Imagine you had the chance to peek into the kitchens of the world’s best nutritionists and dietitians—the people who know exactly what to eat for a fitter body, slimmer belly and a longer life. You probably wouldn’t be surprised by what you see: Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, some olive oil—nothing surprising there.
But what might surprise you is what you won’t see—the common, so-called “healthy” foods that probably populate your own pantry, but which those in the know have long banned from their own homes. We assembled a panel of Eat This, Not That! experts, and got a sneak peak into the eating habits of those who live and breathe nutrition daily.
And don’t stop with these! Set yourself up for success with our indispensable list of 13 Foods to Toss Out of Your Kitchen for Good!
“One of the leading health food impostors! One tiny cup of granola has nearly 600 calories, 30 grams of fat, and 24 grams of sugar. That’s the equivalent of starting your morning with two slices of cheesecake. If I want a crunch cereal, I’ll go for a lighter alternative like Cheerios or Special K. They pack the same satisfying crunch with a fraction of the calories, fat and sugar.”—Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., founder of The NY Nutrition Group
For more fat-torching secrets, read the Eat This, Not That! special report: 10 Daily Ways to Blast Belly Fat.
“This is as far removed from a natural egg as you can get. Heat pasteurized and made from factory-farmed eggs, this product is processed so much that makers actually have to add in synthetic vitamins to boost its nutrient density. Go for the real thing instead.”—Dana James CDN, a nutritionist from Food Coach NYC
“It’s called ketchup because, over time, it’s going to catch up to you. Just two measly tablespoons has up to 8 grams of sugar and 40 calories. And most of those calories come from high fructose corn syrup, which has been shown to increase appetite and, over time, lead to health problems such as obesity and diabetes. If you really can’t live without the stuff, use an all-natural version with no added sugar, chemicals or HFCS.”—Moskovitz
And here’s the thing: Ketchup’s not the most fattening food out there. Click here for our list of 5 Ingredients Worse Than High Fructose Corn Syrup.
“Talk about turning a good food bad. When you transform produce into juice, you take away its fiber—one of the major benefits of consuming whole fruits and vegetables. What you wind up with is a drink that’s so concentrated with sweetness, it can have as much sugar as a soda.”—Leah Kaufman, MS, RD, CDN a New York City-based Registered Dietitian
“Spam does the same thing to your arteries as it does to your inbox: clogs them up with fat. Plus it’s high in blood pressure-spiking sodium, which no one really needs to be eating more of. Unless you’re stocking up for a massive power outage, there’s no reason to have Spam in your house. There are better canned proteins to choose from!” —Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, President and Founder of Toby Amidor Nutrition
Find out which meats are the world’s best sources of complete protein in the 15 Biggest Nutrition Myths—Busted!
“Most cold cereals—even the ones that seem healthy—are carb-laden, sweet and highly processed. They are definitely not the breakfast of champions—at least not thin champions. Starting your day with lean protein, like eggs, is the best way to ensure that you’ll stay energized and full into early afternoon.”—Lauren Slayton, MS RD, founder of Foodtrainers
Flavored Coffee Creamer
“I avoid flavored coffee creamers because they are filled with fake ingredients that can do more harm than the flavor is worth: trans fats, artificial sweeteners, carrageenan and artificial coloring. Over time, your morning shot of non-dairy creamer can raise dangerous LDL cholesterol levels and increase the risk of blood clots and heart attack. Lighten your coffee with a half and half that only lists milk and cream as ingredients.”—Gina Consalvo, MA, RD, LDN, Pennsylvania-based owner of Eat Well with Gina
Speaking of chemicals, detox instantly by avoiding these 15 Scariest Food Additives. I’ll bet one is probably in your morning coffee.
“When you’re grilling outside, hot dogs may be the first thing that comes to mind, but they should not be the first thing to hit your plate. A lot of people think they’re not that bad for you because they have fewer calories than a burger. But many of those calories come from saturated fat, and they’re accompanied by more than a quarter of a day’s worth of sodium. Not to mention, research has shown a correlation between processed meats and colorectal cancer.”—Jim White, R.D., personal trainer and registered dietitian
“First they crunch, then they melt in your mouth. How can you not get addicted? And that’s just what happens when you open a bag. The salt and unnatural chemicals trick our minds into craving more, and because they are made up of so much air, the brain can’t tell that the stomach is filling up even though the calories are adding up.”—Libby Mills, MS, RDN, LDN, Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Instead, indulge guilt-free in one of Eat This, Not That!’s 50 Best Snack Foods For Weight Loss!
“Nutella is one of those foods that people believe to be healthy because it contains a nut. But check the ingredients: spreads like Nutella are primarily sugar and palm oil, with almost no actual nuts involved. With over 20 grams of added sugar and only two grams of protein, the spread just winds up at your waist.”—Kaufman
By David Zinczenko
You’ll find a complete list of foods to eat—and a simple and effective diet plan that can strip off up to 16 pounds in 14 days—in The Zero Belly Diet, available right in time for the New Year.
More from Eat This, Not That!
EASY NO-DIET WEIGHT LOSS! Find perfect health and a leaner, fitter body with 50+ delicious weight-loss recipes, 148 sinfully simple food swaps and more in Eat This, Not That! Magazine—on sale now at these retailers.