Often times, we can adjust our diet to a significantly healthier level just by making a few minor changes. These changes come in a variety of forms and largely depend on what you are eating in the first place.
If you are like most Americans, there are at least five types of foods that you can stop consuming and lose a few pounds (or more) in the process. While they do not necessarily have to be eliminated completely, even reducing their use by half or more can give you lasting results.
Refined sugars have long been denounced by the medical and nutritional communities. It is now finally common knowledge that emptying eight sugar packets into your coffee can have some lasting and profoundly negative consequences for your health. Yet most people don’t understand what is meant by “refined sugars”. Practically any product can contain them, and this includes some products you would never suspect.
Processed sugars now come in a variety of forms. The most prominent of these is High Fructose Corn Syrup, which is corn molecules processed to contain unusually large amounts of fructose. There are other chemical names for refined sugars. Orange juice, maple syrup, and even ketchup can all be high in refined sugars. Look for products low in sugar, or ones that use all natural sources (i.e. organic).
Deceptively Labeled Foods
This is obviously a rather broad category, but it is meant to instill consumer vigilance. Often times, foods labeled “fat free” are actually unhealthier than those that contain fat. They can be high in sugar, or they may contain artificial ingredients that your body has trouble processing (olestra). Even some whole wheat products may be high in simple sugars. Always look at the nutritional facts and ingredient lists to determine just what it is you are buying or eating.
Trans-Fats and Saturated Fats
For some reason, the majority of people seem to believe that you can lose weight by avoiding fat altogether. The truth is that you need to consume fats to survive. Unfortunately, health officials have done comparatively little to educate the public on just what each type of fat does to your body.
Trans-fats should be avoided at all costs. They have devastating consequences for your well being. Saturated fats are another culprit. They are responsible for both weight gain and high cholesterol levels. Avoid both of these and instead eat monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, as well as Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
TV dinners, frozen breakfast sandwiches, and even “granola” snacks..what do all of these have in common? They have a lot of things in common. These foods are all highly processed foods, so they no longer contain any real nutritional value.
They’re extremely high in sodium (used as a preservative). They also will likely leave you hungry an hour (or less) later because they are completely devoid of anything that will satisfy your hunger cravings like fiber and protein. Processed foods are easy to prepare and often cheap, but you will end up paying in other ways.