Eating healthy can be about avoiding certain foods and additives as much as it is seeking out nutritious alternatives. Here are some foods and add-ons that you should eat sparingly, or not at all.
The jury is out somewhat on artificial sweeteners, although many nutritionists avoid them. Things like Splenda and the other sugar alternatives on the market can lead to headaches or migraines if consumed regularly. They may cause you to gain weight if you ingest enough of them, and in some cases, they can even bring on cardiovascular disease.
If you open up a bag of uncooked microwave popcorn, you can get a look at all of the artificial substances that are adhering to the popcorn kernels. Many of these are synthetic chemicals that you shouldn’t be ingesting. Overly processed food additives should be avoided whenever possible, so if you’re a popcorn aficionado, make your own instead. Popcorn kernels, olive oil, sea salt, and a brown paper bag are all you need.
Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter
While you might feel that you are helping induce weight loss and ingesting fewer calories with reduced-fat versions of your favorite peanut butter, it’s better to get the full-fat kind. To improve the taste of the reduced-fat versions, artificial sweeteners and sugar are often added. Full-fat peanut butter contains the sort of fat that is healthier for you, so give the reduced-fat Skippy a pass.
Processed deli meats have long been a staple of the American diet, and probably a big part of that is because they’re so easy to buy in bulk and make into sandwiches. But processed ham, turkey, and roast beef often contain harmful additives to give them longer shelf life. Nitrates are common, and you could also be getting carrageenan, which increases inflammation in the body. You even run a higher risk of colon cancer if you keep eating it over time. Look for organic, nitrate-free meat, and avoid antibiotic ingredients too.
Now you know a few foods to avoid. When in doubt, look to the ingredients. The more chemical and artificial additives, the more likely that you should look elsewhere in the aisle. If you can’t pronounce it, you probably shouldn’t be eating it.