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9 of the Worst Foods You Can Eat

Right about now, you're probably digging into those Christmas cookies you just baked for your kids' teachers, and tonight is the office holiday party where you'll indulge in shrimp cocktail, pigs in a blanket, and bottomless glasses of eggnog. It's ok. This time of the year is traditionally terrible for our health as we enjoy the company of friends and family and the word "overindulgence" is a dirty word that we blissfully ignore.

As we begin our rapid descent into thicker waistlines and higher cholesterol, it might be smart to know what foods we should try to avoid when the time comes to pump the brakes on excess and gluttony. Below are the worst foods and drinks that you can consume. It might be smart to cross these off your shopping lists once the new year rolls around.

9. Canned vegetables and fruit

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I know, they're fruits and vegetables, so how bad can they be? The canned version of these otherwise healthy foods often lack the fiber of their fresher counterparts, and they are often sitting in a sodium bath (in the form of preservatives), so the downside of eating them outweighs any positives they might be hiding in the form of a vitamin or two. You might need these for your green bean casserole or ambrosia, but you should probably avoid both of those dishes for at least a little while. Stick to frozen veggies and fruits if it's hard to keep fresh ones from going bad. They're picked and frozen at their peak, and maintain all of their vitamins and minerals. Plus, there's no sodium to be found.

8. Soda

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This shouldn't come as any surprise, but it's worth noting that soda (especially the diet kind) is simply terrible for our health. The sugars, sugar substitutes, and artificial dyes in these drinks are enough to make anyone seriously unfit, but they have also been shown to cause cancer. If you're thirsty, drink water. If you need caffeine, opt for coffee or tea. There is seriously nothing good about downing a can of soda.

7. Bleached flour (a.k.a. white) bread

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Breads made with white flour have not only been stripped of all of their nutrients, but they might even contain remnants of the chemical used in the bleaching process. Our obsession with white foods (sugar, I'm looking at you) is totally odd and unfounded. The natural, unbleached version tastes the same (if not better) and is far more nutritious.

6. Fruit juice

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This goes for both adults and kids. The problem with fruit juice is that it's incredibly high in sugar. As it is, our country has a big problem with instances of Type 2 diabetes, and fruit juice is not innocent. Furthermore, fruit juices lack the wonderful fiber that whole fruits offer. So, as with the soda above, if you're thirsty, drink water. But if you want something "healthy" and think that fruit juice is going to offer you nutrition, think again. You're far better off eating a piece of fruit than drinking it in juice form.