Turns out that Quest has great tasting chips. Today, I had the Ranch Tortilla Chips. OMG. They were delish. 19g of protein, 4 net carbs for the whole bag. So delish. I am going to try the other flavors (one … Continue reading
Today’s blog subject is dedicated to one of my friends in Pilates class. She brought up a subject that is important to discuss in my blog because it comes up all of the time when people ask me how I keep the weight off.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean eating large amounts of sugar and carbs! I do eat very well. Salads twice a day. Four servings of veggies a day (small ones), 2 small fruits a day, 6 protein-based foods per day, water, etc. But, keep in mind that I want to keep my carbs between 50g to 100g per day. Also keep in mind that it takes about 4g of sugar/carbs per 1 sugar cube.
We get conned into eating and drinking things based on their nutritional qualities, but in fact, they are LOADED in “unhealthy” amounts of sugar and carbs. Trust me, I know. I gained over 40 pounds at one time just eating “healthy foods”, without knowing the secrets behind their fat-causing carbs!
If you want to lose weight, you want to eat six protein-based “small” meals per day. Here are 10 items to stay away from, but I mention how to do it with low-carb or replacements for them. I am letting you in on my found-out secrets!
10 FOODS AND DRINKS TO AVOID IF YOU ARE ON A DIET, DESPITE THEIR SO-CALLED HEALTHINESS
1. SMOOTHIES or JUICE:
If you have a smoothie, it has to be more vegetables than fruits (fruits have a lot of sugar and carbs) and the size you drink has to be small. Depending on what you put in your smoothie, perhaps about 4-6 ounces is enough. Are your smoothies bigger than that and has a combination of high carb/sugar fruits in them? A few berries, citrus–that is ok….but loaded in apple, banana–you are looking at a lot of carbs. Some of the smoothies at a regular juice place, like Jamba Juice, have 67g of carbs (This is over 20 sugar cubes–would you eat 20 sugar cubes?) in a basic 16 ounce smoothie. If you are only supposed to have between 50-100g of carbs per day to stay thin, that is a lot for one drink. There goes the rest of the carbs for the day! Instead, I personally recommend eating real veggies and two small fruits a day. Smoothies are really for people who can’t stand eating veggies and it is the only way to get it into your diet. Don’t drink orange juice–eat an orange.
2. ACAI BOWLS/ MUFFINS/CEREAL:
Loaded up with granola (NOT A HEALTH FOOD–way too much sugar. Use plain nuts instead). I never eat granola. A lot of people see it as a health food. NOT! It has 38g of carbs in just half of a cup! An Acai Bowl has about 125g of carbs between the granola and the banana, etc. These are not diet foods. WATCH OUT FOR NUTS: 20g or so in carbs per cup. Limit them or measure and bag them in advance when used for a snack. My snacks usually consist of a few nuts and cheese (little to no carbs in cheese). Western Bagel has a low carb bagel called the Perfect Ten, that is usually a special breakfast item for me out of my usual eggs.
Stay away from cereal. Mostly carbs, sugar and chemicals. Try oatmeal instead, but keep it to a small serving because it is high in carbs. Read the labels.
Also, muffins have grains. Grains are higher in carbs. I don’t care if it is a bran muffin or a blueberry muffin–it is still a muffin. It wiIll add to a muffin top, if you know what I mean.
3. DRIED FRUIT:
Has a lot of sugar and carbs. Instead, eat fruit. 2 small amounts of fruit per day. If you eat a banana, one serving is HALF of a large banana.
High carb, little nutritional quality–even the brown stuff. Quinoa is better, but it is also high carb, so limit it to a few spoons worth in a serving. A cup of Quinoa is over 100g of carbs. As high as rice. Also, rice has arsenic in it. Yuck! ALSO RICE CAKES ARE HIGH IN CARBS TOO!
