What’s lurking in your pantry or refrigerator? Perhaps no more than a few crumbs or some dripped milk. If you’re making the effort to change your lifestyle by eating nutritious foods to lose weight and stay healthy, then you’ll want to read this list of 3 foods to absolutely never eat again.
1. Refined Sugar
The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommends that Americans get a maximum of 10% of their calories from added sugar, yet most folks take in more than 16% of their calories from sugar.
Added sugar has been implicated in obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Excess sugar consumption also significantly increases the risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, according to the American Heart Association. One study found that people who took in 17-21% of their calories from sugar had an astounding 38% higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease than those who consumed 8% of their calories from added sugar.
Another reason to add refined sugar to your list of foods not to eat is that it has no nutritive value—empty calories. Each time you consume refined sugar, you ingest a large quantity of calories and no vitamins, nutrients, or antioxidants.
Seven common names for refined sugar include:
1. Fructose and High Fructose Corn Syrup
3. Fruit Juice Concentrates
5. Corn Syrup
6. Corn Sweetener
7. Maltose Dextrose
Alternatives to Refined Sugar
Choose foods with no added sugar or those with small amounts of natural sweeteners, like honey. In addition to picking the right products, take refined sugar out of your own pantry by switching to one or more of these 10 Alternatives to Refined Sugar.
2. Diet Foods
Foods marketed as “diet” often contain artificial sweeteners. Add these to your list of foods not to eat. The manufacturers add the sweeteners to make the foods tastier, but research suggests artificial sweeteners negatively alter the metabolism as well as prime the body to eat more than it needs. Learn more in Artificial Sweeteners and Weight Gain. What’s more, since diet foods are processed, many contain added sodium, artificial flavors, and chemical additives.
Alternatives to Diet Foods
Prepare nutritious recipes that nourish the body without sacrificing taste. Learn more about living a clean-eating lifestyle in 7 Simple Steps to Clean Eating, or try any of these 21 Easy and Quick Clean-Eating Recipes.
3. Frozen Food Dinners
While store-bought frozen meals might seem super-convenient, there are trade-offs where health is concerned. For example, one surprising reason to add frozen processed meals to your list of foods not to eat is that they may contain too few calories to satisfy hunger, especially if you’re leading an active lifestyle. It sounds counterintuitive to say a meal has too few calories if you’re trying to lose weight, but when you eat too little hunger takes over, leading to overeating at the next meal or choosing unhealthy snack foods.
In addition, many frozen meal packages tout the product includes vegetables, but they often contain small portions that do little to add a healthy serving of veggies to your diet. Processed frozen dinners can be high in sodium, too, which contributes to high blood pressure, and they can contain artificial sweeteners, chemicals, and preservatives.
Alternatives to Frozen Dinners
Prepare your own healthy frozen meal by freezing single-serve portions of your favorite healthy recipes. Discover 6 Tips to Turn Any Recipe Into a Freezer Recipe. Freezing’s not the only option either. You can easily refrigerate dinner leftovers for a low-fuss lunch—try 17 Meals to Make with Leftovers.
Plan menus that incorporate yummy, good-for-you ingredients. Check out the SkinnyMs. Recipe Collection: 101 Fan Favorites ebook.