You may be craving these foods, but you’re better off without them.
What are your favorite foods? Most likely a few of them are foods your diet plan restricts. Maybe the food is especially high in empty calories, refined white flour, added sugar, empty carbs, sodium, or unhealthy fat. Regardless, sacrifices usually have to be made in order to reach your weight-loss goals. After all, the foods you crave may not be the foods your body needs for health.
Keep reading to learn a few of the foods you’re better off without, despite what your mind and taste buds may tell you. Learn to choose healthier options to satisfy your cravings and stay on the track to better health.
Toast for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and garlic bread with dinner—all made with white bread. Unfortunately, most white breads are made with refined wheat flour that’s been stripped of its fiber and nutrients. When you eat white bread, you’re eating empty calories and simple carbs. The bread may fill you up for a short time and give you a short burst of energy, but it causes your blood sugar to spike and provides little nutrition. Put the white away and choose breads made with 100-percent whole grain.
There aren’t many foods tastier than French fries with your hamburger or chicken fingers, but French fries are one of those foods that should be avoided or eaten only on rare occasions. While fries are made from potatoes, and potatoes are healthy on their own, fries are extremely high in calories and sodium. When a food is fried in oil at high temperatures, acrylamide compounds (substances are known to cause cancer) form, so it’s not just your waistline at risk. It’s your life.
Sugar-sweetened drinks should top your no-no list. This includes sodas, sweet tea, energy drinks, fruit punches, and many coffee drinks. Because drinks don’t fill your stomach like food does, it’s easy to overdo it on extra calories. People who regularly drink sugary beverages are at a much greater risk of being obese and of developing fatty liver disease, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Make the switch to water, carbonated water, coffee, or unsweetened tea to give your health a liquid boost.
Gluten-Free Processed Foods
Millions have made the switch to gluten-free in hopes of improving their health. Whether they truly have celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or they’re trying to relieve unwanted inflammation, lose weight, or treat digestive problems, going gluten-free is gaining popularity. But many people mistakenly think that every food labeled “gluten-free” is healthy. You should know that junk foods like cookies, cakes, brownies, pancake mixes, pizza, and snack bars can be made without gluten, while still containing added sugars, simple carbs, unhealthy fats, and lots of calories.
The protein, calcium, and probiotics found in yogurt make it a healthy addition to your diet, but it has to be the right kind of yogurt. Many people seek out low-fat yogurt varieties in their quest to eat fewer calories. The bad news is that yogurt made without natural dairy fats tastes unpleasant and to improve the taste, manufacturers add sugar. As a result, most yogurts found in the refrigerator aisle are loaded with added sugars. When buying yogurt, look for regular, full-fat Greek yogurt that contains active probiotics.
Meat may be your go-to main dish, and unprocessed beef, pork, poultry, and fish provide iron, protein, and valuable nutrients. However, processed meats come with health risks. You may love the taste of bacon, deli meat, hot dogs, and sausage, but you’d be better off not eating them on a regular basis. Frequent consumption of processed meats is associated with an increased risk of colon cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.