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5 Common Foods Doctors Avoid

Update Date: Jun 26, 2017 11:14 PM EDT

If you've heard the saying, "You are what you eat," then you're probably burnt out on health food news. But knowing what you should and shouldn't eat could save your life.

In an interview with Insider, Tom Rifai, MD, FACP, and Mark Liponis, MD, gave a little insight on what foods they avoid in their own lives.

Here's a look at their top five:

Red Meat

Dr. Rifai told Insider that he grew up eating Triple Whoppers and Quarter Pounders. But now that he's a bit older, his diet has changed.

"Red meat is not something I totally avoid," he said, "but I have dramatically cut it down."

While red meat is a good source of protein, it's also full of saturated fat.

Processed Meats

Bacon may be delicious, but according to both Rifai and Liponis, processed meats such as bologna, hot dogs, bacon, and sausage should be avoided.

"I stay away from processed meats mainly because of their link with cancer," Liponis said. "They've been linked with more bowel cancers and maybe bladder cancers."

Refined Grains

Refined grains such as sweet cereal, cakes, and pastries are something Rifai says he "really tries to limit."

"[But] we live in amber waves of refined grains, so it's hard to totally avoid," he said.

The ultimate problem with these sugary sweets is that almost all of the fiber and nutritional value is lost during the refining process. Instead, try munching on whole grains.

Grapefruit Juice

Here's a surprise: Grapefruit juice is harmful to your health. Not only can it mess with certain medications, such as blood pressure pills, antihistamines, and anti-anxiety medication, but according to Liponis, it's also been shown to increase the risk of kidney stones.

"I avoid grapefruit juice because that's the only beverage that's been shown to increase the risk of kidney stones," he said.

Sugary Beverages

Sugar-filled beverages such as Frappuccinos, lattes, and milkshakes are definitely something you should avoid, Rifai said.

Aside from the fact that they're overflowing with sugar and saturated fat, the calories in a single cup alone could count as a meal.

A venti White Chocolate Mocha Frappuccino, for example, has 85 grams of sugar, 530 calories, and 11 grams of saturated fat -- more than half of the recommended daily value. 

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