Cross these items off your grocery store list—whether they’re rip-offs, fakes, drastically unhealthy, or just plain gross, here are the foods to keep out of your shopping cart.
1.Reduced-fat peanut butter
How many people see the “reduced-fat” version of something and assume that it’s going to be healthier? Unfortunately that’s not always the case, and it’s definitely not the case with peanut butter.
Take away some of the fat of peanut butter, and you’re left with a base that needs something more in order to get an acceptable taste and texture. In many cases, that means companies add things like extra sugar, corn syrup, molasses and a variety of starches. Extra sugar is never a good thing, especially when you consider what kind of fat is being replaced. Peanut butter is filled with monounsaturated fats, and that’s the kind your heart needs to keep it healthy.
2.Tomato-based pasta sauces
A jar of spaghetti sauce typically runs $2 to $6. The equivalent amount of canned tomatoes is often under $1. Our suggestion: Make your own sauces from canned crushed tomatoes or fresh tomatoes — particularly in the summer, when they are plentiful, tasty, and cheap. The easiest method is to put crushed tomatoes (canned or fresh) into a skillet, stir in some wine or wine vinegar, a little sugar, your favorite herbs, and whatever chopped vegetables you like in your sauce — peppers, onions, mushrooms, even carrots — and let simmer for an hour. Adjust the flavorings and serve. Even easier: Coat fresh tomatoes and the top of a cooking sheet with olive oil and roast the tomatoes for 20 to 30 minutes at 425˚F before making your stovetop sauce.
“Most bars contain overly-processed ingredients such as soy protein isolate and several types of sweeteners. Even bars touted as ‘low sugar’ usually contain sugar alcohols, which can lead to an upset stomach, or other non-caloric sweeteners that have been linked to weight gain. For quick, high-protein snacks on-the-go, I would rather see people choose whole foods such as a nut mix or jerky. Try making your own bars. That way, you’ll know exactly what’s going into it.”
Those processed fruit smoothies may look like they’re great for you, but just because they say superfood on the label doesn’t make it true. These juices are loaded with added sugar and artificial sweeteners, amounting to empty calories that won’t leave you feeling satisfied.
Part of what makes fruit so good for you is the fiber it contains, but fruit juices have all the fiber stripped, so you’re much better off going with a whole piece of fruit rather than any kind of fruit juice.
This one is among the top foods that an individual should never take. The big issue here is microwave bags that are coated with non-stick perfluorochemicals such as perfluorooctanoic acid, which is linked to cancer disease. Instead, you can pop your corn the old fashioned way, or replace it altogether with healthy snacks such as baby carrots and green grapes.
“Marketers of alkaline water claim it will neutralize your blood acidity levels and improve your metabolism. However, our bodies do an excellent job at maintaining a consistent blood pH on their own.” Save your money and stick to plain tap or mineral water. Buy a bigger bottle, so you don’t have to constantly fork out the cash.