Remember the saying, We are what we eat? well, it so happens to be true. Want to look and feel your best? Then the contents of your plate matters a lot. Find out the one ingredient that various nutritionists say to always avoid:
If there's one type of food you should avoid at all costs, they are foods containing trans fats. Registered dietitian nutritionist and an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics spokesperson, Tamara Melton, says "I try to avoid any foods with trans fats, since they can increase the risk for heart disease or stroke. Although there are other foods I definitely wouldn't eat in excess, I try to enjoy all other foods/nutrients in moderation."
Trans fats are usually used to improve the taste in processed or fried foods, so they can be hiding in many things we eat and we wouldn't have the slightest clue. Checking labels aren't as helpful as one would expect as you could still be eating foods with trans fats without even knowing it. This is because food regulations in most countries such as the US allow companies to round down to zero grams if their food contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. Since these can add up to unhealthful levels in the body, it's better to look for words like shortening, partially hydrogenated oil, or hydrogenated oil. Some common foods that contain trans fats are salad dressings, frozen pies, and cake frosting. Be sure to limit your consumption of these processed foods or avoid them all together if you can.
It may not be possible to avoid processed foods altogether, but you must realise that it's not just trans fats you have to worry about. Foods made with any type of refined sweeteners can contain more than a day's worth of added sugar, which is harmful to your health for more reasons than one. "It ages the skin and causes joints to stiffen," says Simone Gloger, a registered dietitian and head nutritionist for the Dukan Diet.
How to effectively avoid processed foods:
"I always carry healthy snacks with me throughout the day to avoid getting in a scenario when I am hungry and have to resort to junk food or processed food items," says nutritionist Kathie Dolgin, author of Sugar Savvy Solution. "One food I avoid eating is movie theater popcorn: depending on the size and toppings, [it] can contain from 500 to 1,500 calories and can be a significant source of fat and sodium." Allison explains.
When it comes to trans fats, be sure to read labels and limit the fried foods you order at restaurants and fast-food chains.