Say good-bye to foods that sabotage your diet!
Some foods are fine in moderation. Others are best avoided altogether. This is not only true because of immediate health concerns, but because some foods play on cravings and can lead to bad habits. The following is a list of 7 foods to avoid and why.
1. Condensed Soups
Condensed soups are notorious for their massive sodium content. A traditional can of Campbell’s soup can have up to 900 milligrams of sodium per serving – more than a third of the recommended value of 2,400 milligrams. While there are “low-sodium” lines of condensed soups, the salt content is still pretty high. Also, consider the other values on the nutrition label; these soups offer little more than salt.
Salt deadens our taste buds to other flavors, making it harder and harder to part with. It’s best to avoid that slippery slope altogether. These 7 Sensational Soup Recipes will have you forgetting about canned soups.
2. Trans Fats
Trans fats are so clearly associated with heart disease that even the FDA, in many ways stingy with its regulations concerning food, is considering banning them from U.S. food production. Until then, look for these fats in pie crusts, margarines, chips, fried foods, ice cream and other heavily processed foods. If you want to avoid trans fats, your best bet is to avoid processed foods entirely.
Soda is one of the best examples of empty calories. It does absolutely nothing for you but add sugar to your diet and weight to your body. It’s so easy to forget to factor beverages into a healthy eating plan. However, your average 12 oz. can of soda packs 138 calories. Multiply that by two cans, and you’ve got the caloric total of a whole meal, but with no nutritional benefits.
As with salt, sugar is habit-forming. Its impact on the brain’s reward system is similar to the impact of street drugs. Fortunately, sugar withdrawal won’t put you in any danger. Drinking soda, however, will.
4. Artificial Sweeteners
Lower in calories than regular sugar, you may think artificial sweeteners are the ticket to weight loss and healthy living. One main source is diet soda. Unfortunately, these drinks have been linked to metabolic syndrome – a group of health markers associated with heart disease and diabetes. If you’re looking for something sweet, go with fruit, honey or stevia.
5. Most Fast Food Smoothies
A fruit smoothie might seem like a healthy option when you’re out and about, but fast food joints tend to load smoothies with a ton of calories and added sugar. Sonic’s Strawberry Fruit Smoothie, for example, contains 670 calories and 166 grams of carbs, many of which come from added sugars. If you’re stuck, look for “light” options and nutritional labels. Your best bet, though, is to make your own! Our 8 Tips for Superfood Smoothies will help you construct the ultimate smoothie.
This fish is alarmingly high in mercury. Researchers advise women of childbearing age and children to avoid swordfish altogether. Opt instead for salmon, the health benefits of which are well-documented.
7. Processed Meat
Processed meats, like deli meats and sausages, have been found to raise cancer and heart disease risk when consumed regularly. If you want to remove the unnecessary risk altogether, only eat lunch meats that are free of nitrates and preservatives like MSG (such as Boar’s Head brand). Or you could cut out lunch meat altogether. Check out our Chicken Salad Sandwich with Bok Choy, Red Grapes and Walnuts.
Enough with the “don’ts” and on to the “do’s”! Our Recipe Collection & 6 Week Fitness Program Bundle eBook is all about foods and exercises you can embrace.