study about processed food like mortadella, salami, ham, turkey breast, sausage, dried meat and canned meat; and concluded that the consumption of 50g per day increases in 18% the risk of colorectal cancer. It happens because processed products receive a big quantity of salt and chemical additives (nitrite and nitrate) to help in the conservation. Processed food also has coloring, that can cause allergies and other discomfort. In addition, they increase the levels of cholesterol and can cause cardiovascular diseases.

INDUSTRIALIZED BROTH AND SEASONING: These products have a lot of sodium and monosodium glutamate. As it is known, sodium can increase blood pressure or worsen the problem if it already exists. The human body uses glutamate as a transmitter of nerve impulses to the brain. Therefore, its consumption is related to the development of Alzheimer, Parkinson, cancer and harms the learning.


What do you usually consume in breakfast?

What do you usually eat at lunch?

Do you usually have liquids during meals?

Speaking of drinks, do you usually have soda and industrialized juice?

Between meals, what do you usually eat?

How many liters of water do you drink per day?

After the main meals, do you usually have dessert?

You try to have a healthy and balanced life, but still must change a few habits. Start by trying to eat more salad and avoid having liquids during meals. Cut soda, sugar, fried food and fast foods down once and for all. In addition, it is important to practice physical exercises and sleep well. You are close to having a good health. Did you know the Bible gives advice about health? Learn More

Congratulations, you are a very healthy person. Keep on following this lifestyle and influence people around you. Oh, did you know the Bible talks a lot about this lifestyle you chose to follow? Learn More

You really need to start changing your life habits. Start by looking for and expert. Avoid consuming sugar, soda, processed and fried food, among others. Practice physical exercises and make up for the lost time. Oh, the Bible gives some tips that might help you in this change of habits. Learn More

A lot of people have already noticed that they need to start a radical change in nutrition. Other ones only must stop consuming some products that are not so healthy. In both cases, the change, as small as it is, is not an easy process. Whether it is for who wishes to eat better to lose weight or to gain weight the right way. Therefore, it is important to look for specialized help.

Expert Interview

Elson Nunes

Cardiologist and clinical director of Medical SPA Cevisa

What are the steps for who wishes to lose or gain weight in a healthy way?

EN: The first step is to understand that the change must be slow and progressive, unless there is an emergency related to health. Every change of habits demands focus and most of the times a very intense psychological effort, making it very hard to keep a radical change of many aspects at the same time. Secondly, you must establish specific and relevant goals, in the sense of having one more incentive to go on. It is impossible to become the person you want to be without changing the habits of the person you are before. After defining a relevant focus, perseverance is important. Or you will be part of the 95% of people who start a change and can’t keep it for a year.

Data from the IPSOS Institute claim that 28% of Brazilians are trying to eat less animal flesh. According to the site World Atlas, Brazil is the eighth country with more vegetarians in the world. The first one is India, that does not consume beef for religious reasons. For vegetarians and vegans there is an agreement about the subject, because for them meat presents more harms than advantages. Specially vegans have a stricter lifestyle about the consumption of meat. They don’t buy, use or sell products that are tested on animals or articles made of leather or animal hair. Vegetarianism has grown so much that today it adds almost 16 million fans in Brazil alone, according to Ibope.


How is it possible to substitute animal-originated food and fill the need of vitamins and other nutrients?

EN: The vegetarian nutrition is not as complicated as it looks like. The protein is the first worry of who wants to change into this lifestyle. But the protein is found in many foods like beans, chickpea, lentil, peas, wholegrain rice, soybean and its derivatives, chestnuts, nuts, peanut, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia, linseed, quinoa, amaranth, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, kale, mushrooms, among others. Another worry in the vegetarian diet is the consumption of calcium, which is also found in a lot of sources, like soybean, sesame, beans, parsley, chestnuts and other foods already cited as source of protein. The only nutrient that we really don’t find in plant foods is the vitamin B12, that must be supplemented. But 50% of the omnivorous also present this deficiency and should always check, since it is a very important vitamin.

If it is hard for grown-ups to change the nutrition by their own will, imagine for children, who are forced? The little ones love candy, pastry, pizza, soda and fast food. The habits of children are stimulated by their parents. Namely, the change in the lifestyle must affect the whole family. Winning them will always demand a lot of patience and creativity from the parents.

How can children learn to eat vegetables?

EN: Children usually imitate their parents. So, the first thing to do is give the example. Another way is to avoid bitter vegetables since the child has more difficulty with this taste and develops it better with age. Try to introduce the tastiest ones and don’t create a myth or trauma related to the foods. Eating healthy food must be pleasant or these children will grow up and become adults who relate healthy food to some punishment.

Nutritionist Cyntia Maureen also gives some tips on how to deal with the children’s nutrition. She advises the parents to involve the children in buying the food, take them to the kitchen and prepare some recipe that uses the ingredient with them. It is also important to vary the preparation and presentation of the food. If the child does not eat braised broccoli, the idea is to make broccoli dumpling or put the vegetable in the rice. “Many children might reject carrots cut into slices but like to eat them in sticks. A plate with a little face drew with the food is much more attractive than the simple disposition of the food”, suggests Cyntia. The nutritionist says that “it is always good to offer diversified foods. Many times, some of them may be rejected on the first time, but the taste can change with time. Never punish the children for rejecting some food. And, most important, the parents should give the example”, she ends.

An unprecedented study in São Paulo identified which factors help people to have health and longevity. It is called the Advent Study (an acronym for Diet Analysis and Life Habits in Preventing Cardiovascular Events in Seventh Day Adventists) and is coordinated by the cardiologist and assistant physician of the Heart Institute of the Hospital das Clínicas of the USP Medical School, Everton Gomes Padilha. In the interview below, made in 2016, he explains how the research was developed.

For many people, taking care of the health is a life principle. Several religions appreciate quality of life, well-being and healthy nutrition. All of that because the Holy Bible, the most popular book in the world, also approaches this subject in several ways and in several stories. Learn More

Every time you have the desire to eat something that is harmful to the health or simply feel the wish to eat something when you are not hungry, think: Do I really need to eat this? Am I hungry? Will it fix my problems?

In many cases, bad nutrition is related to emotional, spiritual or professional problems. Specialists alert that food can’t solve every human problem, only hunger.