Wednesday, July 21, 2010

10 Foods to Avoid that Could Blow Up Your Diet

The contents of your own cupboards and refrigerator could hold land mines — foods that can blow up your healthy eating plan...

Here are 10 foods to avoid — and suggestions for healthier substitutions:
  1. Sugary drinks. This means soda pop, sweetened tea and fruit-flavored punch drinks. Each 12-ounce can of pop has about 7 teaspoons of sugar and about 140 calories. Drink water instead.
  2. Processed lunch meats. And this includes sausages, hot dogs and bacon. They're high in fat and sodium — even those that say "lower" or "reduced." Instead cook a little extra meat, chicken or fish to use in sandwiches.
  3. White bread. Choose whole grain for more fiber. Don't be fooled by the color of the bread — it has nothing to do with it being whole grain. Look for the term "whole" on the label.
  4. Whole milk. Skip dairy products with "whole" on the packages. Look for "low-fat" instead.
  5. Canned or instant soup. They're pricey and loaded with salt — even the lower sodium versions. Make your own.
  6. Junk food snacks. Chips, crackers and "doodles." If they're in your kitchen they'll end up in your mouth. They may be labeled "low-fat" or "trans fat-free," but they still have plenty of salt and calories. Think fruit and veggies for snacks.
  7. Stick spreads. Butter and margarine in stick form are saturated fats — and stick margarine can have trans fat. Try trans-fat free tub spreads. Or better yet break the spread habit.
  8. White rice. Go for brown or wild rice. Replacing white rice with brown rice or other whole grains, such as whole wheat and barley, can lower your risk of type 2 diabetes.
  9. Yogurt — unless it's plain. Avoid ones that are loaded with fat and sugar. Choose plain, low-fat yogurt and add your own fruit.
  10. Processed cheese. "Cheese food," "cheese spread" and "cheese product" usually mean lots of fat and salt — and in some instances no cheese! Go for the real thing, but remember that moderation is key.
That's my list of food to avoid. What's on your list?

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