Nearly half of Americans are considered overweight. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this number is growing at an alarming rate. Americans consume too much fast food, junk food and sugary sweets.
Below is a list of the top 10 foods to avoid if trying to watch your weight and shed a few pounds. Healthy alternatives have been offered to provide hope for your future snacking habits. It’s time to take control of the food that is consumed and get on the road to health and happiness.
Doughnuts are made up of white flour, white sugar, shortening and deep-fried. There is nothing healthy about this snack. Too many people consume this loosely coined breakfast food each and every morning. The outcome results in high cholesterol, additional pounds to the waistline and poor health.
Whole-grain bagel with berries and nuts are a healthier alternative to doughnuts. Multi-grain bagels are just 125 calories each while some doughnuts can exceed 300 calories.
Chips have very little nutritional value, are filled with unnecessary carbohydrates and do damage to the waistline. Just an ounce of chips brings in over 150 calories depending on the type and flavor.
For a healthier alternative to chips try a handful of rice cakes or dry roasted almonds. Nuts eliminate the crunch craving while supplying some nutrition to the body.
3. Squeeze Cheese
There is nothing healthy about the cheese in a can. Just two tablespoons of the artery clogging processed cheese boasts nearly 300 calories and over 20 grams of fat. Avoid squeezing the cheese on crackers, toast or veggies.
A better option is eating the real thing and avoiding the processed stuff. Soft cheeses such as brie, light cream cheese or goat cheese are much better choices. Just an ounce of goat cheese is less than 80 calories.
4. Deep Fat Fried Chicken
Buckets of fried chicken from Kentucky Fried Chicken are anything but healthy when it comes to the heart. Fried chicken is loaded with trans fat and due to the nature of preparation provides very little nutritional value to the body.
The sodium content is extremely high and in some servings from fast food joints present over 1,000 milligrams of sodium in just one piece. The FDA recommends only 2,000 milligrams of sodium per day.
A healthier option to deep fried chicken is grilled chicken. A chicken breast prepared in light marinade and thrown on the grill is very tasty and provides a fraction of the sodium, fat and calories.
5. French Fries
An order of French fries from a fast food joint is another food to avoid when trying to lose weight or get healthy. There are nearly 600 calories in a mid-sized order of fries, not to mention the sodium content. Homemade fries are a much healthier option. Slice a cookie sheet quantity of potato wedges, sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil and sea salt and this healthy snack will eliminate the French fry craving.
6. White Bread
White bread does damage on the blood sugar by causing it to rapidly rise and then crash. One slice of white bread can reach 100 calories per slice and provides no nutritional value. A healthier alternative is a slice of whole grain bread filled with fiber, protein and vitamins. Low-carb alternative breads are under 45 calories per slice.
Imagine piling a plate full of salty chips smothered in cheese, red meat, beans, sour cream and anything else that can be found in the refrigerator. The outcome of this unhealthy assembling is the infamous plate of nachos. The dish is high in fat, low in nutrients, high in sodium and just all-around bad for your heart. A healthier option is a nice salad with a sprinkling of low-fat cheese and your favorite low-cal dressing.
8. Candy Bars
While some candy bars claim to be low in fat and provide a quick and healthy alternative to snacking, they are high in sugar and provide an insulin spike and crash when consumed.
Healthier options include high protein, low fat bars that are rich in fiber and low in processed flavor. Protein bars can give you the boost of energy needed if eaten in the afternoon.
9. Fettuccine Alfredo
This American favorite should be avoided at all costs. It is one of the fattiest items on the menu offering up nearly 600 calories a small serving. In just three ounces of Fettuccine Alfredo there are 20 grams of saturated fat and nearly 35 total grams of fat.
A healthier option to the American favorite is making the dish at home with whole-grain noodles and marinara sauce. Calories and fat content can be slashed in half if not more.
The buttery taste of croissants is the only thing good about these otherwise unhealthy pastries. Croissants are full of fat from the amount of butter in the bread.
A healthier option to croissants is a warm whole grain roll or a slice of whole wheat bread. A slice of whole-grain bread contains a third of the calories found in croissants.
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