The Dirty Dozen – Foods to not eat
Agave Nectar – is a processed syrup made from the Agave plant. The heating process of creating this syrup strips it of any nutritional benefits. Agave is 15 calories per teaspoon and has 5 grams of carbs, compared to plain sugar at 16 calories and 4 grams of carbs. While the Glycemic Index of agave is low, it’s high in fructose, at 90% versus 50% for sugar. Fructose wreaks havoc on the liver; the result is the potential for fatty liver disease and increased belly fat
Low-Fat Yogurt – is not healthy like its cousin, plain Yogurt, which is made from whole milk and is known to help with weight loss. Eight-ounces of fruit-flavored Low-fat Yogurt is loaded with nearly 12 teaspoons of sugar! By the way, frozen Yogurt has as many calories as ice cream. Three and a half ounces of non-fat frozen Yogurt contains 24 grams of sugar, while ice cream contains 21 grams.
Canned Baked Beans – are made from beans which are good for you; however, the canned variety comes with added sugar. One cup is 238 calories, 27 grams of carbs and 24 grams (6 teaspoons) of added sugar. Canned beans also contain modified corn starch as a thickening agent and caramel coloring; both contain chemicals. A better alternative is to make baked beans. Use navy beans and control the amount of sugar if any that you add to the dish.
Fruit Drinks – most are made from concentrate, meaning that the Fruit and its accompanying sugar is concentrated in your drink. A more practical solution is to eat your Fruit whole and drink water. It may seem boring but what’s boorish is the unnecessary pounds.
Dried Fruit – are miniaturized versions of their fresh selves. So, if one fresh apricot is only 17 calories than four dried is 68! A fresh plum is 30 calories, meaning that two of the dried versions, also known as prunes, is 60 calories. The trick to eating dried fruit is to treat them as though you are eating the fresh type so that you don’t over-consume and load up on calories and sugar.
White Bread– the white flour used to make the Bread is a result of stripping the outermost and innermost layers of the grain. This process removes the beneficial fiber and some protein. The starch gets left though, meaning zero nutritional value. Skip the bread basket at restaurants or better still ask that there be no bread brought to your table.
White Rice – is milled rice that has had its husk, bran, and germ removed. This process also removes the fiber, minerals, and vitamins typically found in rice. White rice is artificially enriched with nutrients, and it has a high Glycemic Index ranking; 72 meaning that it is digested and absorbed faster, leading to a rapid rise in blood sugar. Black rice is a better alternative; however, it should be soaked for several hours to remove any traces of arsenic found in its husk.
Processed Cheese – is a manufactured food product and cannot be called Cheese. One slice is 70 calories, and 16% saturated fat. Several chemicals, flavors, and colors are added to make it resemble Cheese. Enough said!
Red Meat – is a good source of protein, vitamin B12, and iron. While leaner cuts of unprocessed Meat are beneficial, the processed variety such as hot dogs, bacon, and lunch meat are loaded with added salt, fat and preservatives. Red Meat has high levels of saturated fat, which contributes to heart disease. Additionally, raising cows for Meat has severe impacts on the earth. One cow annually produces 70 -120kg of methane, a greenhouse gas that is a significant contributor to global warming. Legumes (beans) and nuts are suitable alternatives to red meat. They provide adequate amounts of vitamins, nutrients, and protein, and growing beans is far less impactful than raising cows.
Coffee Creamer – is not cream, but a combination of soybean and canola oil with sugar and synthetic additives. No wonder you can leave it on your kitchen counter, and it needs no refrigeration. A suitable alternative is to use plant-based milk or get used to drinking plain unadulterated coffee.
Bottled Smoothies – are filled with sugar, calories, and practically zero vitamins. While most proclaim that there is “no sugar” added, the concentration of sugar from the fruit adds up to a lot of extra useless calories. It is better to eat whole fruit and vegetables and get their antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber naturally, or make your smoothie, which means you know precisely what you are consuming.
Coconut- Cracking open a coconut or indulging in coconut cake guarantees your heart an overload of saturated fat, calories, and lots of sugar. Patients with a history of heart disease are cautioned explicitly against coconut in any form.