Bread products of all kinds are high in carbs. I don’t eat sandwiches either. A slice of bread can be around 30g of carbs. Some of the lower carb breads like Ezekiel, is about 10g EACH slice. But, a medium sized wrap is about 22g of carbs. I eat salads with meat and other proteins on them or a sandwich or burger that is wrapped in lettuce and not a bun or wrap. Watch out for tortillas too, unless they are the specific low-carb ones, which you can see at any store, even Trader Joes. A regular tortilla can be over 30g of carbs, but a low carb one can be about 5g net carbs, once you factor in the fiber.
Watch out for JUICE. It is just liquid sugar.
6. PROTEIN DRINKS/SPORTS DRINKS?PROTEIN BARS
All laden with high carbs. Only get ones that are low carb. Less than 20g of carbs is best. Or you can factor in fiber. Look at the total carbs and subtract the fiber and you have net carbs.
7. VEGGIE BURGERS/FROZEN FOODS:
Very high in carbs if you pick the wrong one. Buyer beware. Some of them are only 10g of carbs. So choose wisely and look at the nutritional labels.
Most of the low-cal frozen foods are high carb and will put weight on you. Just look at the labels. They are also loaded in sodium (as is canned soup) and are not good for your heart.
8. YOGURT/FROZEN YOGURT:
Some of them are so high in sugar and carbs, it should be illegal. You could be looking at 20-30g of carbs per cup. Greek yogurt has better options and if you choose the ones that are unflavored, there are hardly any carbs. There are a few products like Danon Lite and Fit Greek Yogurt flavored, with only about 10g or less of carbs per cup.
Frozen yogurt is laden in sugar, carbs and a lot of really nasty chemicals. There is nothing “yogurty” about it. You are better off having a no-sugar added scoop of Dreyers or Breyers ice cream. Breyers Carbsmart ice cream bars are delish and low in carbs. I get them at Ralphs, Smart and Final, and Wal-Mart.
Yes, they are good for you–in small amounts. A tablespoon is about 8g of carbs. A cup of them is about 120g of carbs. So, your burrito with the high carb shell, high carb beans and high carb rice will easily top you over 100g of carbs for your one very healthy organic Chipotle burrito. I always do a salad version, limit the beans, no rice.
One of the more popular “natural” sweeteners is Agave nectar, also called agave syrup.You will find this sweetener in all sorts of “health foods,” often with attractive claims on the packaging.
The problem with Agave is that it is no better than sugar. In fact, it is much, much worse…
One of the main problems with sugar is that it has excessive amounts of fructose, which can cause severe metabolic problems when consumed in excess.
Whereas sugar is about 50% fructose and High Fructose Corn Syrup about 55%, Agave contains even more… up to 70-90%.
Try Stevia or just use natural sugar, in moderation, because sugar is not good for losing weight. And if you are putting fruit in your smoothie (and I don’t recommend smoothies and I don’t do them anymore), then you have enough fructose sugar from the fruit, so why add more? Stop being a sugar junkie!
I have a friend in my Sunday Pilates class. She is pretty awesome. She works hard, works out like crazy and has lost a ton of weight. She is in excellent shape, but she desperately wants to lose a bit more weight. Yet, she is under a lot of anxiety and stress and tends to run to sugar for her comfort. I am writing this article in her honor!
Things that are BAD for anxiety:
Going to sugar and carbs is a way for many people to deal with their anxiety. However, it actually is counter-productive. It is actually the worst choice for anxiety. Sweets (including sugar, honey and corn syrup) makes us temporarily feel better.,Here’s why: Sugar is absorbed quickly into the bloodstream. The absorption causes an initial high or surge of energy. But that surge wears off as the body increases its insulin production to remove the sugar from your bloodstream. The result: You’re left feeling tired and low. It also makes you continue in a vicious cycle of SUGAR and STRESS!
Going to coffee isn’t going to help. Instead, drink water because if you drink coffee, you are actually dehydrating. Some people drink coffee and other beverages that contain caffeine (tea, cola, and hot chocolate) to help boost their energy levels. The problem is that caffeine has been shown to inhibit levels of serotonin in the brain, and, when serotonin levels are suppressed, you can become depressed and feel irritable. Even mild dehydration can cause depression. Caffeine also can keep you awake, leading to stress and anxiety. Remember that you need to sleep well to be in a positive mood.
