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Get Healthy: Say Goodbye To These 10 Unhealthy Foods In 2016

Get Healthy: Say Goodbye To These 10 Unhealthy Foods In 2016

Food food food. We love our food. As a culture, we also highly value health. With millions of adults across the world resolving this new year to be healthier, we could all use a look at the biggest food mistakes we make.

Many of these foods can be enjoyed on occasion. While they are known for being unhealthy, reading this list may bring on some cravings. I have provided some healthy alternatives for when we crave these delicious-but-unhealthy foods.

Here are 10 unhealthy foods to give up in the new year:

1. Doughnuts

doughnuts

    First thing in the morning, it is hard to pass up a sugary sweet doughnut when you are ordering your coffee. What most people don’t know about doughnuts is that doughnuts are worse than most unhealthy snacks out there. One doughnut is about 300 calories.  Livestrong.com writes:

    “If you add a doughnut a day to your regular diet and don’t exercise the calories off or cut down on calories elsewhere, you will gain about one extra pound every 10 days.”

    Doughnuts have the potential to do some real damage to your body. It would be in everyone’s best interest to practice moderation when choosing doughnuts.

    Alternatives for your sweet tooth:

    One way to satisfy that sweet craving in the morning is to prepare a delicious bowl of Greek yogurt with some fruit and granola. Your sweet tooth will be satisfied and your body will thank you.

    2. Bagels

    SONY DSC

      Bagels are a conventient and delicious breakfast option, however reaching for a bagel first thing in the morning is a guaranteed way to pack on the pounds. Bagels are empty carbs that will quickly settle on your hips and thighs. Bagels lack the fiber that your body needs to turn it into something useful. Instead, the empty carbohydrates turn to sugar and fat.

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      Alternatives for bagels:

      A healthy breakfast alternative to bagels are English muffins. They are high in fiber and contain considerably less sugar than bagels.

      3. Fast Food Burgers

      burger1

        Fast food burgers are delicious, but commonly believed to be untrustworthy. Your gut instinct was right. According to Men’s Fitness, real meat makes up 2-14% of fast food burgers. Then what are we actually eating? Well, they fill the rest of the burger with fillers such as water, cartilage, and bone. It is also no surprise that these burgers are high in fat content.

        Alternatives for fast food burgers:

        Eat burgers from quality restaurants, places that are trustworthy and commited to making real food.

        4. French Fries

        fries

          They are potatoes, so they are healthy, right? French fries are an American staple that are not even slightly comparable to potatoes in terms of nutrition. Jonathon Bonnet, MD writes that removing the skin of the potato to make french fries is actually shedding the most nutritious part of the potato. Fries clearly lack any nutritional value, but what’s worse is their high fat and calorie content. According to Time magazine,

          “A medium order of fries has 365 calories along with 17 grams of fat, a full 26% of your daily value. Sodium clocks in at 246 mg, or 10% of the upper limit you should eat in a day.”

          It is easy to see why experts recommend staying far away from fast food. A consistent diet with this high fat content will quickly lead to weight gain and possibly obesity, not to mention the myriad of health problems associated with it.

          Alternatives for Fry lovers:

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          There is no replacing this scrumptious treat, but some healthy alternatives are carrot fries or zuccini chips.

          5. Chips

          chips

            Chips are a cheap, savory snack for so many occasions. The downside of this treat is that when chips are part of your daily diet, they have negative health impacts. While eating chips, it is easy to take in more sodium than is healthy, putting people at risk for high blood pressure. Chips are often high in fat, which puts people at risk for high cholesterol. These are all risks associated with frequent potato chip eaters, so there is no need to worry when consumed in moderation. However, chips should not be in your pantry when trying to live a healthy lifestyle.

            Alternatives for savory lovers:

            Baked chips are healthier than regular potato chips. Healthier than that are unsalted pretzels and air-popped popcorn, according to HealthyEating.com.

            6. Bacon

            bacon

              I’m sorry. Someone had to say it. The world has a love affair with bacon, but it is possibly THE worst food we can eat. High in sodium and cholesterol, bacon will slowly destroy you. Let’s let the facts paint the picture. According to WebMD:

              “You probably won’t be surprised to learn that 68% of bacon’s calories come from fat, almost half of which is saturated. Each ounce of bacon contributes 30 milligrams of cholesterol”

              We all know bacon is bad for us. Maybe we didn’t know it is THIS bad. In moderation though, it is soooo worth it.

