Food is delicious. It’s just a fact of life that in order to fuel our bodies, we get to eat some pretty yummy stuff. Of course it’s a given that what we ingest should be a mix of all different types of food. Ideally lean proteins, all kinds of fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. At times it can be hard to have a well balanced lifestyle when there’s a fast food joint on every corner and sometimes it’s just easier to order a delivery pizza at the end of a long hard day than make a real whole foods meal. Take heart, do the best you can, but try to practice a well rounded diet of moderation. Here are a list of 15 foods you know it’s best to avoid eating at all costs
#15: Fruit Juice
This one is not really a food, but had to be included. You might look at juice and think, hey that’s healthy! If you truly are a label reader, most juices aren’t even 100 percent juice. They are mostly sugar water. Plus, some even contain high fructose corn syrup which is actually known to increase levels of obesity and contribute to type 2 diabetes. If you must have a glass of juice, make sure it’s 100 percent juice with no added fillers, preferably cold pressed. Stick to only 4-6 ounces (1-2 dl) per day at the most in heart healthy choices like pomegranate, orange juice, cherry, or blueberry.
Food #14: Doughnuts
Doughnuts are just fried dough. Of course that’s not good for you! We know, we know, doughnuts are delightful, they taste like little bites of heaven, but they are chock full of saturated fat and sugar. One small glazed doughnut from a popular pastry chain contains a whopping 260 calories, and 14 grams of fat. That’s just one of the more basic doughnuts, because when you get into bear claws, apple fritters, and Boston creams, the calories and fat skyrockets from those. Sorry to say, but skip eating doughnuts at all costs for your health.
Food #13: Bagels
A bagel may not be fried, but the sad fact is that a bagel is a carb bomb of calories. Most regular sized bagels contain upwards of 400 calories and aren’t made of whole grains. White flour bagels aren’t going to give you enough fiber to properly move it through your system for easier digestion. If you must have a bagel, do this simple trick. Cut it in half and pull out some of it’s insides. They call this in the New York bagel shops, a “skinny bagel.” Just ask for it “scooped out” and you’ll be getting less carbs, but will still be able to enjoy that chewy outer layer.
Food #12: French Fries
Potatoes fried in oil taste delicious, all crispy with a sprinkling of salt. That’s a fact, but you’re not doing yourself any favors by ordering fries as a side dish. They are loaded with sodium, bad fat, and calories. Plus, if you live in England you might actually dip them in mayonnaise which just adds to the heart clogging issues. Don’t feel virtuous if you are dipping them in ketchup either Americans, that’s just loaded with added sugars. It might seem like a sacrifice to order a side of steamed veggies in a restaurant, but most places will substitute the french fries for you. This is a much healthier choice in the long run for your nutrition plan.
Food #11: Fast Food
Across the board, fast food is loaded with high calories, saturated fats, and preservatives. It’s low in fiber, hardly any vitamins, and isn’t doing you any favors. The problem is that the convenience factor makes it appealing to many people to slip through the drive-thru for a quick lunch, or pick up a bag of burgers and nuggets for your family as a lazy night dinner. The fact of the matter is, don’t do it! Resist the fast food urge. You’ll notice how much better your body feels when you cut it out of your life completely. Break up with fast food and you’ll add years to your life.
Food #10: Potato Chips
Potato chips are very similar to French fries, just in a ready made snack food form. Fried potatoes. Don’t think either that by buying “baked” versions, you are making a much better choice. They are still loaded with sodium, fat, and preservatives. You are much better off roasting your own chickpeas, veggie chips, or sliced sweet potatoes for a healthier snack option. Just toss in a bit of extra virgin olive oil and sea salt, and roast until crisp tender.
Food #9: Canned Soups
You might as well just eat salt straight from the shaker, because canned soup has so much sodium it’s plain ridiculous. Even if you don’t have blood pressure issues, if you keep eating canned soup on a daily basis, you probably will in the future. Wean yourself off this easy meal option. By committing to making your own soups in large batches, you can have meals for the week and control the amount of salt you put it each pot.
Food #8: Flavored Yogurt
Yogurt may seem like a healthy snack and truly some yogurt is good for you. It contains calcium, healthy probiotics for digestion, and protein. You just have to stay away from flavored yogurts which are packed with refined sugars. The only option is plain yogurt, either Greek or low fat regular yogurt is the much smarter choice. You can add your own fruits and raw nuts as well to amp up the nutrition factor. If the yogurt is still too sour for you, just add a touch of all natural organic raw honey for a bit of sweetness.
Food #7: Snack Bars
Once again preservatives strike again! Not to mention, most snack bars on the market contain GMOs (genetically modified ingredients). The convenience factor is great with snack bars, but you know what you can also throw into your handbag for a terrific snack on the go. An apple, an orange, or even a banana. You can get really fancy if you cut up fruit or veggies the night before to place in a container to take with you. That way you can have fresh berries, chopped greens, and even nuts on the go. It’s so much better than a artificially made snack bar.
Food #6: Bacon
The nitrates and saturated fats in bacon are what is causing the issue with this unbelievably tasty food. You can substitute turkey bacon if you still like the flavor that bacon brings to egg sandwiches, BLT’s or even crumbled on a salad.
Food #5: Hot Dogs
Similar to bacon, hot dogs contain sodium nitrates, which are used as preservatives, and saturated fats which have been known to cause cancer. All big red flags obviously! If you can’t find a 100 percent all natural, beef hot dog without any nitrates, you are better off staying far away from this ballpark food tradition.
Food #4: Pizza
This one is going to start with a qualifier…not all pizza is bad for you. If you make it yourself with a whole grain 100 percent wheat crust, low fat mozzarella cheese, and your own homemade tomato sauce with vegetable topping, it’s going to be good for you. The problem is that most people aren’t making their own healthy pizza. Fast delivery pizza is a modern staple of life that many folks are indulging in. It’s not good for you. Too much fat, heavy meat based toppings, and boatloads of butter splashed on the crust make this a fat and calorie party you don’t want to eat that often.
Food #3: Candy Bars
Sometimes you just crave a candy bar. Plus, in basically every grocery store, convenience store, or drugstore, they are right by the checkout counter just begging you to grab one. Oh the chocolate, caramel, and nuts! It’s a fat bomb though that just contributes to our country’s obesity rates going through the roof. In order to satisfy a chocolate craving, it’s much better to just stick to a square of good dark chocolate with at least 60 percent cocoa.
Food #2: Processed Cheese
What exactly is in a slice of processed American cheese? It’s mostly emulsifiers, vegetable oils, and food dyes. Otherwise how would it get that bright orange color? If you have ever seen real cheese made on a dairy farm, it’s not that color naturally. Stay away from this plastic version of cheese. Indulge in the real stuff in moderation for a satisfying snack, or to make a real grilled cheese. No wrappers allowed.
Food #1: Sugary Cereal
This is a hard one to cut out, especially if you are a fan of certain tiger cartoon characters, funny leprechauns, or boat captains. Frosted Flakes, Lucky Charms, and Captain Crunch are three famously popular sugar cereals. Granted cereal companies like General Mills have made strides to reduce the sugar count in their cereals. It’s still wise to stick to cereals with only 10 grams or less of sugar.