Going to alcohol is not good either. Some people drink alcohol because it seems like a good way to ease anxiety and stress. Unfortunately, the good mood is only temporary. In the long run, alcohol is a depressant. Like caffeine, alcohol is a diuretic, and it’s important to stay hydrated for a number of reasons, including mood. If you do drink, drink in moderation.
Processed foods, such as hot dogs, sausage, pie, cookies, and cakes cause anxiety or other mental health issues?There have been studies, people who mainly ate fried food, processed meat, high-fat dairy products, and sweetened deserts had a 58 percent higher risk of depression than those who ate “whole” foods such as fish and vegetables. So skip the processed foods and have fresh foods!
Here are foods that are GOOD for anxiety:
1. Foods with L-tryptophan. Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin (a neurotransmitter, which helps you feel calm). Foods with it include:
turkey, chicken, bananas, milk, oats, cheese, soy, nuts, peanut butter, and sesame seeds. You can also take it by pill form in 5 HTTP, available in health food stores.
2. Foods with Vitamin B. Vitamin B (including thiamin or Vitamin B1, helps with mood. A deficiency in B Vitamins (such as folic acid and B12) can trigger depression in some people. You can also take it in pill form in a good B Complex formula. Foods with Vitamin B include:
beef, pork, chicken, leafy greens, legumes, oranges and other citrus fruits, rice, nuts and eggs.
3. Foods with carbohydrates will increase the production of serotonin in the brain. However, you want to watch how many you get in order to not gain weight (50g to 100g a day to lose weight is recommended). The rights carbs to choose:
Whole grains (whole wheat bread, brown rice, etc) and not processed choices like sugar, candy, white bread or white rice.
Whole grains take longer for the body to break down, and release sugar into the bloodstream slowly. Processed carbs may give you an initial surge of energy, but that can be followed by an insulin rush, which rapidly drops blood sugar levels, ultimately leaving you feeling lethargic.
4. Foods with omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), help improve mood and reduce risk of heart disease. Foods with Omega 3s are found in:
salmon, tuna, lake trout, herring, mackerel, anchovies, and sardines.
Walnuts, chia seeds, flax-seed and basil.
5. Greek Yogurt and Other High-Protein Foods: Proteins helps stimulate the production of the brain chemicals norepinephrine and dopamine, which, like serotonin, are neurotransmitters and carry impulses between nerve cells. Higher levels of norepinephrine and dopamine have been shown to improve mood, alertness, mental energy, and reaction time. Good sources of protein include:
Greek yogurt, fish, meats, cheese, eggs, nuts, beans, soy, and lentils.
And don’t forget that eating fresh fruits and vegetables, taking some “me” time, getting enough sleep, exercising and getting in foods with natural spices to reduce cravings (like cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, cloves, or cardamom.) will all help reduce anxiety.
Another trick is taking 200 mg of L-Theanine to reduce anxiety. It really works! http://altmedicine.about.com/od/greentea/a/Theanine.htm It is available at any health food store and it is amazing.
Follow these tips and you will feel better and lose weight too.
If we skip breakfast, we’ll make unhealthy choices at lunch. People who skip breakfast eat more during the day. Your breakfast can set off a cycle of cravings and blood sugar spikes that dooms for weight control. Better to start the day with stable blood sugar and ultimately fewer calories with breakfast.
I, personally, never leave the house without first having my coffee and eggs, or omelette or hard-boiled egg with either some bacon or turkey sausage. Otherwise, it makes me cranky and want to scarf my next meal and ruin my diet.
Breakfast Calories: What to Eat
You may have to find your perfect breakfast food through a trial and error process. It’s fine if you prefer a small turkey sandwich or a hard-boiled egg to traditional breakfast foods.