              Alternatives for bacon lovers:

              Turkey Bacon! It will never be quite as perfect and satisfying as real bacon, but Turkey bacon cooked the right way can satisfy some of those bacon cravings.

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              7. Any Deep Fried Foods

              deep fried

                I probably don’t need to do much convincing with this one. Everyone knows eating delicious fried food is about the worst choice you can make. Fried foods instantly add to calorie and fat intake. Food absorbs fat from oil while it is frying. Making fried foods a consistent part of your diet greatly increases the risk for obesity.

                Alternatives for fried food:

                Opt to bake, grill, or steam your food. Skip everything fried.

                8. Soda

                Soda

                  Drinking soda is one of those habits we form when we are eating out or seeing a movie. Having soda with a meal is an American tradition and in the moment it feels very harmless. In reality, soda is liquid sugar. There is no justifying it. Soda is not part of a healthy meal.

                  Studies have found that drinking soda consistently can cause serious healthy concerns. According to Harvard’s Public Health website, adults who drink one sugary beverage a day have a significantly greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes and are more at risk of having a heart attack than their non soda-drinking peers.

                  Alternatives for soda:

                  In order to keep up a healthy lifestyle, opt for soda water (sugarless) or ice tea next time you are out at a restaurant. These are simple choices that can make a big difference.

                  9. Microwave Popcorn

                  Popcorn

                    Dr. Oz has spoken out about the harmful effects of microwave popcorn. Microwave popcorn has been found to contain health concerning chemicals in the bag. That delicious buttery taste comes from chemicals called diacetyl and PFOA . Diacetyl is what makes the popcorn taste buttery and oh so delicious, while PFOA is the chemical that lines the bag. What Dr. Oz has reported is that these chemicals can cause serious health problems such as cancer and thyroid issues.

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                    Alternatives for Microwave popcorn:

                    Buy some kernals at the store and pop your own popcorn on the stove. It take just a few minutes longer than microwave popcorn, but it is healthier and still tastes delicious.

                    10. Processed Meats

                    meats

                      The meat platter is a convenient and yummy way to bless a work party or family gathering. Processed meats are a common part of our culture. They are found everywhere we turn at the grocery store. The bad news is that processed meats are one of the unhealthier foods you can eat.

                      According to Authority Nutrition, eating processed meat has been linked to a greater risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer. Why? One of the reasons is that chemical compounds are added to processed meats. One example is sodium nitrate, added for flavor and preservation. However, nitrate in processed meat can turn into N-nitroso compound, a cancer-causing compound, when exposed to high temperatures. It is scary to realize that this fact is not widely known. It is important to know what we are putting in our bodies.

                      Alternatives for processed meats:

                      There are many choices for alternatives, but one suggestion for packed lunches is to roast a turkey at home and cut it into sandwhich-friendly slices.

                      We all have those cravings and every once in a while, it is okay to go for it. But, if we want to live a healther life in 2016, these foods should be the first to go. Commit to choosing healthier alternatives for your favorite junk foods.

                      Image sources: doughnuts, bagels, burger, fries, chips, bacon, onion rings, soda, popcorn, meat

                      Featured photo credit: 김목화 via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on May 21, 2020

                      The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

                      The Top Fad Diets That Are Actually Worth the Hype

                      You have probably seen enough fad diets to last a lifetime. Many have become popular overnight and left just as quickly.

                      Some fad diets, though, have actually passed the test of time and are making some headway in the nutritional world.

                      Outlined below are four fad diets that are actually beneficial for your health and wellness. Read on to find out why you should consider adopting one (or more) of these healthy eating styles today.

                      An important concept you should keep in mind is to disregard the term “diet” as it is typically used. The word diet implies the idea of restriction and removal. Instead, think of the word diet in this context as a healthy eating lifestyle.

                      Let’s take a look at some of these healthy eating lifestyles that have been categorized, by no fault of their own, as fad diets.

                      1. The Paleo Diet

                      The paleo diet, or ancestral eating, is simply eating the way your paleolithic ancestors would have up to 10,000 years ago, or when the agriculture age began.

                      The advantage now is you don’t have to do this in a loin cloth, unless you want to… The focus of this diet is proteins, vegetables, some fruits, nuts and seeds and some healthy fats.

                      In the paleo diet, there aren’t any grains, starchy carbohydrates, sugars, or dairy.

