Have you ever looked at your diet and the food you eat? While you may think your diet is overall healthy, you may be surprised to hear that you likely consume a lot of food that is bad for you.
Our diets tend to be full of added sugar, refined carbs, and other unnecessary ingredients. We eat food that messes with our digestive systems. The ingredients cause some health problems and discomfort while causing other problems for our health.
It is time to take a full look at your diet. While there are certain ingredients that you know are bad, you need to know about all the everyday foods that do not offer any help to your body.
These are not necessarily foods you have to ban your diet. We all know how banning foods does not work for the health. We spend more time craving those foods than enjoying the meals we do eat. It is all about cutting them back and understanding why you should not consume them on a frequent basis. This is a list of all the bad foods you eat every day.
Get Rid of the Processed Foods from Your Cupboard
Whether you opt for junk food, jarred dishes, or packaged meats, you want to consider getting rid of them from your cupboard. Processed foods just are not natural and are not good for you. They are not just bad for your health, but the processed foods make it much harder to lose weight.
The key to why is the term “processed.” Even if they sound like natural ingredients, the processes they go through to become what you are buying will damage the majority (if not all) of the nutrients. The natural flavors disappear, and the companies must add flavors, sweeteners, and colorants to make the food look something like what you would have gained naturally.
All these additives will cause problems for your health. Your blood sugar increases from the sugars since there are not the starches or fibers to help prevent that. The liver must do more work to get rid of toxins, rather than convert fats to energy to burn. Your metabolism will store more calories to deal with all the bad, making you gain weight rather than lose it.
Check out the ingredients list to find out exactly what has been put into meals. A good rule to follow is that if the food has an ingredient list it is not natural. Natural foods do not require ingredients!
Unfortunately, this can mean a lot of your favorites are now banned from your diet. To make your diet fun, you can always add a couple of the foods in once a week or so. Stick to moderation and you can have fun without damaging your health.
Watch Out for the ‘Healthy’ Fruit Juices
Have you heard that fruit juices are good for you? You may hear that you should drink more orange juice to get rid of infections and have more cranberry juice to support the health of your bladder. Well, unfortunately, fruit juices are not that good for you. In fact, they can be extremely bad if not used in moderation.
One fruit juice a day is not going to cause too many health problems. It is when all you drink is fruit juice that you will find there is a major problem.
Many people enjoy fruit juices because they are sweet and easy. You will feel like you are getting plenty of fruits and nutrients from your diet, but what you will fail to realize is that you are just drinking sugary water. You have lost all the fiber and many of the nutrients through the juicing process. Even if you make your own fruit juices, you lose the fiber and nutrients.
Surprisingly, fruit juices can be just as bad as sugared soft drinks. Some of them will have more sugar, and since there is no fiber in the drinks you lose the ability to prevent the sugars affecting the blood sugar levels. Your body will release more insulin and you put yourself at risk of developing diabetes.
Some fruit juices are certainly better than others. Pomegranate, blueberry, and cranberry juices are worth stocking up on. While they do have sugar issues, the nutrients are still there. They are still good for supporting your health but do drink them in moderation.
If you really want to get your fruit intake through a drink, opt for smoothies instead. They still contain all the fiber and nutrients, so you do not release all the sugars into the bloodstream. However, it is easy to consume too many calories through fruit smoothies, so stick to just one a day as a snack or meal replacement.
Get Rid of as Many Sugary Drinks as Possible
Added sugar is going to cause havoc on your diet and your health. More people are diagnosed with Type II diabetes because of added sugar now than ever before. But it is not just about added sugar in your food. You need to watch out for the added sugar in your drinks.
While sodas are commonly considered, we are not just talking about them. Anything with added sugar is going to be bad. That means tea and coffee with refined sugar, fruit juices, smoothies with added sugar, and even sugar-filled water (yes, you can get that!).
The problem with drinks is that it is harder for the body to register the drinks as food. Your brain will still think you are hungry because all you have done is fixed the dehydration problem. You end up craving food and consume the extra calories.
