Do you ever wonder what nutritionists wouldn’t be caught dead eating? Many dieticians will say it’s okay to eat most foods in moderation. However, some would cause any nutrition expert to cringe. Check out the top five from the Must-not-have list and choose our healthy alternatives instead.
Snack foods containing partially hydrogenated oils
The word snack itself is enough to put them on the must-not-have list. The food label can be a bit misleading regarding trans fats. The nutrition facts label can list 0 grams of trans fats when the food contains less than one-half gram per serving. However, if a food contains 0.45 grams of trans fats, even though it will display 0 grams on the food label. It still contains a source of trans fats. Eat multiple servings, and you can damage your heart and overall health.
To avoid this, keep a lookout for foods that list “partially hydrogenated oil” in the ingredient list. This means the food contains a source of trans fats. Often snack foods like pre-made peanut butter cracker sandwiches, pastries, microwave popcorn, and commercially fried foods contain these dangerous fats. Therefore, be a label detective and choose options without partially hydrogenated oils.
Fat-free salad dressing
Fat-free dressings may sound like a healthy choice. But having a diet with too little fat can be just as damaging to your health as consuming too much of the wrong types of fat. Healthy fats can improve your cholesterol levels and help you absorb essential nutrients such as vitamin A and vitamin D. On the flip side, fat-free dressings are often over-processed. They contain large amounts of added sugars, sodium, emulsifying agents, and artificial ingredients. Choose a dressing made from a mix of vinegar and plant-based oil such as olive oil for the best choice.
They may be thirst-quenching. But there is not a single possibility that one could check them off the must-not-have list. Sugar-laden drinks are loaded with added sugars such as sodas, flavored coffee drinks, and ‘fruit drinks’ like Capri Sun and fruit punches can wreak havoc on your health and waistline. The empty calories in sugary drinks don’t give you a feeling of fullness. Meaning that you will eat just as much throughout the day yet may take in almost twice the amount of calories you need. Simple sugars can also increase insulin resistance, a risk factor for diabetes. In addition, diets rich in added sugars can lower healthy HDL cholesterol levels, and raise triglycerides. Moreover, it causes body-wide inflammation increasing the risk for chronic disease. For a flavored drink replacement, try naturally flavored seltzers, unsweetened tea or coffee, or water with a splash of lemon juice.
Check Rice cakes on the Must-Not-Have list
A popular choice for dieters, rice cakes are anything but healthy. Most rice cakes are made from puffed white rice, giving them a glycemic index level almost as high as glucose itself! Rice cakes cause blood sugar and insulin levels to spike, increasing belly fat and diabetes risk. In addition, due to the rapid digestion of refined carbohydrates, rice cakes don’t provide a feeling of satiety. Therefore, rice cakes should be checked on your must-not-have list.
You most likely will be just as hungry after eating them then before you even ate. For a healthier option, look for rice cakes made with 100% brown rice, a whole grain that will help fill you up while helping to stabilize blood sugar levels. And even better, a diet rich in whole grains can help shrink belly fat—every dieter’s dream!
Microwave Popcorn is a must food to be on Must-Not-Have list
You may have heard that popcorn is a low-calorie, healthy snack—and that’s true! Popcorn is a great source of whole grains and fiber, and air-popped popcorn provides only 100 calories in 6 cups, making it a great way to fill up without filling out. But watch out if you buy microwave popcorn. Microwave popcorn labeled as “butter flavored” or “movie theater butter” is loaded with sodium, saturated fat, calories, and trans fats. One serving of this popcorn contains as much as 4.5 grams of trans fats! Since just 2 grams per day have been associated with a decline in heart health, eating this popcorn daily could be incredibly taxing on your heart. Instead, if your love microwave popcorn, make your own by adding three tablespoons of kernels to a brown paper lunch bag. Fold over the top, lay it flat in the microwave, and cook for 3 minutes. This will make delicious, low-calorie, and low sodium air-popped popcorn without an air-popper (and it will make your dietitian proud!).
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