When it comes to eating a healthy diet, it’s all about moderation, right? Though sometimes a little bit of extra indulgence won’t hurt… or will it?
There are many foods and drinks, even those which form part of a “healthy lifestyle”, that when over-consumed, could actually kill us.
Let’s take water: water is essential to life. Drinking it helps flush out your insides, improves your skin, helps wounds heal, encourages skin reproduction, and of course without it, you would die.
But, did you know that water could also kill you if you drink too much of it?
Yep, the main focus of your diet can kill you. Brilliant.
Below are some of the most obvious, and not so obvious food and drink items that, if over-consumed, can lead to an early grave. We’ve even gone as far as to include how much of the ingredient you’d need to consume before your health starts to deteriorate. You can thank us later.
Sugar is in almost everything we consume, whether savoury or sweet. It’s so prevalent that it’s almost impossible to remove from your diet entirely.
Sugar is one of the more obvious deadly foods on our list, next to salt, thanks to the multitude of health issues it can cause. From acne to diabetes, and eventually death, sugar can seem like the root of all evil.
The main cause of sugar-related death is cardiac failure. The sugar clogs arteries and the heart becomes weak or stiff, so it has to work harder to pump the blood around your body.
Don’t want to die? Don’t consume more than 2.3kg of sugar in one sitting.
Thankfully, 2.3kg is a lot of sugar – equivalent to 2,555 Skittles. If you can eat that, you deserve a medal (or perhaps a coffin…)
One of the most shocking items on our list is water. The one thing that people swear by to live a healthier life can kill you if you have too much of it, in too short a time (regardless of whether it’s chilled in a refrigerator, or enjoyed as part of one of the hot beverages mentioned below).
Opinions differ on how much water you should drink per day but on average, you should be looking at around 2-3 litres. However, if you double this intake to 6 litres, and drink it in under 6 hours, you could be looking at death by water written on your tombstone.
Drinking 6 litres of water before your body’s able to process and expel it is essentially drowning yourself. Your brain will swell, which leads to comas and seizures, and potential death.
Ah, caffeine. Oh, sweet, happiness-giving caffeine. Caffeine is enjoyed throughout the world in many different forms: tea, coffee, energy drinks, diet shakes, and more.
Whilst many are familiar with the common side effects of caffeine, such as increased heart rate, restlessness and alertness, not many associate it with death.
If you consume a large quantity of caffeine, from any caffeinated beverage, you’re putting yourself at risk for cardiac failure and seizures. Luckily, the average person would have to consume a whopping 81 cups of coffee before causing serious harm. We’re sure nobody is capable of devouring that amount of coffee!
Having a pinch of salt on your fries, or devouring a bag of salt and vinegar crisps, doesn’t mean you’ll die, but consume 865g of salt in one sitting and you may run into some problems.
Large quantities of salt can cause issues with our organs and blood. Arteries can clog and the heart has to work harder (not to mention the dehydration we can feel after devouring our favourite, salt-ridden meal).
If you were to consume a staggering 27 Big Macs (if that’s even possible – and, no, that’s not a challenge!) your cause of death will be either cardiac failure, dehydration or seizures.
Raise your hand if you’ve been personally victimised by chocolate!
Chocolate is one of Britain’s (and the world’s) ultimate comfort foods. On a bad day, you might have consumed a handful of your favourite bars of chocolate, and maybe felt a little bad about it – but don’t beat yourself up too much – you’d need to consume 85 bars before you’d die.
Chocolate contains theobromine, which is a bitter alkaloid of the cacao plant, from which chocolate comes. Too much chocolate, 85 bars to be exact, results in theobromine poisoning which will give you symptoms similar to that of a caffeine overdose – trembling, excessive sweating and severe headaches. In some cases, consuming 70g of theobromine can lead to death by cardiac failure, dehydration, and seizures.
You don’t need to consume much nutmeg, which we’ve aptly named The Spice of Death, before you’re at serious risk of harm.
Nutmeg is a surprisingly toxic spice that contains myristicin. Myristicin is an organic compound found in not only nutmeg, but carrots, dill and parsley. It acts as a natural insecticide, which we think sums up how toxic the compound is.
What’s quite alarming is that you only need to ingest 15g of the stuff, which is equivalent to 2-3 teaspoons! If you ingest this much, you’ll start to hallucinate, become nauseous and dehydrated. After that can come death from convulsions, seizures and dehydration. Sounds fun…
Surprisingly, our research brought us to the brazil nut.
Brazil nuts have long been a favourite for people looking for a quick and easy way to get more nutrients into their diet. Nuts are jam packed with goodness and they’re pretty filling, too. But did you know that consuming just 6 brazil nuts (28g) can cause death?
Selenium is an antioxidant within brazil nuts that helps defend the body from heart disease and cancer, which is great, right? Wrong. In brazil nuts, selenium is found to contain 800% of your daily allowance in a single serving. Not to mention the added radium and high levels of aflatoxins!
This amount of selenium, radium and aflatoxins result in a concoction of deadly compounds which can cause breathing difficulties as well as cardiac and kidney failure.
Eat Healthy… and Die?
It’s pretty hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle when even the things we thought of as good for you, such as water and brazil nuts, can kill you.
There will always be a reason to not eat something, or a diet that tells you to cut things out, but it’s important to know how much you can eat of that item and when is a good time to stop. Death is no joke!
*Ship It Appliances take no responsibility for deaths caused by overeating of any of the above food and drink items.