Even if you aren’t overly concerned with maintaining proper weight or improving your health, there are certain foods that should be avoided because of their high fat, sugar, sodium and calorie content. Because our country is obsessed with the idea of being thin and looking great, advertising and marketing companies have come up with endless ways to make foods seem like a good idea while pumping them full of unhealthy ingredients. With this, food companies can capitalize on using the words “healthy”, “low-calorie” and “all-natural” to describe foods, that really aren’t any of those things at all. If you really want to maintain good health and a slim figure, the best thing to do is eat natural and whole foods like fresh vegetables and fruits. Even if a package displays words like “low-sugar”, that simply means that they’ve filled it up with other additives and artificial ingredients to maintain its color, shape and good taste. Educate yourself about which foods to avoid eating so you can refrain from adding extra calories and unhealthy ingredients to your diet. Here are 7 danger foods to stay away from for healthy living.
Fat-free Salad Dressing- A prime example of a food to avoid if you want to stay healthy is salad dressing that claims to be fat-free. If you’re watching your blood pressure or cholesterol, avoid this food product at all costs because it can cause a number of health problems. The sodium levels in these kinds of dressings are incredibly high with about 500mg in just two tablespoons. Instead of buying bottled fat-free salad dressing, make your own with no salt and fresh seasonings like lemon juice, turmeric, and mustard seed. Choosing healthy olive oil for the base of a homemade dressing is the best bet for healthy living.
Protein Bars- This food is one of the best marketed “health” foods out there. Companies that produce these protein bars do a great job of convincing consumers that they can lose weight and become healthy by including these in their everyday diet. The truth is that most protein bars are basically vitamin infused candy bars loaded with sugar, fat and calories. Avoid this food because you will be consuming a large amount of needless calories with tons of fat and sugar.
Margarine- Considered butter’s healthy cousin, margarine is nowhere near being a better choice to use in cooking and baking. Margarine is basically an artificial version of this staple ingredient and should not be used to try to be healthier. While margarine is lower in calories, it has more trans fat which will raise your cholesterol levels and can cause a number of health problems. Using real butter will actually be better for you in the long run by limiting your risk of heart disease.
Dried Fruit- The majority of people are unaware of how unhealthy dried fruit actually is. Everything from raisins to dried mango contain incredibly high amounts of sugar and calories in a small serving size. Eating dried fruit will cause a spike in your blood sugar actually bringing about weight and and slowing your metabolism. Instead of eating dried, packaged fruit, opt for fresh and natural fruit or even frozen varieties.
Sushi- Yes, its true that fish are a great part of a healthy diet because it is source of protein that is low in calories and high in essential fatty acids. However, sushi is not the best or healthiest way to include fish in your meal plan. Sushi rolls are incredibly deceiving when it comes to how high in calories they are. Additives in many sushi rolls including cream cheese, fried pieces of fish and white rice make sushi increase your waistline and can pack more than 500 calories in one roll. Avoid this food that can be unknowingly dangerous to your health.
Yogurt- Its true that yogurt is a good source of vitamin D and calcium, but it can reach dangerous territories if you’re not choosing the right one. Some brands pack their yogurt full of fat and calories in exchange for a sweet taste. The best way to avoid this unhealthy breakfast food is to choose a plain version that is low-fat. Greek yogurt is also a better choice than other kinds because it includes twice as much protein for less than half the amount of carbs as some traditional yogurt.
Low-Fat Peanut Butter- All natural peanut butter and other nut butters are great to include in a healthy diet. The dangers arise when manufacturers take out the natural healthy fats in peanuts and replace them with unhealthy sugars. Reduced-fat and low-fat peanut butter brands have high amounts of calories and twice the amount of carbs as in regular peanut butter. To maintain the health and nutrition for your nut butter choice, pick a full-fat version that will be more satisfying with lower amounts of sugar.