Consider whole grains. Whole grains are a good choice because they keep you feeling full, according to a dietary study that compared feelings of satisfaction between people who ate a hot whole-grain cereal for breakfast and those who ate refined wheat bread. Those who ate the whole-grain breakfast reported feeling less hungry over the following eight hours than the comparison group. I have discovered a delicious bread and I only have a slice once or twice a week. It is organic and healthy, with high fiber and protein. It is Dave’s Killer Bread. I buy the 60-calorie per slice version. It is low net carb. A slice is not bad, but when you start having sandwiches with more than one slice, you don’t realize how many carbs are in a sandwich and you are sabotaging your diet. Plus, we can get most of our fiber and nutrients from proteins, vegetables, nuts and seeds and fruits. We don’t need whole grains to be healthy. Plus, gluten does nothing as a nutrient and it causes inflammation in people’s guts and or brains. So, I prefer to stay away from it and gluten-free breads are not that good. However, I have had gluten-free pizza (half of a small with some salad) and it is delicious.
The issue with whole grains and oatmeal is that it has a lot of carbs. You have to read the label and determine how much to serve yourself to keep yourself in the realm of 50 to 100 grams of carbs per day, to lose weight. Less than a cup of oatmeal or having a slice of whole grain bread, only three times a week is an option.
Opt for eggs. A study of people between the ages of 25 and 60 who were trying to lose weight found that those who ate two eggs for breakfast lost 65 percent more weight than those who ate bagels, and they also reported having higher energy levels throughout the day. Ask your doctor about egg-white alternatives.
Avoid high-sugar choices. Eating doughnuts, breakfast pastries, and sugary cereals may begin that cycle of cravings and blood sugar lows that can undermine your efforts. And there are too many carbs in them to be considered a good choice for weight control.
First thing in the AM
When you first wake up in the morning, if you are not a breakfast person, but you can eat two hours later, that’s fine. Have a little yogurt, a little bit of peanut butter on some gluten-free bread (look at carbs), or a low-carb protein bar. Your choices don’t have to be traditional fattening breakfast foods, like cereal or pancakes. Please don’t eat Toaster Strudels, Pop Tarts or Frozen Waffles. Too many carbs, nothing nutritional about them and full of sodium and other chemicals. Stay away from these type of processed foods.
But, remember to eat or you are going to be too hungry and ruin your diet at lunch or dinner, not to mention slowing your metabolism down because your body goes into starvation mode. And you can’t operate well without food in the morning. Try running a car on gas fumes! It doesn’t work for long. Even your kids will have attention or memory issues at school without a decent nutritious (that doesn’t mean sugar) breakfast.
Once you find the breakfast options that suit your diet and your taste buds, plan ahead so that these foods are on hand when you want them — and you can get and keep a healthy habit that will last a lifetime. Stop running out of the house without food. If you are a last-minute person in the morning, then plan the night before with nuts, seeds, cheese, peanut butter on that one slice of Dave’s Killer Bread or Ezekiel bread– and protein bars as options to take with you in the car.
EAT LOW-CARB NUTRITIOUS FOOD FOR BREAKFAST!
A salad with two cups of lettuce and a half cup of two vegetables each in your salad, with 4 ounces of a protein in it is great for losing weight. Eat this twice a day. But, you will not lose weight if you sabotage it with high-carb items, which can :
2. Tortilla strips
3. A starchy vegetable like corn or peas
5: Sun-dried tomatoes (eat fresh ones)
6. Candied nuts
7. High-carb salad dressing
8. Barbeque sauce (high in sugar)
9. Don’t eat it with bread
10. Rice or beans (a few beans are ok, but high in carbs, so watch it).
A good salad can also be delicious and filling. Eat healthy and you will enjoy it!
My rules are different from this, but since it was on a medical website, I thought I would post it. It has some similarities to my plan (mine is counting carbs), but this one does have you eat a snack every few hours. It is called the Super Shred Diet. Claim: Lose 20 pounds in 4 weeks. On my diet, which becomes a way of life and is not a fad diet, you lose about 10 pounds per month, but it is healthy.
Shred: In a nutshell: An example schedule. You eat every 2-3 hours. In the example: Eat one hour after you get up and then every 1 1/2 hours. At your 11:30 snack, you wait to eat for one more hour again, then 3 1/2 hours later and then 3 hours later.