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                      How Your Health Can Change With Paleo

                      The paleo diet is a good way to keep your blood sugar under control. It can also have a positive effect on type 2 diabetes, and can lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

                      With this healthy eating lifestyle, people have also achieved good weight loss results and boast improved energy levels. [1]

                      It’s not just what’s in the paleo diet that’s important, it’s what’s NOT in it. There aren’t any processed and manufactured foods, junk foods, artificial ingredients or chemical additives.

                      Paleo is a way of eating that gets you more in tune with your body and, therefore, can provide a lot of benefits.

                      2. Whole30

                      The Whole30 diet is relatively new and owes its popularity to social media and the #Whole30 Instagram hashtag that allowed people to share and broadcast their success with the diet.

                      With Whole30 you are taking 30 days and focusing on nutritious whole foods such as meats, nuts and seeds, seafood, eggs, vegetables, and fruits.

                      During the month you are eliminating:

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                      • sugar
                      • alcohol
                      • legumes
                      • grains
                      • dairy
                      • soy

                      Whole30 is similar to paleo, but it goes a bit further eliminating sweeteners such as honey or maple syrup.

                      At the end of the 30 days, you strategically reintroduce those eliminated foods back into your diet to discover any possibility of health consequences from them or even potential food allergies.

                      Finding Out How Food Impacts You

                      Most people eat the same things so often and may not realize that certain foods are causing health consequences, as they’ve become accustomed to feeling lethargic and run down.

                      With Whole30 you get the chance to see how these foods may have a negative impact on your body. You’ll also reset your taste buds, which may have become desensitized from processed and artificial “foods” and excess salt.

                      This diet will help you regain your love of food… in a healthy way!

                      3. The Mediterranean Diet

                      The Mediterranean diet has been at the top of the list as a very effective diet for some time now.

                      For people in countries like Italy or Greece, this has simply been a normal way of life–along with higher activity levels, sunlight exposure, proximity to water, and lower stress.

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                      With the Mediterranean diet, the focus is on heart-healthy foods. It looks like this:

                      • Fruits & vegetables
                      • Whole grains
                      • Legumes & nuts
                      • Replacing butter with olive oil
                      • Using herbs and spices instead of salt
                      • Eating fish and poultry at least twice a week
                      • Moderate amounts of red wine

                      Help Your Heart & Overall Health With A Mediterranean Diet

                      Information from the Mayo Clinic shows that this diet reduces heart disease and lowers your “bad” LDL cholesterol. Studies involving 1.5 million people demonstrated that the Mediterranean diet was associated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular mortality, along with overall mortality. [2]

                      With all these benefits, this is definitely a “fad diet” that’s worth the hype.

                      4. The Alkaline Diet

                      The alkaline diet is about changing the foods you eat so that you put your body into an alkaline state and out of an acidic state. When your body is too far on the acidic side it can result in a condition called acidosis. This can lead to issues in your body such as upset stomach, breathing difficulties, headaches, weakness and, fatigue. In extreme cases, it can result in shock, coma, or death.

                      The goal is to get your body in a more alkaline state, which results in overall better health. The focus is on including alkaline boosting foods such as fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes. You’re also wanting to reduce acidic foods such as low quality beef and poultry, dairy, eggs, grains, and alcohol.

                      Pros & Cons With The Alkaline Diet

                      The benefits that come from this way of eating is that reduction in inferior quality foods, processed items and alcohol. You may feel improved energy levels, mental clarity and even better joint health.

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                      People also report weight loss but again this may come from the reduction in calories from junk and processed foods but this is not a bad thing at all.

                      One con with this diet is that the pH value of the food you eat might not have an impact on blood pH, as your body is able to balance this pretty well on a day-to-day basis.

                      Follow These Fads for Better Health and Wellness

                      There can be a danger in categorizing things as a fad diet because fads come and go. People are always looking for the next big thing or a quick fix.

                      The four examples above buck that status quo. These diets, though mainstream, actually can give you benefits and aren’t going to go away anytime soon because they work.

                      What makes these diets special is that they boast real whole foods and the eliminate processed and manufactured junk.

                      The Big Takeaway:

                      Whatever way you choose to eat, the focus needs to be on whole unprocessed foods. Look for the cleanest, local and most natural things you can find for the benefit of your overall health and wellness. Your body and mind will thank you.

                      Featured photo credit: Dan Gold via unsplash.com

                      Reference

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