15 Everyday Items That Are Slowly (And Secretly) Killing You

Our modern day lives are a multifaceted compendium of exponentially evolving technology, social media, and even convenience food ingredients.

These daily parts of our lives are changing every aspect of our lives so rapidly that adjusting to them can be tough.

The most important question, however, is: how are technology, social media and the ever-changing ingredients in our food slowly killing us? The answer is: in a few ways.

While innovations in technology have improved the lives of nearly everyone, almost half of young adults are unable to imagine their lives without their smartphones or tablets. In an average day, 65 percent of American adults check their personal email on a constant basis. 52 percent of adults check their social media and text messages constantly.

Technology And Social Media

Use rates are swiftly climbing and in turn causing the associated anxiety, depression and stress rates to swiftly climb as well. While the social media platform of Facebook is the most commonly used platform for adults, children and teenagers have shifted their preference over to Instagram and Snapchat and around 76 percent of individuals in their teens use these all day long.

A recent study performed by researchers at Indiana University explored the idea that there is a so-called “friendship paradox.” The paradox is experienced by most social media users that leads one to believe their friends on social media are much happier and more popular than them. This belief leads to reduced happiness, social isolation, anxiety, and depression – which are at epidemic levels among young adults.

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Increased Levels Of Depression

Lead to increased risk for suicidal ideation, and sadly actual incidents of suicide. In fact, teenagers who spend more than five hours a day on their smartphones or other devices are at a 72 percent higher risk for one of the suicide risk factors.

Heavy Smartphone And Other Electronic Device Usage

It Is also linked to higher instances of sleep disorders. The reason for the correlation is that the blue-light technology found in most smart devices negatively affects human melatonin levels and throws off our body’s circadian rhythms (also known as our body’s internal clock).

Many health experts believe that technology companies should carry warnings on all of their products and advertisements. Warnings should include language similar to warnings found on other addictive things like cigarettes and alcohol. One suggestion is “Don’t text, then try to sleep,” or “turn it off and get some sleep.” You get the idea.

Individuals need to get an average of seven to eight straight hours of deep, restful sleep in order to take full advantage of sleep’s restorative power and to avoid fatigue and sleep deprivation symptoms. Turning off electronic devices at least one hour before bed helps you take advantage of this important advice.

Your bedroom should be used for the purpose it is intended for: restful sleep. Participating in activities that promote healthy sleepiness are beneficial as well. Read a book or magazine, take a warm bath and maintain a cool enough temperature in your bedroom.

Increased Risk For Addiction

By means of self-medicating is another negative consequence associated with overconsumption of technology. Often, in an attempt to alleviate the mental health disorders produced by too much technology, people turn to drinking or using addictive substances.

The combination of drugs and alcohol with depression are a recipe for disaster.

Self-injury

Is yet another way some teenagers try to cope with mental health symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress. Using methods like cutting or burning themselves, even without the intention of deliberately causing life threatening harm, accidental death does occur.

Dangerous And Reckless Behavior

In times of feeling hopeless, desperate, or angry, people are much less likely to take good care of themselves or to consider the consequences of their actions. Individuals suffering from depression often put themselves in high risk situations like drunk driving or having unprotected sex – both very reckless behaviors with often deadly consequences.

Toxic Food Ingredients

In an effort to provide fast, convenient, effortless food for the ever-busy consumer, food companies have been allowed to include harmful, even carcinogenic ingredients in our foods that are certainly but slowly killing us with diabetes, cancer, metabolic disorders, heart attacks, and the list goes on.

Here is a list of ten of those common ingredients. Check your package labels and avoid these foods to protect yourself from heart attacks, blood clots, high cholesterol, and cancer.

Palm, Corn And Soybean Oils

Trans fats are formed when regular fats like palm, corn, or soybean oils are hydrogen blasted and transformed into a solid.

These anti-nutrient toxic substances are used to keep packaged foods “fresh”, which means foods containing these ingredients sit on your supermarket shelves for years without ever going stale or rotting. Foods containing trans fats raise your “bad” (or LDL) cholesterol and triglycerides and lower your “good” (or HDL) cholesterol.

These toxins also dramatically increase your risk of heart attacks and blood clots. It’s best to avoid these and other trans fats like the plague. Avoid all fried foods as well, as these oils are used commonly in preparing these foods.

Shortening Or Partially Hydrogenated Oils

In addition to clogging up your arteries and being one of the leading causes of obesity, foods that contain shortening or partially hydrogenated oils increase your risk of developing metabolic syndrome.

Instead of consuming foods containing either of these ingredients, choose healthier fats that are monounsaturated like peanut, canola and olive oils. Foods that contain omega-3 unsaturated fatty acids are your best bet.

Bread, Pasta, Rice And White Flour

Nutrients, vitamins, fiber, and minerals are all sucked out when bran and germ are removed in whole grain refinement. Because these crucial ingredients are stripped out, the grains become devoid of nutrients and fiber and become way too easy for your body to digest.

