Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Foods That Can Kill Your Diet

Passing along another article from Health eLiving newsletter I am sent daily...

Foods That Can Kill Your Diet

Friday, August 14, 2009 -
By Shawn McKee
Staff Writer

I like to eat -- and I don't always eat healthy. So when I was given the assignment to write an article about the most dangerous foods you can consume, I was hesitant. I did not want to ruin some of my favorite foods by realizing how absolutely terrible they are for me. I plowed forward anyway, for the sake of mankind.
What I found out, in reality, was not particularly shocking. It's pretty easy to discern if a food is nutritious or not. However, seeing the facts, figures and actually realizing how bad certain favorites were was an eye-opener.

The scenario is similar to learning the Easter Bunny doesn't exist: Sure, I had my doubts, but I was willing to play along because it was fun. Ignorance is bliss, so if you want to continue eating doughnuts, chicken nuggets and French fries, stop reading now.

The squeamish have fled for the candy machine, so it's time expose the foods that ruin your diet, hurt your health and wreck your waistline. There's no turning back now.

D'oh -- Nuts! Start from the top and take a look at the most important meal of the day -- breakfast. If you've been starting your day the doughnut way, you're basically handicapping your nutrition for the rest of the day.

A Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut weighs in at 200 calories with half of those calories coming from fat while being rich in the most dangerous trans and saturated fats. Additionally, donuts carry nearly no nutritional value and are almost exclusively white flour and sugar.

A breakfast at your local doughnut shop will not only add unwanted calories, but it will throw off your blood sugar and won't stay with you so you'll be hungry again soon.

If you're supplementing your sugary breakfast bun with your favorite specialty coffee, like a 20-ounce Starbucks Venti Caffè Mocha with whipped cream, then you're getting an additional 490 calories and 16 grams of bad fat. Rethink your breakfast, because these fatty franchises are serving more calories by 9 a.m. than most places serve all day.

No soup for you! That college staple, the food that sustained your existence for the 4 to 7 years you spent getting your degree in communications, ramen noodles, should be banished from your diet now that you can afford to buy real food.

It's just noodles and broth, right? You should've paid more attention in health class. If you eat a full pack of ramen (and who doesn't?), you're looking at 14 grams of fat (7 of which are saturated), two-thirds of your daily recommended sodium intake and very little nutritional value. Ramen is cheap, but your body pays the price in the long run.

Drive-Thru Disasters
Fast Food? More like fat food! Chicken nuggets are a good choice if you have to eat fast food, right? Anything breaded and deep-fried is going to be loaded with fat, so nuggets are not the solid gold choice you might think.

Here are the facts on the 6-piece nuggets at Micky-D's: 250 calories (more than half from fat), 15 grams of fat and one-third of your daily sodium. But let's be honest, you're going to eat more than a sixer of nuggets for lunch, so how's it going to add up?

Fry Guy -- Unfortunately, the most popular "vegetable" side in the US is the French fry -- and it's hardly a vegetable at all after its trip to the fry-alator. When your fries come out of their dip in the grease Jacuzzi, they're weighing in at 380 calories (for a medium) and 19 grams of fat. The only things you're super-sizing are your waistline and risk of heart disease.

Hot Diggity Dang! Standard hot dogs are high in fat (13 or more grams per serving), loaded with sodium, and don't provide much protein or nutrients for the calories. Plus, the starchy, white flour bun and condiments.

Adding a cheese and chili coronary clog is optional. And have you ever seen how a hot dog is made? Well, it would switch you to peanuts at the ballpark before you could yell, "Hey batter!"

These foods will crash your diet, but healthy living is all about the small things, so as an added bonus, let's look at my favorite condiment and the drinks that destroy all the hard work in the gym.

Mayo-noways --Mayonnaise is good on your turkey sandwich, but just one tablespoon of mayo has 12 grams of fat and 110 calories, so your healthy sandwich just flew out the window. Try mustard.

Drinking Yourself to Death
The soda with your value meal may not seem that dangerous, but consider this: Soda can contribute to obesity and tooth decay with one can containing about 150 calories and about 10 teaspoons of sugar.

According to one study, drinking one can per day without changing anything else in your diet, and you could gain 15 pounds by year's end. The average fast food soda is much larger than a can of soda. Switch to water. Your waist, heart and teeth will thank you.

"Most Americans dig their graves with their teeth," says Dr. Jay Kenny, nutrition research specialist at the Pritikin Longevity Center in Florida. "You have to eat badly for decades before it starts to show its damage."

It's not too late to change the way you eat, feel and live. Just avoid these dangerous foods.

Shawn McKee is a writer who is happy to never eat ramen noodles again, but will miss his morning doughnut. Goodbye, old friend.
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