When considering lunch, you want to fuel your body with foods that will give you energy and satisfy your hunger until dinner. However, some foods can have the opposite effect, leaving you feeling sluggish, bloated, and unproductive.

As you plan your mid-day meal, it’s important to avoid certain foods that can disrupt your digestive system, hinder your weight loss goals, and even put your overall health at risk.

In this article, we’ll reveal the top 12 foods you should never eat in lunch to ensure you’re making the best choices for your body.

Fried Foods are Unhealthy

Before you reach for that crispy fried chicken or french fries, think twice. Fried foods are a major contributor to weight gain, heart disease, and other health problems. They may taste good, but the consequences are not worth it.

High in Calories

Even a small serving of fried food can pack a caloric punch, adding hundreds of extra calories to your daily intake. This can lead to weight gain and obesity, which increases your risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease.

Increase Cholesterol

One of the biggest concerns with fried foods is their ability to increase your cholesterol levels. Fried foods are typically cooked in partially hydrogenated oils, which are high in trans fats. These unhealthy fats can raise your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol.

The reason trans fats are so dangerous is that they can cause inflammation in your blood vessels, leading to the buildup of plaque and increasing your risk of heart disease.

When you consume fried foods regularly, you’re putting your cardiovascular health at risk. It’s necessary to limit your intake of fried foods and opt for healthier cooking methods like baking or grilling instead.

Processed Meats are Bad


If you’re trying to make healthy lunch choices, it’s necessary to avoid processed meats at all costs.

These meats are not only detrimental to your overall health, but they can also hinder your weight loss goals and increase your risk of chronic diseases.

Contain Preservatives

Any food that’s been processed and packaged for convenience likely contains preservatives to extend its shelf life. Processed meats are no exception. These preservatives can alter your gut health, leading to digestive issues and inflammation.

Linked to Cancer

Little do you know, consuming processed meats regularly can increase your risk of certain types of cancer. The World Health Organization has classified processed meat as a carcinogen, putting it in the same category as tobacco and asbestos.

Meats like hot dogs, sausages, and bacon contain advanced glycation end (AGE) products, which are known to promote oxidative stress and inflammation in the body.

When you consume these meats, you’re necessaryly feeding your body a cocktail of toxic chemicals that can damage your cells and increase your risk of cancer.

It’s crucial to limit your intake of processed meats or eliminate them from your diet altogether to protect your health.

Sugary Drinks are Harmful

Even a single sugary drink can have a significant impact on your overall health. Consuming sugary drinks regularly can lead to a range of negative effects, from energy crashes to obesity.

Cause Energy Crashes

Little do you know, sugary drinks can cause a rapid spike in your blood sugar levels, followed by a crash. This energy crash can leave you feeling lethargic, sluggish, and unproductive, making it difficult to focus on your work or daily activities.

Lead to Obesity

Cause and effect – sugary drinks are a significant contributor to weight gain and obesity. You may not realize it, but those extra calories from sugary drinks can add up quickly, leading to an expanded waistline.

Harmful habits can be hard to break, but it’s necessary to be aware of the risks associated with sugary drinks. Obesity increases your risk of developing chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. By cutting back on sugary drinks, you can reduce your risk of obesity and maintain a healthy weight.

Refined Carbs are Empty

Despite their convenience and tempting taste, refined carbohydrates are a nutritional nightmare. They offer little to no nutritional value, yet consume a significant portion of your daily calorie intake.

Lack Nutrients

Now, take a closer look at the ingredient list of your favorite refined carb-heavy foods. You’ll notice they’re often stripped of imperative vitamins, minerals, and fiber, that means you’re not getting the nutrients your body needs to function properly, leaving you feeling sluggish and unsatisfied.

Cause Blood Sugar Spikes

Cause and effect: refined carbs are quickly digested, causing a rapid increase in your blood sugar levels. This triggers an insulin surge, which can lead to energy crashes, mood swings, and even weight gain.

With every bite of refined carbs, you’re putting your body through a rollercoaster of blood sugar highs and lows, which can lead to insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes and other serious health problems. It’s imperative to be mindful of your refined carb intake and opt for whole, nutrient-dense foods instead.

Canned Goods are Toxic

Now, when it comes to canned goods, you might think they’re a convenient and harmless addition to your lunch. However, the truth is that many canned goods are filled with toxic substances that can have negative effects on your health.

Contain BPA

Poisonous Bisphenol A (BPA) is often used in the lining of canned goods, which can leach into your food and ultimately into your body. This toxic chemical has been linked to various health problems, including cancer, reproductive issues, and hormonal imbalances. You should avoid canned goods that contain BPA to protect your health.

High in Sodium

You may not realize that many canned goods are packed with excessive amounts of sodium. Consuming high-sodium foods regularly can lead to blood pressure issues, heart disease, and stroke.

Goods like canned soups, vegetables, and meats are often loaded with sodium to extend their shelf life. When you eat these foods regularly, you’re putting your body at risk of developing these serious health problems. It’s vital to check the nutrition labels and opt for low-sodium alternatives or fresh ingredients instead.

Foods High in Salt

Keep an eye out for foods that are high in salt, as they can have a significant impact on your health. Consuming excessive salt can lead to a range of problems, from increased blood pressure to kidney damage.

