Below, I have listed 10 foods that I stay away from, with #10 being an ingredient that I highly encourage all of you to 100% cut out of your diet. This ingredient is hidden in a never ending list of foods and can cause many health problems.
I believe in treating your body like your home or temple. You wouldn't bring garbage and other harmful ingredients into your house, so why would you put it into your body? Your body does SO many wonderful, amazing things for you every single second. Keep your body thriving and energetic by feeding it healthy, nutritious foods.
We should be feeding the body foods that are going to fuel us for an energetic, vibrant day of living. Foods should not slow you down, make you depressed or lethargic feeling.
I don't believe in depriving yourself of foods, but let's be real, do we really want to feed our bodies in a way that makes us tired, groggy, and sometimes even depressed feeling?
Is your favorite meal a hamburger and fries? Swap it out for a healthier option, such as a veggie burger filled with fiber and other nutritional goodness. Learn how to make zucchini fries into of eating potatoes all the time (potatoes are not bad in any case, but eating too many is not good).
1. Protein bars
Protein bars usually have a long list of ingredients, with some even being illegal in other countries. Protein bars can be jam-packed with sugar and doesn't always do well in the nutrition department. Instead, eat a satisfying meal that is packed with protein, such as an oatmeal mix with a banana and peanut butter.
If you aren't into protein bars, I highly recommend getting Garden Of Life's Chocolate flavored protein powder. You can get it here. 100% vegan and loaded with veggies (that you can't even taste, which is great if you aren't crazy about greens).
Related: Healthiest Foods For A Tight Budget
2. Bagels and cream cheese
The body will quickly convert all of the refined carbohydrates into sugar and then glucose (keep in mind, I don't think carbs are bad, only refined carbs). We should be eating carbs that have been minimally processed. Choose whole grains. I have found that refined carbs make me very sleepy, lethargic, and sometimes even moody feeling.
3. Diet anything
A food that claims to be “diet” friendly almost always makes up for being “diet” friendly by adding a bunch of unhealthy ingredients, extra added sugar and other things that are unnecessary for our bodies. Stick with real, whole foods and ditch the “diet” food.
Related: I highly recommend checking out the 14-Day Lean Clean meal plan to set you up for success. The book is filled with tons of useful information (over 200 pages worth!). I am using this meal plan to hit my health and fitness goals.
4. Buttered popcorn
The number of calories in buttered popcorn is through the roof, with 2 cups having at least 150 calories. (I'm not saying calories are bad for you, obviously, but you should be filling your body with foods that are going to fill you up, not extremely high fattening foods). All of this saturated fat over time can increase your risk for different types of diseases, such as heart disease.
5. “Healthy” frozen dinners
The ingredients list for most boxed dinners is out of this world. Many frozen dinners contain the ingredient high fructose corn syrup, which you will learn about below. The sugar content again, is unnecessary and many of these meals tend to be low in fiber, and even protein, meaning you won't really get full at all. Many people think “low calorie” means healthy, but it does not. I remember when I would load up on lean cuisines and other supposedly “healthy” foods.
Instead, get a spiralizer, which can make healthier, more filling foods. My spiralizer has been a life saver. You can get a spiralizer here.
6. High fiber snacks
Eat food that is naturally rich in fiber, such as vegetables (which can easily be made into stir fry's or salads), and fruit. Many Americans lack in the fiber department due to eating so much meat and dairy (which has NO fiber), and not enough vegetables and fruit. Fill up on fibrous foods at each meal to keep you full and satiated.
7. Low-fat foods
I have found that for me, personally, I eat more when I restrict myself to “diet” or “low-fat” foods. Like I said with “diet” food, low-fat food companies will also trick you into thinking you are eating a healthier meal when you might just be eating much more sugar. Low-fat foods will find ways to compensate in some area, so don't let these companies fool you.
Related: Use Ibotta to get cash back on in-store and online purchases. I use Ibotta to save money on vegetables and fruit, as well as Groupon purchases. Get $10 for signing up here.
8. Store bought juice
Many people mistake juice for being healthy when that is usually not the case at all. Imagine you make a juice at home. You squeeze 10 oranges into a glass, and your glass is full, but you barely have any of the pulp and natural fibers in your cup. You eat all of the juice of the orange but didn't take in much of any fiber at all. Many juices also have added sugar, which will only spike your blood sugar and leave your crashing afterward.
Instead, get a juicer, which will last a long time and help you create your own delicious smoothies and juices.
Dried fruit in cereal can add in calories and sugar quickly. Kids cereal is packed with added sugar, so if you are trying to feed your children healthier foods, I'd refrain from feeding them cereal.
Related: Use Ebates to save money on kitchen appliances, and other products at hundreds of stores. If you're an online shopper, Ebates is a must! Get $10 for signing up here.
10. High fructose corn syrup
You should be avoiding this ingredient like the plague. This man-made sweetener is found in so many foods, so many that your fridge probably has a few items that include this nasty ingredient. This ingredient also has contaminants that are NOT regulated by the FDA. That should scare you alone.
If that's not enough to put an end to your consumption of HFCS, many medical experts, and nutritionists do not support the use of high fructose corn syrup in the diet. There is no “good” nutrition from this ingredient, therefore your body will not benefit in any way.
- Just because you purchase something from a juice or smoothie joint, does NOT make it automatically healthy. Many smoothies are filled with tons of added sugar and fat that you would not expect.
- Booze is simply empty calories that have absolutely no nutritional content whatsoever. Many drinks are filled with unnecessary sugar.
- Find out how to swap your favorite “unhealthy meals” into healthier versions, this way you can have them more often, too!
- If you're used to eating unhealthy meals, invest in a food diary and keep track of what you are eating. Having it written out might surprise you and get you into a reality check.
- I find that cooking my meals makes me much more full than prepackaged meals from the store.
I'm grateful to have a healthy body that pushes through long hikes, strenuous workouts, and long work days. I feed my body nutritious, whole foods because my body deserves to be treated well.
What are some foods you stay away from?
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