The Worst Foods You Should Never Have In Your Home
It's not always easy to decide which foods are the best options out there, worthy to be placed into your grocery cart and brought into your home. There are plenty of foods lining those grocery store shelves, after all. And during a time like right now when many people are still focused on staying as healthy as they can, everyone wants to make the smartest choices. Some foods, though, will never get the green light and should be kept far away from your fridge, pantry cabinets, and every place in your home you store your beloved meals and snacks.
To best help you out, we rounded up some of the biggest grocery store offenders. You know, the foods that really shouldn't be in your home so you avoid the risk of overeating foods that aren't really doing you any favors. You don't need any of these nutrient-lacking, diet disasters laying around! Uncover which foods get a major skip, and then make sure you're stocked up on any of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.
We know, we're starting out rather intensely here. When you look at the nutrition breakdown of a standard bag of potato chips, you're going to see that they are high in calories, fat, and sodium. And that's about it.
When you eat foods that are lacking in any real nutrition value, you're going to end up eating more, as you'll get hungry quicker. Plus, potato chips are one of the foods that are linked to weight gain. One Harvard study found that participants who had potato chips as a part of their diet gained weight each year they were assessed as compared to those who did not. Yikes.
Your best bet? If you're really in the mood for some chips, go for a small, snack-size bag to get your fix instead of keeping the larger bags in your home.
Yogurt has tons of health benefits—it's packing in protein (especially Greek yogurt), is a solid probiotic food, and can actually help you lose weight. Unfortunately, not every yogurt option you'll find in the supermarket is the same. There are plenty of flavored yogurts that are just sugar bombs. From Dannon's Fruit on the Bottom variety that is packing 21 grams of sugar to Yoplait's Whips Sea Salt Caramel flavor, which has 24 grams of the sweet stuff, these seemingly healthy snacks are just as bad as a candy bar.
The American Heart Association recommends men should consume no more than 36 grams of added sugar per day, and women shouldn't have more than 25 grams. These yogurts will get you to that limit rather quickly, and overconsumption of added sugar can not only lead to belly fat, but a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that those who get 25% or more of their calories from added sugar are more than twice as likely to die from heart disease. Not so sweet!
Just be sure you're choosing a yogurt that is low in added sugar and you can always add fresh fruit, extracts, honey, etc. to add some natural sweetness.
Sometimes, you just want to make a quick meal, and pizza really is forever one of the most beloved comfort foods. However, if you have the time to whip up a little pizza yourself, that is a much better option than popping a frozen pizza in the oven. (It's easy to do if you buy frozen dough or pizza crust and add sauce, veggies, and are selective about how much cheese you use!)
One look at the nutrition labels of the many options lining the freezer aisles in grocery stores, and you'll see the shocking amount of sodium these pies contain. Even the smaller, personal pie varieties like Stouffer's Three Meat French Bread Pizza are bad news, as one of these is clocking in at 1,070 milligrams of sodium. The American Heart Association recommends the average person have no more than 2,300 milligrams a day of sodium, so it's easy to see how a small frozen pizza can do some damage if you're eating them often!
You do want to be smart when you're shopping, and you can enjoy a frozen pizza if you're choosing a veggie-based option, as those pizzas will be lower in fat, according to one of our medical board experts, Leslie Bonci, MPH, RDN, CSSD, LDN.
A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a quick, easy-to-make meal that really works perfectly for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It's one childhood favorite no one ever grows out of enjoying! It all comes down to the spreads you choose, though, as peanut butter can be a healthy diet staple. The spreads in which peanut butter and jelly are already mixed together, while convenient, are trouble.
Take a look at a jar of Smuckers Goober Grape PB & J Stripes. One serving is coming in at 220 calories and 21 grams of sugar. When you see High Fructose Corn Syrup listed as the third ingredient, this shouldn't really come as much of a surprise! It's as if you simply took a pack of Kit Kat bars and put it on a piece of toast—you could actually save yourself 10 calories with the Kit Kats…
Instead, you can just add spruce up your favorite peanut butter with some honey and your own jam or fruit of choice to get that savory and sweet combination!
White bread is another type of food that you're going to want to keep a close eye on if you have it in your home. It's a food that is far too easy to eat too much of, and this can have negative consequences. See, white bread is a food that has a very high glycemic index (GI), and this can cause a spike in your blood sugar levels. The longer blood sugar levels remain high, the worse for your health this can be.
Your best bet is to just be mindful of your portions. Bonci recommends making a sandwich that is half and half—one slice of white bread and one slice of whole-grain bread. An open-face-style sandwich is another easy route to take when you're making a sandwich, as it only requires one slice of bread.
It's a serving of fruit you can drink—what can go wrong? Well, a whole lot. Most premade bottled smoothies are just seemingly healthy drinks. They're often high in calories, carbs, and sugar, and are stripped of fiber, something you would get if you ate the fruit. Naked brand's Orange Mango Fruit Smoothie is a prime example, as one bottle is 230 calories, contains 59 grams of carbohydrates, 51 grams of sugar, and—you guessed it—zero grams of fiber.
Creamy Canned Soup
Canned soups last forever, which is why they are often pantry staples. They are often loaded up with tons of sodium, which is what you need to watch out for.
This is especially true when it comes to the creamy soup options, such as Campbell's Chunky Creamy Chicken Noodle. One can is loaded up with 1,720 milligrams of the salty stuff, which is more than you would get if you ate 151 Lay's Classic Potato Chips. Eating a diet that is filled with high sodium foods has been linked to high blood pressure, so if you're focused on eating a low-sodium diet and are trying to keep your ticker in tip-top shape, you're going to want to cut back on the salt. To get your soup fix the right way, stock up on these 14 Best Low-Sodium Canned Soups, Approved by Dietitians. Plus, it's never a bad idea to add more veggies to a can of soup, Bonci suggests.
We've said it before countless times, and we'll keep saying it—soda is not something you want to drink. Weight gain, affecting your memory, damaging your skin, and increasing both your risk of developing type 2 diabetes and your chances of dying from heart disease, there is nothing redeeming about drinking soda. These sugar and chemical-filled beverages should never find a way into your home, as any of these popular sodas we ranked by how toxic they are can prove.
A great alternative for when plain water gets boring is to go for flavored seltzer or sparkling waters, as those will satisfy your fizzy drink craving without the calories and added sugar soda brings.