Increase Blood Pressure

Now, it’s no secret that sodium can cause your blood pressure to skyrocket. When you consume high-sodium foods, your body holds onto water to dilute the salt, which can lead to increased blood pressure. This can put a strain on your heart and blood vessels, increasing your risk of heart disease and stroke.

Damage Kidneys

It’s important to note that your kidneys have a limited ability to process salt, and when you exceed that limit, it can cause scarring and damage to the delicate tissues within. Over time, this can lead to chronic kidney disease, which can be devastating to your overall health.

Raw or Undercooked Eggs


For many of us, eggs are a staple in our lunchtime meals, whether it’s a sandwich, salad, or omelette. However, consuming raw or undercooked eggs can pose serious health risks.

Risk of Salmonella

Undercooked or raw eggs can contain Salmonella bacteria, which can cause severe food poisoning. You may not even realize you’ve consumed contaminated eggs until days later, when symptoms start to appear.

Food Poisoning

For people who eat raw or undercooked eggs, the risk of food poisoning is high. You may experience symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps, which can last for several days.

It’s crucial to note that food poisoning from Salmonella can be particularly dangerous for certain groups, such as the elderly, young children, and people with weakened immune systems. If you experience any symptoms, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly to avoid complications.

Unpasteurized Dairy Products

Unlike other dairy products, unpasteurized dairy products can pose serious health risks when consumed in your lunch. These products, such as raw milk, soft cheeses, and yogurt, can harbor harmful bacteria like Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria.

Risk of Infection

Now, you may be thinking that the risk of infection is low, but the reality is that unpasteurized dairy products can cause serious infections, especially in people with weakened immune systems, such as the elderly, pregnant women, and young children.

Foodborne Illness

Assuming you’re aware of the risks, it’s imperative to understand that unpasteurized dairy products can lead to foodborne illnesses, which can range from mild to life-threatening.

You can minimize your risk of getting sick by avoiding unpasteurized dairy products altogether. Instead, opt for pasteurized alternatives, which have been heat-treated to kill off harmful bacteria. Recall, your health is worth the extra caution, and it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

High-Fat Dairy Products

All high-fat dairy products, such as cheese, whole milk, and cream, can have a significant impact on your health when consumed in excess.

Increase Cholesterol

Some of the saturated fats found in high-fat dairy products can raise your cholesterol levels, increasing your risk of heart disease. You may think that a small amount of cheese or whole milk won’t hurt, but the reality is that these products can quickly add up and put your heart health at risk.

Contribute to Obesity

Increase your calorie intake with high-fat dairy products, and you’ll be more likely to gain weight and struggle with obesity. This is because these products are not only high in fat but also tend to be high in calories.

Any excess calories that your body doesn’t need will be stored as fat, leading to weight gain and obesity. This can have serious consequences for your overall health, including an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer.

By limiting your intake of high-fat dairy products, you can reduce your risk of obesity and maintain a healthy weight.

Foods with Artificial Additives

After consuming foods with artificial additives, you may think you’re getting a convenient and tasty meal, but the truth is, these chemicals can have devastating effects on your health.

Cause Allergic Reactions

Slightly altering your body’s chemistry, artificial additives can trigger allergic reactions, ranging from mild discomfort to life-threatening anaphylaxis. You may experience symptoms like hives, itching, or swelling, which can be unsettling and even dangerous.

Affect Gut Health

Certainly, artificial additives can disrupt the delicate balance of your gut microbiome, leading to digestive issues, inflammation, and even chronic diseases.

Reactions to artificial additives can be unpredictable, and the impact on your gut health can be long-lasting. For instance, some artificial sweeteners can alter the way your body processes glucose, leading to metabolic disorders and weight gain.

Moreover, artificial preservatives can kill off beneficial bacteria, creating an environment where harmful pathogens thrive. By avoiding foods with artificial additives, you can protect your gut health and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Foods with High Fructose

To maintain a healthy diet, it’s imperative to limit or avoid foods with high fructose content. Fructose is a simple sugar found naturally in fruits and honey, but it’s also added to many processed foods, leading to excessive consumption.

Contribute to Obesity

You’ll be surprised to know that consuming high-fructose foods can lead to weight gain and obesity. This is because fructose is metabolized differently than glucose, causing your body to store it as fat more efficiently. As a result, you may experience increased hunger and cravings, making it challenging to maintain a healthy weight.

Increase Risk of Diabetes

Contribute to the development of insulin resistance, and you’ll be putting yourself at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. High-fructose diets have been linked to impaired glucose metabolism, making it difficult for your body to regulate blood sugar levels.

You can reduce your risk of developing insulin resistance by limiting your intake of high-fructose foods. Instead, opt for whole, unprocessed foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, which are rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

These foods will help slow down the digestion and absorption of natural sugars, reducing the risk of insulin resistance and diabetes.

To Wrap Up

The next time you’re packing your lunch or deciding what to grab on the go, remember that some foods can do more harm than good. You’ve learned about the 12 foods that should be avoided in your lunch, from processed meats to sugary snacks.

By making informed choices, you can protect your health, boost your energy, and maintain a healthy weight. Take control of your lunch game and make a positive impact on your overall well-being by avoiding these unhealthy options and opting for nutrient-dense alternatives instead.

Janvi Patel