If you really need sugars in your drinks, try sweeteners. Some of them do get a bad reputation but a natural sweetener like Stevia is a good alternative. You can also add some slices of fruit or vegetables (like lemons, strawberries, and cucumber) to your water to give it a better taste.
Do not Substitute Butter for Margarine
There is been a movement over the years to switch out butter for margarine. This is for a few reasons but the main one is for your health. Margarine has been considered the better option because it is not supposed to be full of saturated fats.
Well, it turns out that we were lied to. Margarine is not better and in fact much unhealthier for your body. Margarine is a processed food, so this should give away the idea that it is not good for you since we’ve already covered processed foods! The processed pseudo-food tastes like butter but is packed with vegetable oils and other hydrogenated foods. They become trans fats that block the arteries and are linked to cardiovascular disease.
Even if you find margarine with “no trans fat” labels, they have some. In fact, they only need to have 0.5g or less of trans fats to have that label. That is still a high amount.
Really, butter is better for you than margarine. Look out for butter that has been made from milk from grass-fed cows.
Do not Bother with the Pizzas
Pizza is one of the most commonly consumed junk foods. It is a better option than burgers and a great way for families to spend time together. However, pizza is one of the worst things you can consume. Even if you make your own, you may create unhealthy options—but homemade is certainly better!
Commercially prepared pizzas, whether frozen or from a local takeout place, are full of refined flour, processed meats, processed cheese, and added unnatural ingredients. They are full of calories while offering absolutely no nutrients to your body. Instead, you get a world of bad with nothing good to show for it.
With homemade pizzas, you can end up with refined flour in your dough. If you are going to make your own, opt for wholesome ingredients. Skip on the white flour and opt for the wholemeal dough to keep your family safe. You can also make some pizza alternatives. Flatbreads, pita bread, and tortilla wraps tend to make healthier dough alternatives.
But it is not just about the dough. You need to think about the toppings. Watch out for the processed meats and cheeses, as we’ve already considered the evilness of processed foods!
Skip the Gluten-Free Produced Alternatives
Unless you are intolerant or allergic to gluten, there really is no need to avoid gluten from your diet. Yet it seems to be all the rage now. We hear that gluten-free diets will cause havoc on the digestive system and make it harder to lose weight.
However, a gluten-free diet can also be a problem. This is because most people will look for those gluten-free alternatives to their favorites. Think about the gluten-free bagels, bread, snacks, and more. They use gluten-free ingredients but tend to add more sugar and other ingredients to help with the taste. Tapioca starch or cornstarch are popular added ingredients, which are packed with unhealthy oils, refined grains, and unnatural sugars.
If you really want to stick to a gluten-free diet, you need to choose foods that are naturally gluten-free. Look for animal and plant foods that do not have any gluten in them and are not filled with other ingredients that are bad for you.
But quite honestly, there is no need to follow a gluten-free diet unless you have a genuine medical problem handling the ingredient.
Watch Out for the White Bread
We tend to stock up on bread, but it is not actually that good for us. White bread, in particular, is one of the worst things you can include in your diet. Not only is it bad for people with gluten sensitivities because of gluten, but it is also a problem for those who can tolerate gluten.
White bread is made up of refined wheat and flour. These refined foods lack the nutrients but have plenty of bad stuff in them. So rather than getting fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients, you are just adding sugars, oils, and empty calories into your diet.
People who stock up on white bread are more likely to gain weight. You also run the risk of developing Type II diabetes and other health problems.
If you really want to keep your bread in your diet, opt for healthier alternatives. Whole grain bread is definitely better, but you can also try out Ezekiel bread, tortilla wraps, and pita bread. Bear in mind that a lot of bread are made with processed foods, so make your own if you want to keep your whole family healthy, gluten sensitivities or none.
Do not Stock Up on Low-Fat Yogurts
It is definitely worth having yogurts in the house, but you need to have the right type. If you are one of those who stocks up on the low-fat varieties because you are on a diet, try again. It is these types of yogurts that actually give yogurt a bad name.
