UPDATED: Mar 26, 2020
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We told you about some healthy changes you could make when you find yourself ordering in a restaurant. We even gave you some alternative eating choices to make if you end up at a fast food establishment. But did you know how much unhealthy food is sitting in your very own refrigerator? These foods add extra calories, fat, and sodium while only supplying a minimal amount of nutrients. Below are some unhealthy foods to avoid at home.
Whole Milk Products
Whole milk products contain protein, calcium, B-12 and riboflavin. The problem is, they also contain plenty of fat and cholesterol. If you drink 16 ounces of whole milk a day, it adds up to 1,904 calories, 105 grams of total fat, 59.5 grams of saturated fat, and 315 milligrams of cholesterol in a week’s time. The good news is that lower-fat options are available for most dairy products, including milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese and cream cheese.
You are using more stick margarine or butter than you think. This is because its firm texture makes it difficult to spread lightly on food. The problem is each tablespoon will give you 100 calories and 11 grams of fat. Try switching to canola or olive oil in your cooking and baking whenever possible as these fats are rich in mono and polyunsaturated fat. If you need a spreadable fat on the table, try a tub of reduced fat margarine with no trans fat and low amounts of saturated fat. If only butter will do, use whipped butter instead as it’s easier to spread lightly and cuts the calories, fat and saturated fat by a third.
Though processed meats make it quick and easy to create a tasty sandwich, they are often loaded with sodium, fat, and some even contain nitrites and other preservatives. To avoid this, look for minimally processed meats without preservatives at your deli or supermarket. Better yet, consider roasting meat and slicing it up for use throughout the week.
The calories and fat in your favorite condiments can really add up. Mayonnaise contains 360 calories and 40 grams of fat in just a quarter cup. Like mayo, creamy textured dressings are also high in fat and calories. But, unlike mayo which is typically spread on thin, dressings are usually poured over salads and other foods at about twice the necessary amount. Try replacing your fattier creamy condiments with lower calorie alternatives like ketchup or mustard and adding only a minimal amount of dressing to your salad or replacing the creamy dressing with a vinaigrette.
Sugary drinks are everywhere. Why is this a problem? These drinks are loaded with calories but contain little to no nutrients. And recent research suggests that we don’t tend to compensate by eating less when we drink sweet drinks. Plain water should make up most of what we drink each day. There are also several beverage options without calories, like green and black teas, that not only hydrate but contribute healthy antioxidants.
Replace the above foods in your kitchen with their healthier alternatives. Combine a balanced diet with enough sleep and exercise, and you should be well on your way to a healthier, happier you. Eating well means a longer life and a less expensive term life insurance policy. Make the necessary changes to your diet today.