7:30 A.M. Awake
8:30 A.M. Meal 1
10:00 A.M. Snack 1
11:30 A.M. Snack 2
12:30 P.M. Meal 2
4:30 P.M. Meal 3
7:30 P.M. Meal 4
A typical day as outlined by Super Shred Week 1 involves:
breakfast consisting of one piece of fruit (an apple, raspberries or strawberries), and a choice between oatmeal or 2 egg whites. One cup of water and one cup of green tea or hibiscus tea are “musts” for the morning, and a cup of coffee (with no more than one packet of sugar or one tablespoon of milk) is optional.
A few hours later, the participant can eat a snack, such as a granola bar, grape tomatoes, or fruit.
Meal 2 can be either a protein shake or fruit smoothie,
and meal 3 is a large green salad.
Finally, dinner has to consist of two vegetable servings, as well as a 5-ounce piece of protein such as lean beef, chicken, or turkey.
You don’t have to eat perfectly, just eat better. The diet even includes diet sodas such as Diet Coke, and a piece of bacon along with one pancake . In the fourth week, there are two slices of pizza that the dieter can eat: the key is portion control, and eating these “treats” in moderation.
If you want to learn more, here is the link to his book: http://www.amazon.com/Super-Shred-Results-Pounds-Faster/dp/1250044537
Personally, I like my diet better and it is free. I have no book to sell. Just do a search on “Rules” on my blog and a bunch of rules will pop up. Still have kept the weight off for two years now!
I have talked to many people about Thanksgiving food. I am not sure how it came to be that a holiday designed to give thanks and spend time with relatives–has now somehow turned into a carbolicious food fest.
A few years ago, I went to my husband’s cousin’s house for Thanksgiving. I had a tough time finding something decent to eat. The turkey was ok, but there was no salad. There were green beans, but they were smothered in horrible bad GMO Velveeta cheese and not some kind of low-fat bovine growth hormone-free cheese. And there were those horrible processed onion things were on top. There was white bread in unhealthy fattening stuffing, cranberry sauce (sugar fest), white GMO dinner rolls, margarine (where is the organic butter?) and nasty box-made mashed potatoes. No wonder people get fat. Then, there is pie! One small slice of pumpkin pie alone is 300 calories. I think the average amount of calories eaten at Thanksgiving dinner tops 1500, easy.
AND DON’T GET ME STARTED ON THE SUPER-SIZED PORTIONS THAT PEOPLE SERVE THEMSELVES, AND MORE THAN ONE!
Here is what most of the portions looked like at the cousin’s house (throw in a non-nutritious dinner roll):
Next is the proper size of a “Traditional Thanksgiving Meal–made in a more healthy way–and the right measured out portions. At least if you eat this, you will not gain a lot of weight. (4 ounces of protein and keep in mind, only 50-100g of carbs per day. More on the veggies, less on the stuffing and potatoes. In this picture–turkey, a touch of stuffing with mushrooms, just a splash of cranberries (not the canned stuff), and a serving of veggies. Perfect!
It takes 30 minutes of running fast for 3 miles to burn 300 calories, and about an hour to do fast walking to lose 300 calories. You would have to walk for 5 hours to burn off that dinner. It could take many days of exercise to burn off that meal.
What I had for Thanksgiving:
For breakfast, I had a Western Bagel Perfect 10 low carb bagel with egg and cheese on it.
I made turkey meatballs and sauce with spaghetti squash for lunch.
For dinner, my husband and I had the sliced turkey breast that we bought the day before. We had a little gravy and had some great grilled asparagus and baby broccoli, with a great salad with cheese. A nice normal sized portion too.
And my snacks in between were nuts and a protein bar.
For after-dinner dessert, I had low carb ice cream.
I was full, satisfied and happy. I didn’t gain a pound. I will do something similar for Christmas.
If I am stuck at a person’s house again:
I will either eat before I get there and just have some turkey.
I also could ask the host in advance if there are going to be vegetables and salad, and if not, I will bring my own.
**I have NO qualms or embarrassment that I have to eat a certain way. If you are embarrassed, you can just say it is for “doctor’s orders for more greens.”**
You should never have to gain weight or make yourself sick with wheat products, gluten or excessive carbs to make others feel comfortable.
