Spring Cleaning Your Pantry

The battle to get and stay at a healthy weight isn’t won or lost on one field. Diet, exercise, emotional support, medical intervention and education may all be part of a successful weight-loss program. Emptying your pantry from a few common but unhealthy foods can help too. You may be surprised to learn which everyday foods can slow weight loss and cause more problems than they solve. Small Pantry Housewife, Containing Necessary To Cook

Processed meats like hot dogs and lunch meat aren’t always high in calories, but they are high in salt, fat and chemical preservatives that may put you at a higher risk for colon cancer. You don’t have to completely give up processed meats to be healthy, but look for uncured, low-salt versions with the highest possible fiber content instead.

Low-fat treats such as cookies or yogurt can sabotage your diet. Many low-fat foods are actually high in calories because sugar and other fillers are added for extra flavor. Eating low-fat foods can also tempt us to over-indulge, after all, it’s low-fat. Choose real foods with natural ingredients like unsweetened, high-protein yogurt and add fresh fruit or a teaspoon of honey to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Margarine is one of the biggest sources of trans fats consumed in the U.S. Though technically “cholesterol free,” margarine can elevate cholesterol levels and cause damage to blood vessel walls. Stick with monounsaturated fats like olive oil and nut oils instead.

Bye-bye bagels! Monitoring carbohydrates is an inescapable part of any weight-loss program, but some carbs are worse than others. Bagels have an unusually high glycemic index which can sabotage your diet and lead to a host of health problems such as inflammation and increased insulin. Opt for high-fiber, whole-grain bread or an English muffin instead.

Jarred spaghetti sauce is convenient and used in a variety of healthy dishes. It seems like a sauce made mostly from tomatoes should be low-calorie, but most pre-made sauces are loaded with sugar. Avoid any jarred sauce with meat or cheese already added—they’re usually high in fat and chemicals—and read labels carefully to find a brand without added sugar. If none are available, make your own easy sauce from canned crushed whole tomatoes and seasonings.

Spring cleaning your pantry and refrigerator is one more way to help you reach your health and weight-loss goals. Contact Olde Del Mar Surgical at 858-457-4917 to learn more!

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