The result is skyrocketing insulin and blood sugar, which both lead to a plethora of issues. Replace your white flower and processed grain food with whole grains, brown rice, wild rice, whole-wheat or multigrain bread, pasta, oatmeal and barley.

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Quite possibly the most dangerous of all toxic foods is high fructose corn syrup. While the overall amount of refined sugar Americans consume has successfully declined in the past 40 years, unfortunately we’re now consuming almost 20 times more High Fructose Corn Syrup.

In fact, more calories are consumed from High Fructose Corn Syrup than from any other source – and it is contained in FAR too many foods and drinks that we consume and give our children. High Fructose Corn Syrup increases triglycerides, boosts your body’s fat-storing hormones and drive your brain to overeat and gain significant weight.

Adopting a zero-tolerance policy for this poison is the best road you can take.

Artificial “Diet” Sweeteners

Supposedly “diet-friendly,” ingredients like saccharin (Sweet’N Low), Aspartame (NutraSweet and Equal), and even sucralose (Splenda) are thought to be even harder on your body’s metabolic systems than just plain old sugar. Studies show that these artificial sweeteners trick your brain into forgetting that sweeter foods usually mean more calories, driving you to continue eating sweets without concern.

Potassium Benzoate And Sodium Benzoate

Dangerous levels of the known carcinogen benzene build up when plastic bottles of  soda are exposed to excess heat, or when benzene is combined with vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Benzene is sometimes added to soda to prevent mold growth but it is also linked to cancer and serious damage to your thyroid. Seriously, soda is just not worth the risk.

Yellow, Red, Blue And Green Dyes

Artificial colors have been linked to cancers of the brain, kidneys, adrenal glands, and thyroid. Always look for foods containing the fewest artificial chemicals. These dyes are found far too often in food marketed to children and are by far the most dire.

MSG

Monosodium glutamate is a so called “flavor enhancer” that seriously screw with your brain chemistry. Commonly found in processed foods, they are separated from natural host proteins through hydrolysis. Stay safe and use natural flavors to enhance your foods.

Sodium Nitrates And Sodium Nitrites

While similar in name, these two separate and different preservatives are commonly found in popular processed meats including hot dogs, processed lunch meats and bacon. Found on the top of the list of worst offenders, Sodium Nitrates and Sodium Nitrites are linked to colon cancer, metabolic syndrome and diabetes. Protect your body by always consuming only fresh, organic meats.

In conclusion, while the modern conveniences we have today in both technology and ready to eat foods are time savers, and make our lives seem easier in the short term, are they really worth shortening our lives in the long term?

Adopting a healthier lifestyle begins by making simple, small, changes each day until the new beneficial habits become the norm. You’ll find that you breathe better, sleep better, and feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Before you know it, you’ll stop feeling deprived and begin to feel grateful for the benefits you’ll see soon after you’ve adopted a better lifestyle.

Written by

Tennille Shelly is an award winning, published author from Orlando, FL. A former US Army Soldier, for the better part of two decades, she enjoys crafting words tailored specifically for the audience her clients want to reach. Using succinct, yet thorough content, she strives to convey each article in an understandable, digestible way. With a passion for conversation, communication, coffee, and the written word, she places personal value on each client's needs.

Latest comments
  • GOOD WORK, Tennille. All Items are Important, All Items are Serious, and All Items we Need to be aware of. Good Job, Thank You.

  • I thought ‘natural flavors ‘ in an ingredient list, was a euphemism for MSG containing substances.

  • Natural Flavor just means anything you can find in nature or can be chemically replicated, for example, one of the Natural Flavoring in beer would be mice and/or rat droppings which are mixed up with the grains but I doubt they would sell very many beers if they listed that. The same would be said with Ketchup which contained ground-up worms.

    • Hey CAlidar, You could have gone forever and not mentioned the mice droppings or ground up worms. UGH! Thankfully, I’m not a beer drinker and I rarely use Ketchup. WHEW!

      • If you eat beans or corn or wheat, you still get your daily dose of droppings. It’s best not to think too much about the food you eat . . .

  • I have the philosophy that if it was not used by my grandparents (I’m over 70) then it’s poison. PVC, plastic, & teflon are at the top of my list. All are petrol (oil) based modern inventions. There are claims that aluminum used for cooking is also a contributor to alzheimer and some cancers. And, microwave ovens used to cook changes the molecular structure of the food we cook & liquid we heat. Microwave use may possibly be OK for reheating, I stress the MAY, because I doubt that, too. Carcinogens from automobile and aircraft emissions are also responsible for a great deal of pollution, too. All I know for sure is there are a lot more people with illness per capita than there were when I was a kid. I guess we just ain’t gonna get out of here alive.