If someone gets their panties in a twist over it, they either do NOT give a damn about you and your quest to be skinny, of they feel guilty because they wish THEY could go on a proper diet and they are either too stubborn, too carb-addicted or afraid to rock the boat in their relationships.
Any way you look at it, YOU have to take care of YOU! There is a good chance that you gained weight because you have trouble saying NO! Learn healthy boundaries for your own happiness and stop worrying about others.
There are always food saboteurs out there. Like the man in my Pilates class, who is thin and brings the class (who are there to get in shape) brownies or chocolate cake. I think he gets some sick, twisted enjoyment out of watching them eat his stuff. He never knows what to do with me, because, I always tell him, “No thank you. I don’t eat sugar anymore.” And the fact that he still asks me, shows how manipulative he is!
What if the problem is your cravings cause the problem with eating fattening things?
Yes, it is hard to get over cravings, but it is possible. I did it! Takes a few weeks, but you have to stick to it and find healthy alternatives (I write about that all of the time in my blog, just do a search).
If someone is having onion rings, I sometimes will allow myself to eat ONE, then I am done. Fried food with breaded batter=unhealthy and fattening.
You have to learn this and get over what McDonalds got you addicted to eating. Those carbs are killing America-and you and me. We have to take charge of our bodies, our mouths and our lives. Eating potato starch, pie sugars, fatty cheese, white breaded stuffing carbs and sugars–even once or twice a year is not showing respect for your body. Even ONE cheat is do-able, but it is nothing but bad food city all the way through on this crazy holiday food fest.
How to avoid the temptation of sugary or carby holiday foods:
Rather than try to overly obsess about our food decisions, it’s better to change the environment so that it works for us rather than against us, making it easier to make decisions to eat less
1. Let people know in advance that you are eating differently and ask them to have (or you bring) things that you can eat like meat, veggies (not smothered in sauces and soups), fruits, cheese and salad. (If they don’t care about your diet, then you bring what you have to in order to show some self-love!)
2. Stay away from crackers, breads, candied fruit items, pies (unless you bring your own low carb pie or ice cream dessert or they provide one for you.
3. Drink, drink, drink– water and diet drinks a lot. Stay away from cider and sugary things to drink.
4. Eat some protein before you go to dinner so that you are not so hungry that you will pig out on whatever is there. (turkey, chicken, cheese, a protein bar, nuts, etc)
5. Grab the smallest plate and fill that, rather than filling a large plate with food. No refills, except for salad.
6. Eat meat and veggies, limit fruits.
7. Don’t sit close to the food buffet–avoid temptation.
8. Don’t eat the appetizers and wait for the meal. Most appetizers are calorie/carb laden.
BE STRONG and know that you are doing something that will make you happier the next day.
The last two years, for Thanksgiving, I had a salad, fresh turkey breast, gravy, veggies and a low carb ice cream and I was not only full and happy, but I didn’t gain weight the next day and it was delish. Can you say the same thing? This year to spice it up, I am going to try to make twice baked cauliflower and cheese and maybe a low carb pie, not sure yet. But one thing is for sure, I will be happy on the scale the next day and I didn’t put off my weight loss or maintenance for some lame holiday pig out excuse. You try it too!
I have put food items on my blog that are “processed foods.” But, when losing weight and you are NEW to changing your lifestyle, it is very hard at first to give up everything. I do believe in making the changes and not worrying too much about processed foods until you hit a point where your sugar cravings have disappeared and you are used to eating smaller portions of proteins six times a day, with two small servings of fruit and four small servings of veggies.
So, let’s assume you are used to your new eating plan. What are processed foods and how are they bad?
Processed food has a bad reputation as a diet saboteur. It’s blamed for our nation’s obesity epidemic, high blood pressure and the prevalence of type 2 diabetes. But processed food is more than boxed macaroni and cheese, potato chips and fast food. Whole-wheat bread, homemade soup or a chopped apple are also processed foods.
