One of the characteristics of a healthy diet is variety, including different types of food and from various food groups. However, there are foods that only contribute a lot calories and harmful nutrients, so if you want to lose weight and take care of your well-being, they are best avoided.
White sugar, or table (refined) sugar and brown sugar, or whole (unrefined) sugar, only provide carbohydrates and calories. While unrefined sugar has more minerals, making its nutritional quality slightly better than that of white sugar, it still has a lot of calories and carbohydrates, so it’s best to just avoid them both. You can replace sugar with stevia, a natural non-caloric sweetener that is marketed as a powder or liquid and is suitable for cooking.
Alcohol contains 7 kilocalories per gram, while carbohydrates and fats, which are energy nutrients, contain 4 kilocalories per gram and 9 kilocalories per gram, respectively. Therefore, alcohol is one of the most caloric substances you can consume and is an enemy of your weight loss goals.
Additionally, since your body can’t store alcohol, it has to use up the calories from alcohol as fuel for physical activity, while the nutrients and calories from food are stored as fat. Even though it’s a popular misconception that alcohol prevents our bodies from absorbing fat, the truth is that it causes us to store most of the food consumed as fat.
Sugary drinks include artificial juices, packaged “natural” juices, fruit juices extracted with a juicer, and soda with sugar. Whether artificial or natural, sugary drinks are very concentrated in simple sugars and have no fiber, which causes the sugars to quickly pass into the blood stream and abruptly elevate blood glucose.
As a result of this, a lot of insulin is released that stimulates the synthesis of fat from the glucose that suddenly hits the blood. Then, because glucose is used to produce fat, blood numbers decrease, and cells interpret this as a sign that food is needed, causing you to feel hungry.
Sugary drinks do not produce satiety and stimulate hunger, so it is best to drink juices and soda without sugar when you want to drink something other than water.
Chips, in all of the increasing varieties, contain an excessive amounts of sodium, chemical additives and trans fats. Sodium causes fluid retention, and trans fats and additives cause our bodies to not be satiated and to uncontrollably eat them, which of course causes weight gain.
Fried foods are immersed in cooking oil or fat, so they absorb a lot of fat, greatly increasing their caloric content. In addition, even if fried in seed oils instead of animal fats, the high temperatures required for frying break down and alter the quality of the fatty acids, generating compounds that damage health.
White bread is made with refined wheat flour, which has lost its germ and bran (source of fiber). It is poor in nutritional quality and has many calories. You should not eliminate all types of breads from your diet, it’s only necessary to replace white breads with whole grains that have bran and seeds, which are satiating, have more vitamins and minerals, and are slowly digested, which prevents abrupt raises of blood sugar (and insulin).
Pizzas, hamburgers, chicken fingers, and fish sticks…. these and many more of the frozen foods that are so practical when we simply don’t have time to cook. But, if you are looking to lose weight, you have to avoid them and opt for fresh foods. Frozen products, even meat products, have a lot of sodium because they are used as preservatives and they contain more fats and carbohydrates. This type of food favors fluid retention and weight gain.