Avoid These Foods And Lose Fat Faster
(What To Eat Instead, Too)
By Cassandra Forsythe-Pribanic, PhD, RD
We’re all looking for a better-looking and healthier body, but in today’s day and age, even the brightest minds are confused on what they should eat. We’re going to make it easy for you to identify foods that you should avoid, and ones that you should focus on. Use this list below when you’re out shopping to ensure you don’t pick items that will set you back in your fat-loss quest.
Weight Loss Offender: LOW PROTEIN, HIGH SIMPLE CARBOHYDRATE FOODS
Foods containing a large amount of carbohydrates from simple sugars like high fructose corn syrup and sucrose are shown to be less satisfying and more likely to increase your risk for diabetes and heart disease than those rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber.
These offending foods also are more likely to make you gain weight than lose it. Here are 7 foods that you should avoid, and healthier substitutions that will help you reach your hot body goal.
DON’T EAT: GRANOLA BARS
INSTEAD CHOOSE: NATURAL PROTEIN BARS
WHY: Granola bars are considered a healthy snack, but they’re really just a sugar-laddened hippie food containing fattening carbohydrate ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), glucose, sugar and barley malt. Scientists from the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana have linked over-consumption of foods containing HFCS and sugars to the rising obesity epidemic in our country.
THE REPLACMENT: Cut back on the sugar and increase the fat-fighting protein by choosing a low-sugar natural meal replacement bar containing at least 10 g of high-quality protein and no artificial ingredients.
DON’T EAT: CALIFORNIA ROLL
INSTEAD CHOOSE: SALMON ROLL OR SASHIMI
WHY: The only thing healthy about the popular California roll is the seaweed. Combine white rice with imitation crab and you’ve got a Japanese sugar cube.
THE REPLACEMENT: Cut the carbohydrate load in half by choosing a roll containing protein-rich and omega-3 fat-rich fish such as salmon. Better yet, skip the rice completely and order salmon sashimi which is just raw fish minus the white rice.
DON’T EAT: PASTA SALAD
INSTEAD CHOOSE: EGG SALAD
WHY: This common summer picnic food is simply a combination of white flour pasta, mayonnaise and spices. It lacks protein and elicits a high insulin response which will leave you yearning for more even though you’ve had your fill.
THE REPLACEMENT: Eggs aid in weight control and improve satiety when compared to similar high carbohydrate foods. Nutrition experts agree that eggs have little to no connection to increased heart disease risk, but are actually excellent sources of high-quality protein and contain antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin known to protect your vision.
BONUS TIP: For an egg-cellent egg salad recipe mix together 2 Tbsp Hellmann’s Olive Oil mayonnaise, 2 Tbsp Dijon Mustard, 8 cooked, chopped whole eggs, 2 chopped egg whites, 1 Tbsp chopped celery, 1 Tbsp chopped cucumber, 1 tsp dill weed, 1 tsp paprika, salt and pepper to taste. Serves four.
DON’T EAT: FAT-FREE SALAD DRESSINGS
INSTEAD: LOW-SUGAR SALAD DRESSINGS
WHY: Ruining a healthy tossed salad by covering it with a fat-free dressing (loaded with sugar as a replacement for the fat) will set you up for body composition disaster. Since the purpose of eating a salad is to increase your intake of phytonutrient-rich greens and fiber, you don’t want to cancel out the health benefits by also increasing your intake of simple sugars.
THE REPLACEMENT: Choose dressings that are low in added sugars and contain heart healthy monounsaturated oils such as olive oil or canola oil. Watch the label to ensure that the dressing is also free of trans fats which are known to increase your risk for disease.
BONUS TIP: Maple Grove Farms of Vermont sugar free balsamic vinegar dressing tastes amazing and contains 0g carbs and 0g fat per 2 tbsp serving.
DON’T EAT: ENGLISH MUFFINS
INSTEAD CHOOSE: ORGANIC SPROUTED 100% WHOLE GRAIN ENGLISH MUFFINS
WHY: White flour English muffins are not an ideal breakfast food, even though many people eat them. They’re low in dietary fiber and protein, and have no nutritional purpose other than to fill your stomach.
THE REPLACEMENT: Excellent tasting Sprouted Grain English muffins are made with no flour, and certified organic grains. They’re made by sprouting whole grains such as wheat, rye and oats, to create a nutrient-rich dough which is then baked into the final product. They contain twice as much protein (8g versus 4g) and twice as much fiber (6g vs. 3g), but only 4 more grams of carbs as the leading English muffin.
DON’T EAT: CRAISINS
INSTEAD CHOOSE: RAISINS OR OTHER DRIED FRUITS
WHY: Craisins are just sugar-coated dried cranberries and sunflower oil. Need we say more?
THE REPLACEMENT: If you’re craving the antioxidant boost of dried fruit, reach for regular raisins or lower-calorie dried fruits, such as apple slices. Just make sure that the fruit isn’t covered with honey or sugar.
THE SCIENCE: Raisins are a rich source of polyphenols which have been shown to have cardioprotective benefits by improving your plasma lipid profile and reducing inflammation. For example, the most noted role of grape polyphenols is in the French Paradox, where a diet high in saturated fat accompanied by regular consumption of red wine is associated with a low risk of coronary heart disease.
DON’T EAT: FRUIT COCKTAIL IN HEAVY SYRUP
INSTEAD: FRUIT COCKTAIL IN 100% JUICE
WHY: Fruit is an excellent resource of cancer-fighting antioxidants, and nutrition experts agree that fruit is an essential part of any healthy diet. However, any fruit canned in syrup adds sugar that you don’t need or want. A ½ cup serving of syrupy fruit cocktail contains 24g of carbohydrate and 23g of sugar.
THE REPLACEMENT: Although the replacement does not contain protein, it is a lot lower in sugar, and helps you meet your daily recommended fruit intake. Per ½ cup, it only has 15g of carbs and 14g of sugar.
Coming Soon: Even MORE Foods TO AVOID
Consumption of high-fructose corn syrup in beverages may play a role in the epidemic of obesity.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2004 Apr;79(4):537-43. Review.
Dietary cholesterol provided by eggs and plasma lipoproteins in healthy populations.
Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2006 Jan;9(1):8-12. Review.
Cardioprotective effects of dietary polyphenols. J Nutr. 2005 Oct;135(10):2291-4. Review.
Effects of dairy products naturally enriched with cis-9,trans-11 conjugated linoleic acid on the blood lipid profile in healthy middle-aged men.
Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Apr;83(4):744-53.