In many cases, the key problem is that these foods contain ingredients that encourage your body to store fat and stop you from losing weight.
However, it is not always easy to spot these unhealthy foods just by looking at them, as clever advertising may be used to make the foods appear innocent.
By removing the following meals and snacks from your kitchen cupboards, you will maximize your chances of staying fit and healthy for as long as possible.
#1 Coleslaw: Looks can be deceiving when it comes to coleslaw. While it is often served right next to a healthy, green salad, coleslaw itself is anything but good for your body.
Although it provides you with carrot and cabbage, it contains a disproportionate amount of calories per serving, and it is full of fatty mayonnaise.
The average portion of coleslaw will provide you with at least 260 calories, and more than 20g of fat. Some popular brands of coleslaw are even worse.
For example, KFC’s coleslaw contains close to 26g of saturated fat, making it worse than a portion of fries.
If you like coleslaw, why not try making it yourself? Using fat free yogurt or a reduced fat mayonnaise, you can easily create a healthier version that tastes great with your salad.
Make sure that you add cabbage, but try spicing up the flavor with lemon juice or vinegar.
Better yet, try to get used to eating a side salad without pairing it with another side dish. With a light dressing and a creative mix of herbs, salad portions can be extremely tasty, and you may soon find that you don’t even miss the fatty coleslaw that you once enjoyed.
#2 Frosting: If you love to bake, you are probably very familiar with the tubs of delicious frosting that you can buy from most major stores. While you may be aware that frosting is not exactly a health food, you probably don’t know just how bad it really is. In truth, it is so terrible for your body that you should avoid consuming even small amounts.
They lower your cardiovascular health by increasing the level of LDL (i.e. ‘bad’) cholesterol in your body and decreasing your levels of HDL (i.e. ‘good’) cholesterol. In addition, they encourage your body to store fat, particularly around your abdomen.
There is also some evidence that regular consumption of trans fats is linked to an increased likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes.
Finally, the amount of sugar in frosting is enough to spike your blood sugar way past healthy limits, providing you with empty calories that make it difficult to lose weight or to maintain a healthy figure.
No matter how much you might enjoy the taste of frosting, the cons of consuming it clearly outweigh the pros.
#3 Packaged Sandwiches: When you want to eat a sandwich, it is always better to make it yourself, because the sad truth is that the bulk of packaged sandwiches lining the shelves in grocery stores have a surprisingly large amount of calories given their relatively small size.
Indeed, the average sandwich will contain over 400 calories, and many people think that a lunch should contain closer to 200 or 300 calories.
You are also likely to find that these sandwiches contain large amounts of fat and saturated fat, as most of them are stuffed full of mayonnaise or cheese.
Even the sandwiches that are advertised as lighter options for dieters may contain at least 50% of your recommended daily intake of fat.
Lean meat is an excellent addition, and if you are vegetarian then you can add an extra source of protein (like soy, or meat substitutes).
Alternatively, you could switch to having a healthy vegetable soup for lunch, or opt for egg on toast.
Although prepackaged sandwiches are convenient, it will be easier to stay slim if you make the extra effort and create your own lunch.
#4 Tomato Sauce For Past Or Chili: When you are cooking a pasta dish or making a big pot of chili, it is easier to buy a large jar of tomato sauce from a store than it is to make your own at home in the kitchen.
However, these tomato sauces are often packed full of refined sugars, promoting weight gain and increasing your risk of developing diabetes at some point in your life.
Many people have no idea about this surprising sugar content, as it makes sense to assume that vegetables are the dominant ingredient in tomato sauces.
Thankfully, you can make a sauce that is simple to prepare, low in fat and low in sugar. Just follow these instructions:
Heat a small amount of vegetable oil in a pan, and then fry one finely chopped onion until it is soft.
- Add one chopped garlic clove, then pour in one can of chopped tomatoes, two to three tablespoons of tomato puree, and your favorite herbs (good suggestions include oregano and basil).For a spicier sauce, try adding one chopped red chili or sprinkling some chili flakes over the sauce.
- Simmer the sauce until some of the liquid boils off and you are pleased with the consistency.
Unlike many of the foods mentioned above, soy sauce does have a low calorie content and it is a source of some healthy vitamins, so it can look utterly harmless at first glance.
However, just one spoonful contains around 900 milligrams of sodium, and so adding it your food is likely to cause water retention, leaving your abdomen feeling watery and uncomfortable.
If your blood pressure is consistently high, you risk damaging your cardiovascular system and increasing your risk of serious health problems like heart attacks and strokes.
Luckily, there are alternative versions of soy sauce that have a reduced salt content.
However, you should be aware that the reductions tend not to be dramatic, so even reduced sodium soy sauces should be used sparingly.
It is also good to investigate healthier sauces and to experiment with using fresh herbs and spices to liven up your meals.
#6 Multigrain Products: It is natural to assume that multigrain breads, pastas and cereals are healthy, as it seems unlikely that they would contain refined grains (which are much less healthy than whole grains). However, the law regarding ingredient descriptions actually allows companies to label their products as ‘multigrain’ foods even when their primary ingredient is refined grains.
For example, huge study conducted by a team of researchers at Harvard Medical School found that the participants who ate the greatest amounts of refined grains were most likely to gain weight over the course of twelve years.
Indeed, they were almost 50% more likely to gain weight than the people who eat the most wholegrain products.
When regularly consumed, refined grains also come with a staggering 141% increase in your likelihood of developing the connected disorders that characterize metabolic syndrome (i.e. heart disease and diabetes).
When looking for breads and pastas, your best bet is to choose wholegrain and wholemeal products every time. Multigrain products do not always choose to display their ratio of refined to unrefined grains in a prominent place on the label, so it is smart to err on the side of caution.
#7 Artificial Sweeteners: Although dieters can see cakes, desserts and cookies that contain artificial sweeteners as a wonderful way to enjoy treats while losing weight, the bad news is that these sweeteners seem to cause serious health problems.
Firstly, there is the surprising issue of weight gain.
For example, one study conducted in Texas found that the more diet sodas a group of participants drank, the more likely they were to become overweight.
Perhaps even more worryingly, people who consume the greatest amounts of artificial sweetener are two times more likely to suffer from impaired kidney function. This was discovered after scientists completed huge study that lasted over a decade, so the results are credible (though the precise mechanism of action remains mysterious).
If you follow our advice and cut these seven foods out of your diet, you will end up with a healthier, happier body. You should find it easier to stay in shape, and your lifespan may even be extended as well.