1. “LITE” FOODS
Have you ever had a craving for a food? Even those blueberry muffins, cookies, or tortilla chips? Chances are, you’re not even eating the real thing. These chemically- engineered products contain harmful preservatives (some of which are carcinogenic) in order to earn the “lite” or “reduced fat” moniker. If you’re counting calories (which is another topic for another day), you should know these “lite” products still contain about 80% of the calories of the original. When you go shopping, read the ingredient labels. If you’re going to have a craving, make sure you are eating the real thing, with not additives, preservatives, and chemicals (just do it sparingly). Better yet, ditch these snack altogether for healthier, whole-foods options like nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and trail mixes.
2. PREMADE BAKED BEANS
I know what you’re thinking hear, “I thought beans are good for you!” And you would be right, they are. They are a great source of protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates. What makes these baked beans so bad for you is because they are packed with sugar. One cup of these beans can contain up 26g of sugar. To put that in perspective, that’s as much sugar as a 7 oz. can of Coca-Cola! Preparing these beans poorly by adding a ton of sugar ruins the nutritional benefits eating the beans altogether.
3. DELI MEATS
These should be avoided- no if, ands, or buts. Think about it, when you go to the deli and look through the glass counter, do you think an actual chicken or turkey breast is perfectly round and that large, without any bones in it? If you are trying to add more protein to your diet or feed your children for school, find other options. These are loaded with chemicals, fillers, additives, and high sodium levels, just to name a few. These products are processed along with some meat and formed into those perfect balls and sliced just to appear as appetizing as they do. The easiest switch hear is to switch out those deli meats for the real option. Use real turkey breast or chicken breast when making sandwiches. If you don’t have time to make it, you can simply order cooked meats from the catering section of the supermarket and freeze it, using the meat as you need it.
4. FRUIT JUICES AND SODAS
When you drink fruit juices and sodas, you’re basically sending your insulin and blood sugar levels on a wild roller coaster ride that crashes at the end. Aside from the high sugars (some of which is added depending on the source) you are basically drinking calories, which can keep you from reaching your weight loss goals. Drinking calories, whether from fruit juice or soda, becomes so habitual, it almost becomes habit. Try substituting your fruit juice drinks (and soda) for actual pieces of fruit. This will help because it provides additional fiber that keeps a gut healthy and function properly, and also makes you more aware of what you are putting into your body.
5. FRENCH FRIES AND POTATO CHIPS
Whole potatoes (especially sweet potatoes) are both filling and healthy, but the chips and fries? Not so much. They are extremely high in calories and way too easy to eat a lot of them. Not only that, they are generally fried in vegetable oils that are reused and may be rancid, which leads to potential free-radical damage down the road. Both French fries and chips have been linked to weight gain. One observational study suggested potato chips may contribute to more weight gain per serving than any other food. Do yourself the favor and pass on these when given the chance.