    • Some excellent points, John. I’m also not a big fan of microwave ovens. I’ve also heard about the link between Alzheimers and aluminum cookware. Do yourselves all a favour and toss your aluminum cookware now. When you’re “barbecuing” your steaks actually barbecue them instead of grilling them. Grilling produces a number of class 1 carcinogens in the meat and obviously doesn’t help our case one whit. The bottom line is, NO ONE gets out of here alive and the cruelest joke is that we’re aware of our own mortality. Sometimes I wonder what’s the use of it all. What can we really accomplish in a hundred years? Why are we really here? Certainly not to find bigger and better ways to kill each other. Who will remember us in a hundred years or a thousand years? Will our civilization still even exist in a million years? In the end entropy wins and overtakes all. Even our universe and all of existence.

  • Is canola oil food grade? I thought it was created for oiling machinery.

    • Alex

      Hello Brie!

      Canola oil is low in erucic acid. Consumption of the oil has become common in industrialized nations and it is considered safe for people to eat and has a relatively low amount of saturated fat, a substantial amount of monounsaturated fat, with roughly a 2:1 mono – to poly-unsaturated fats ratio. It is also used as a source of biodiesel.

      Alex, from Survivopedia!

  • Brie,

    You need to do some homework on Canola oil. It is made from rape seed and is just as bad as corn, soybean, and palm oils. Avocado, coconut, and olive oils are the good oils to use. Good job on the rest of your info.

  • You seem like a very intelligent person, Tennille, and I always look forward to your articles. An excellent general overview of things to avoid. I’d like to add a few if you don’t mind. 🙂 As for our modern phone tech apparently when you hold that darn thing up to your ear, because of the frequencies involved, you’re actually microwaving that area of your brain. Probably not a good idea. As for our foods, everything in moderation. Apparently soybean oils are the worst because in addition to being a GMO they’re also estrogen mimics with attendant negative affects on the male population. We can’t completely get away from shortening if we want to end up with good pie crusts. Again the middle path. Peanut oil IS supposed to be one of the best but not cost effective. I stay away from Canola as much as possible because it’s another GMO. Olive oil, besides being Popeye’s girlfriend, is a wonderful ancient oil that has been used for thousands of years and has known positive attributes. But again getting pretty expensive. I respectively offer a compromise. Sunflower oil. A fantastic light oil that is one of the best for you and if you run out of butter or margarine you can use a little on your sandwiches in lieu of the usual spreads. Also great in a salad. The only oil I use. Still reasonably priced. As for bread and the like stay away from all the white breads. You’re killing yourself by eating them. Try and buy the whole wheat breads instead, even though they’re not what they used to be. And if you’re really adventurous try and source some good rye breads. Another thing that’s very good for you. As for the pastas and the like, again everything in moderation. It’s not the pastas and the rice that make you fat unless you gorge yourself on them. It’s our sedentary lifestyle and the SAUCES that you slather on top of them. No 1 rule. If you eat a fair bit of carbs then bloody EXERCISE regularly. If you don’t then you’ll get fat and then NO ONE can help you. I’m almost 70 and I still exercise regularly in addition to all the house/yard work I still have to do. Not easy. I try and do at least 200 pushups per day, plank, knee bends and weightlifting. I had a good day a couple of days ago and I did 500 pushups. That was a good day. 🙂 We all know about the dangers of high fructose corn syrup. As for the artificial sweeteners in soda, stay away from them like the plague. Aspartame and the like are some of the most insidious poisons ever put into our food and some studies have been done that have shown that if you drink these so-called diet sodas regularly you will actually gain weight and your health will decline. Once you get off of the artificial sweeteners your health should improve. If I feel like a carbonated drink the only thing I’ll drink is ginger ale. Still not the best but I figure one of the least worst for you. As for the rest of it read your labels and make some positive choices. God only knows what they put in hot dogs. As for bacon, again one of the worst things for you. You’re eating the belly meat of the pig where most of the fat is. Doesn’t take a genius to put two and two together. Speak with your wallet and make smart choices and we may have a chance of turning this around. Unfortunately there are still too many stupid people in the world who don’t care or who don’t want to. Those in power are always finding new ways to cull the herd. In the Roman empire it was their lead pipes. Lead poisoning for a large segment of their population. Probably a “happy” coincidence for those in power. In those days it was the “soft” metals like lead. Today it’s a new class of soft metals like aluminum. And all the crud they’re putting into our food. Be smart. Be aware. Be healthy.

  • One thing that NO ONE has discussed is amalgam fillings in your mouth! Several years ago, I developed progressive dementia to the point that I couldn’t remember the next word that I wanted to use in a conversation! I was in my mid forties and unable to function mentally!! Thankfully, the doctor that I was going to dabbled in natural health and finally proved my high levels of mercury and I began chelation therapy, while having all amalgams removed from my teeth and I had many! Since then, I have recovered very well and can function very well!

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