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There are times, such as Super Bowl parties or holiday feasts, when people jokingly complain that they have "overdosed" on food. While those extra helpings of turkey or taco dip might, at worst, give you a bad case of indigestion, there are foods out there that can seriously harm you if you eat too much of them.
Here's are seven foods that prove that you really can have too much of a good thing.
CarrotsSlide 2 of 15
Carrots are full of vitamins, minerals and fibers that are good for your health. But eating too many carrots can bring in too much beta-carotene the molecule responsible for carrots' bright orange hue and a precursor of vitamin A. This can lead to excess blood carotene which can discolor the skin.
Known as carotenemia, the condition occurs because carotene is a fat-soluble molecule. Excessive quantities of it tend to accumulate in the outermost layer of skin, resulting in yellow- or orange-pigmented skin, particularly in the palms, soles, knees and nasal area.
Although carotenemia occurs mostly in infants when they are fed too much pureed carrot baby food, it can occur in adults as well. In a case report published in The Journal of Dermatology in 2006, a 66-year-old woman's skin turned yellow-orange after she took too many carotene oral supplements. One cup of raw chopped carrots has about 15 mg of carotene, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Nutrient Database, so you'd need to eat half a cup of chopped carrots every day for months, in order to turn to her shade of yellow.
Despite such dramatic outward appearance, carotenemia is a mostly harmless condition and it is often reversible.Slide 3 of 15
Tuna sushiSlide 4 of 15
Sushi lovers beware: eating too much raw tuna can increase your intake of mercury. Large fishes on top of the food chain, such as the prized bluefin tuna, can accumulate methyl mercury in their muscles because they consume many smaller fishes over their lives.
It's difficult to pin down the mercury levels in pieces of sushi, because they can vary depending on the size and species of fish. This makes it difficult to set a definitive cap on sushi consumption.
However, tuna sushi from restaurants tends to have higher mercury levels than supermarket tuna sushi, according to research published in the journal Biology Letters in 2010. Some samples of bigeye tuna or bluefin tuna, which are more common in restaurants, had mercury levels that exceeded or approached levels permissible by regulatory agencies in the U.S., Canada other nations and the World Health Organization, the study showed.
Because mercury can cause severe neurological problems, pregnant women and young children are advised by the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency to avoid eating too much tuna. According to the agency's 2004 guidelines, others can eat up to 6 ounces (approximately equal to one average meal) of tuna steak per week.Slide 5 of 15
Kombucha TeaSlide 6 of 15
Kombucha is a sugary, black tea fermented by a flat, pancake-like symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeasts called the "Kombucha mushroom." It can be purchased at health food stores or made at home with the starter "mushroom," the beverage is reputed to have immunity-boosting and beneficial effects, but there is very little scientific evidence of these available in current literature.
Although the brew is mostly benign (it usually tastes very acidic, and contains alcohol from the fermentation process), the American Cancer Society has warned that certain Kombucha starter cultures may contain contaminants such as molds and fungi, some of which can cause illness.
There have been reported cases of severe toxic reactions to Kombucha tea. In a recent report published in the Journal of Intensive Care Medicine by physicians at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, a 22-year-old male newly diagnosed with HIV became ill within twelve hours of consuming the tea. He was short of breath, his temperature spiked to 103.0 degrees Fahrenheit (39.4 Celsius), and he subsequently became combative and confused, requiring sedation and intubation for airway control.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention pointed out that kombucha tea consumed in typical quantities approximately 4 ounces daily might not cause adverse effects in healthy persons. However, those with preexisting health problems or those who drink excessive quantities of the tea should beware.Slide 7 of 15
CoffeeSlide 8 of 15