Different types of processed foods:
Minimally processed foods :
- bagged lettuce, spinach, etc, cut vegetables and roasted nuts — are often simply pre-prepped for convenience.
Moderately processed food, processed at their peak to lock in nutritional quality and freshness:
- canned beans, tomatoes, frozen fruit and vegetables, and canned tuna.
More than moderately processed foods with ingredients added for flavor and texture:
- sweeteners, spices, oils, colors and preservatives) include jarred pasta sauce, salad dressing, yogurt and cake mixes.
- Ready-to-eat foods, like crackers, granola, and deli meat, are more heavily processed.
The most heavily processed foods:
- frozen or pre-made meals like frozen pizza and microwave dinners.
Some processed foods are ok:
Processed food can be beneficial to your diet.
- Milk and juices are sometimes fortified with calcium and vitamin D, and breakfast cereal may have added fiber. Canned fruit (packed in water or its own juice) is a good option when fresh fruit is not available.
- Some minimally processed food like pre-cut vegetables are quality convenience foods for busy people. Bagged vegetables and salads are helping people eat more vegetables. They’re more expensive, but if your choice is between paying less and chopping it when you know you’re not going to do that, and paying a little more for the bagged vegetable you know you’re going to eat, the [bagged vegetable] is a better choice.
You need to read the ingredients list and review the nutrition facts panel.
Look for Hidden Sugar, Sodium and Fat
Eating processed food in moderation is fine, but consumers should be on the lookout for hidden sugar, sodium and fat.
Sugar isn’t just hidden in processed sweets. It’s added to bread,pasta sauces and cereal. The number of carbohydrates on the nutrition label also includes naturally occurring sugars which may be a significant amount in foods like yogurt and fruit. Instead, review a product’s ingredients list and look for added sugars among the first two or three ingredients such as sugar, maltose, brown sugar, corn syrup, cane sugar, honey and fruit juice concentrate.
Most canned vegetables, soups and sauces have added sodium. We need some sodium, but we often consume much more than the Dietary Guidelines for Americans’ recommended 2,300 mg a day (1,500 mg a day for those over 51 years of age, or African-Americans, diabetics and those with hypertension or chronic kidney disease). High sodium intake is linked to hypertension, or high blood pressure.
Three quarters of our sodium intake comes from processed foods. Only 20 or 25 percent of it comes from salting our food.
Canned vegetables, soups and beans can be packed with nutrients, so don’t cross them off your shopping list entirely. Instead, look for reduced or low sodium on labels. Also, always rinse canned beans and vegetables and reduce sodium content by about 40 percent.
Some fat in your diet is good for you. It isn’t the fat that is the problem in weight gain….it is SUGAR and CARBOHYDRATES. Your body needs fat. It doesn’t need sugar or carbs. But, your brain and body can get addicted to sugar and carbs.
SO HOW TO DEAL WITH GETTING AWAY FROM PROCESSED FOODS:
Tossing everything in your pantry out all at once is a good way to waste money, but gradually replacing processed foods with fresh alternatives helps curb cravings and hunger. Highly processed foods are low in nutrients, causing the body to seek more food to find the nutrients it needs, which leads to a vicious cycle of overeating.
- You don’t have to empty the pantry all at once, but slowly start making swaps like fresh fruit and yogurt for protein bars (which can contain as much sugar as a candy bar) or hummus and fresh veggies instead of nutritionally devoid pretzels.
- Eat fresh food. Fresh meat, salads, fruits and vegetables.
- Learn to Cook! It isn’t that hard. Find time. Your iPAD games or Playstation is not more important than your health. You can prepare foods and have leftovers for days. Some things take little time to cook.
- Learn about Genetically Modified Food and how it is ruining your body and keeping us overweight and sick. Start to read labels on whether the items you are purchasing are organic, grain fed or not.
Genetically modified food is a huge problem for people and has been, since it was introduced 30 years ago. Notice the obesity rate has increased since they started messing with how they grow or raise our food?! There are also more stomach and colon issues because our intestinal balances are completely being messed up. GMOis a whole other Oprah and perfect for another blog day. If you want to read more, Foodbabe.com and Fooducate.com!