5 foods to break up with (and 5 to fall in love with!)
When it comes to ridding your diet of candy bars and potato chips, breaking up can be hard to do. But ask any nutrition expert and they’ll say it’s for the best to move on and find something new. Unfortunately, the list of good-for-nothing foods you need to dump goes beyond what you’ll find in a vending machine. Here are some often-overlooked items that should get the boot ASAP.
- White flour – This common ingredient has no nutrients and is only good for one thing: increasing your blood sugar. Opt for 100 percent whole wheat options for a more filling and healthier alternative. (This guy is sneaky, so watch out for ingredient lists that say “enriched wheat flour”–that’s just white flour in disguise.)
- Dried fruit – Just because it was once a perfectly ripe cranberry or apricot doesn’t mean the dried version is a good choice. Most of these dehydrated snacks contain added sweeteners and preservatives, making this seemingly safe treat have the same nutritional profile as a regular Snickers bar. Plus it’s way too easy to go overboard and down multiple servings at once.
- Pretzels – With zero fat, a handful of pretzels has the reputation of being healthy. In reality, they’re high in sodium and have no nutrients to make them worth eating. If you have the urge for a taste of salt, reach for air-popped popcorn or homemade kale chips instead.
- BBQ sauce – Summer barbeques may seem far off in the future, but they will get here before we know it. Although delicious, condiments like BBQ sauce are hidden carriers of sugar, with more than 20 calories per tablespoon due to the sweetener. If you have to have the taste, dip your food into it instead of smothering the sauce over top.
- Flavored yogurt – If you dig your spoon into a cup of fruit-flavored yogurt, you’re eating more than 30 grams of sugar, which is slightly less than enjoying a package of Twinkies (yes, Twinkies!). Instead, add unsweetened, plain yogurt to your grocery cart as a healthier alternative and top with fresh berries.
Is your heart breaking? All is not lost! You can replace the above bad-for-you foods with five that you’re bound to fall in love with. The natural stars that follow are packed with delicious flavor and come with loads of health benefits.
- Blackberries – The flavor of the year is jam-packed with powerful nutrients and antioxidants. Plus, they’ve been found to help reduce the risk of heart disease and slow the growth of cancer cells.
- Chia seeds – A tablespoon of chia is so full of nutrients that it’s like you combined the health benefits of eating salmon and spinach all in one.
- Coconut oil – Not all saturated fats have a negative impact on our bodies and coconut oil has a new wholesome reputation thanks to its ability to fight off viruses, lower cholesterol and increase energy.
- Sweet potatoes – They may be one of the healthiest vegetables out there, what with their 95 calories and an endless amount of nutrients and antioxidants, including iron, potassium, dietary fiber and nearly 30 percent of your recommended vitamin C.
- Grapefruit – The citrus powerhouse makes a comeback during the winter season with its high amount of vitamin C, vitamin A and antioxidants. And just one whole grapefruit has more vitamin C than you need for the whole day!