5 Foods to Cut From Your Diet Immediately
First of all—we're not advocating that you deprive yourself of all food-based pleasure until you die miserable. But we do advocate thinking carefully about what you keep in your pantry. A lot of the foods on this list are particularly harmful because they're considered a normal part of everyday life for a lot of people, instead of indulgences to be enjoyed on rare occasion.
Your snacking at home has a lot to do with what's available to you. So remember some of these pointers next time you're at the store. If you don't pick these things up, they won't be around when you're hungry and your self-control is at its weakest. Do your future self a favor by avoiding these foods.
Yes, they're easy, but frozen meals can be loaded with fat and salt and half a day's worth of calories or more. And even if you get a low-fat version, the fat will be replaced with sugar or salt or something to balance out the loss in flavor. Taking time to cook a meal or two—or even learning to cook, if you don't know how—can do wonders for your budget and even more for your health.
Yes, it's a staple of many American diets, but that's exactly what's wrong with it. While claims that soda dehydrates you are exaggerated, it doesn't quite hydrate you as well as water, due to the diuretic effects of caffeine.
However, the real problem with soda is its calories. Non-diet soda is full of high-fructose corn syrup, which is absolutely loaded with them, and there's something about the beverage that keeps people from noticing how much they're taking in. It's entirely possible to drink a full days worth of calories and scarcely realize it.
Make soda a treat, instead of a constant companion. You'll be amazed how much healthier you feel.
Look, I've spent most of my life in the southern United States. I appreciate the value of what might be called “soul food” or “comfort food,” or just “American food” by our friends overseas. It's what I grew up on. Food doesn't quite look right to me unless it's breaded and sort of beige. But it turns out that filling a pan with oil and then letting the oil soak deep into the food isn't great for your heart. Who knew? (Spoiler alert: Everyone. Everyone knew.)
As much as it crushes me to admit it, those fried foods and the magical trans fats that make them happen should be relegated to the “low priority” portion of your meal plan—or be left off completely.
Chips have all that deep-fried goodness, with none of the actual nutrition or feelings of fullness. Oh, and they contain acrylamide, which is a “probably human carcinogen.” This isn't some pseudoscientific Food Babe nonsense, this is coming from the American Cancer Society.
It turns out that when you cook starchy foods at high temperatures, you form a carcinogen. Granted, baking and roasting can also draw out acrylamide, but the higher the temperature and the longer the cooking time, the more acrylamide forms. So, that's not great news for chip lovers.
But wait, we said not to do soda. Now we're taking away smoothies, too? Well, here's the thing about that. A lot of “health” foods have just as much sugar and calories as things like Twinkies and soda. Your bottled smoothie is no exception. If it tastes too good to be “healthy,” odds are it probably is. Pay attention to the nutrition facts, not to words like “natural” that don't have any actual, legal meaning.