Low-fat options take out all the yummy goodness from yogurts. Because they take out the taste, the companies have to add in more taste through sugars. After all, low fat does not mean low in sugar! There is a huge difference between the two when it comes to ingredients for products.
Sugar is one of the worst things for your diet. In fact, it is worse than most of fats.
Moreover, the low-fat yogurts take out all the protein. This is where the fat is after all. Protein is the thing that makes yogurts so healthy. It helps to build strong muscles, support weight loss efforts, and reduce cravings.
You will also lose the good bacteria in low-fat yogurts. The sugars overpower the probiotics and replace with bad bacteria. In short, you may have a tasty snack, but it is full of empty calories.
Instead of buying low-fat yogurts, opt for Natural or Greek yogurts instead. Plain is better, although a few flavors can be natural. One of the issues with flavored yogurts is the added sugar. While you do not lose the protein and probiotics, you have the unnatural sugars to deal with. When you want flavored yogurt, use a plain option and add your own natural fruit!
Curb the Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt Intake
Store-bought ice creams are not worth the money. Nor are the ice creams you can get on a stick from your local corner shop. While they are delicious, they are one of the unhealthiest options on the market. Yes, both ice cream and frozen yogurt need to be avoided as much as possible.
Both will be full of added sugar. They are packed with calories but have limited nutrients. Even the frozen yogurts do not have the proteins and probiotics that they should. Unfortunately, some of the tastiest foods are among the worst for you.
Ice cream and frozen yogurt are not really that filling either. You answer your sweet craving but nothing else, and you end up feeling the slump in energy just minutes later when your body burns all the sugar.
Frozen yogurt does tend to be better than ice cream, but it is still not great. Opting for your own natural Greek yogurt as a snack is going to be a better option.
You can make your own ice creams and frozen yogurts instead. You control the amount of added sugar and other additives are thrown in. Banana mixed with milk or yogurt and cream frozen tends to be a good option and there are plenty of weight loss friendly alternatives, so you do not feel like you are missing out.
Skip on the Agave Nectar
Finally, you may choose agave nectar to help sweeten your food. It is considered a healthy alternative and natural way to sweeten all types of dishes. Well, it is not actually as good as you would think. Nor is it natural!
Most agave nectar is full of added sugars, especially refined sweeteners. All these include are fructose, which is a sugar. You do not get any of the fibrous benefits that other naturally sweet and sugared foods include, so you end up consuming empty calories that go directly to your blood sugar.
Agave is high in fructose than most of sugary foods! Table gust has 50% fructose, while agave nectar has 85%. That should tell you alone that it is bad for your health.
If you really need something sweet, opt for natural sweeteners like Stevia instead. You can also use fruit, raw honey, and some spices to sweeten up your food healthily and naturally.
Avoid the Speciality Coffees
Coffee tends to get a bad reputation, but the coffee bean itself is not the problem. If you brewed your own roast at home, you are not actually going to cause a huge issue to your health. That is unless you drink five or more cups a day. One or two cups of coffee throughout the day may have caffeine but there is no research that shows you are putting your health at major risk. In fact, studies show that you are at a lower risk of Parkinson’s and Type II diabetes with a little coffee o33een a daily basis.
It is the specialties coffees that you need to avoid. These are the ones that have various syrups and flavorings added to them. Think of your hazelnut lattes, caramel cappuccinos, and pumpkin mochas. The syrups are packed with sugars that go straight to your bloodstream. You end up with empty calories for the sake of taste.
Just opt for plain coffee instead. Try to drink it black, but a little milk is not going to cause a major issue.
Then There Are the Obvious
We tend to eat a lot of junk food daily. These can include cookies, pastries, takeout dishes, and vegetable oils. They all need to be avoided for the sake of your health. However, you already knew that right? And some of them you will not use daily.
If you want to live a healthier lifestyle, it is time to change your daily shopping. So many “healthy” foods are the worst options for you. Replacing gluten-filled snacks with gluten-free options is still going to add refined sugars and empty calories to your diet. Agave nectar will add more sugar than table sugar! Low-fat yogurts take out the good and filled with the bad.
Think carefully about your foods and opt for something that is going to help improve your health.