A 2,000-calorie-a-day diet should have no more than 66 grams of fat, less than 20 grams saturated; 2,400 milligrams of sodium; and 300 grams of total carbohydrate, including sugars.
If you are sedentary or suffer with diabetes you have less room to work with…
Here Are a Few Foods to Avoid: Diet Crushers
1. Soda and Sweetened Beverage
Some of the worst foods you can consume are soda and sweetened drinks because these contribute refined carbohydrate calories without nutrients. David Leopold, MD, director of integrative medical education for the Scripps Center for Integrative Medicine, puts any type of soda at the top of his “worst” list. I was surprised that sweetened teas and energy drinks actually rival the sugar in soda.
2. High Sugar, Low Fiber Breakfast Cereals
Cold cereals are among the top sources of added sugar for children between the ages of 2 and 8. A cereal that lists a refined grain and sugar as the first two ingredients won’t satisfy your hunger through the morning and it won’t contribute important nutrients.
3. Snack Cakes and Cupcakes
Sadly snack cakes have three of the four ingredients we need to eat less of: refined flour, added sugars, and saturated fat. The typical snack cake serving, ( two Hostess Ho Hos), contains 228 calories, 9 grams of saturated fat, and 28 grams of sugar. Keep in mind that 9 grams of saturated fat is half the maximum daily amount of saturated fat recommended for someone eating 2,000 calories a day, according to the 2010 Dietary Guidelines.
4. Movie Theater or Mega Butter Microwave Popcorn
“Extra Butter” or “Movie Theater” microwave popcorn choices are some of the last products that still have stunning amounts of trans-fat in them with a small serving containing about 2.5 grams of saturated fat and 5 grams of trans-fat. Each serving also adds at least 300 milligrams of sodium to your day’s total.
5. Chips and Cheetos
This popular snack group category made the list because they are processed with gobs of fat and sodium and usually include a refined grain. A 2-ounce bag of chips or Cheetos usually adds more than 300 calories, 20 grams of fat, and over 450 milligrams of sodium. The worst part is we tend to eat 2 to 3, 2-ounce servings.
6. Packaged Muffins and Cereal Bars
You expect Pop Tarts to be full of sugar (about 16 grams of sugar each) the more healthful sounding cereal bars, or packaged muffins contain about the same amount of sugar (sometimes more) than your typical toaster pastry. Otis Spunkmeyer brand muffins contribute about 30 grams of sugar per 4-ounce muffin, Weight Watchers muffins add about 20 grams of sugar per 2.2-ounce muffin, and a small Nutri-Grain cereal bar has 13 grams of sugar.
7. Crackers (made with refined flour)
They are so easy to eat a lot of because they are bite-size and crunchy. A few years ago crackers were -held together with partially hydrogenated fat (which added trans-fat) and now the trans-fats are mostly gone, but most crackers are still low in fiber and very high in sodium…Read the nutrition label.
8. Yeast Breads (made with refined flour)
Yeast breads, from hot dog buns to Texas toast, white bread, made the “worst” list for two reasons: They are one of the biggest sources of refined flour in the typical American diet and they are also the No. 1 source of sodium among the U.S. population.
9. Store-Bought Cookies (especially chocolate coated varieties)
Grain desserts, which include cookies, are a major source of added sugars; more so than dairy desserts or candy, according to the latest reports. Some commercial cookies are higher in fat, saturated fat and sugar than others, but they all usually start with refined flour. The chocolate coated cookies tend to have the most saturated fat (about 5 grams per 3 cookie serving).
10. Canned Soup and Instant Noodle Cups
Some choices in the soup aisle have half a day’s worth of sodium in a serving. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend half the U.S. population, including people aged 51 and older, and those of any age who are African-American, or those who have hypertension, diabetes, or chronic kidney disease, reduce their sodium to below 1,500 milligrams a day. Food labels can be very helpful in providing information.
11. Processed Meat
According to WebMD, the American Institute for Cancer Research says meats preserved by smoking, curing, or salting, or that contain chemical preservatives, are linked to an increased risk of colon cancer. These products also tend to have lots of salt, fat, and cholesterol, and very few nutrients, like fiber.
12. Frozen Meals
They may look tiny, but frozen dinners can be loaded with calories. I found one popular national brand of chicken pot pie with 64 grams of fat and 1,020 calories per serving. There are diet versions of these frozen foods that may be lower in fat, but they are heavily processed and are often very high in sodium. Food labels are again, very helpful in sorting through claims on the package.
Maybe America should run from Dunkin’, and any other outlet selling these nutrition bombs. Store-bought doughnuts contain the unholy trinity of unhealthy ingredients: trans-fat, sugar, and refined flour. Many contain a whopping 10 to 20 grams of fat each, and between 250 to 300 empty calories.
14. Potato Chips
These fat-filled “bad carbs” are no good for your waistline; what many may not know is potato chips (along with French fries) contain acrylamide, a known carcinogen that is formed when foods are baked or fried at high temperatures.
15. Low-Fat Foods
Don’t be fooled by the “Low-Fat” label. Makers of low-fat foods often substitute sugar, salt, and unhealthy fillers to add flavor and texture to otherwise bland processed products. Dr. Mehmet Oz advises you to always choose real foods over processed, low-fat options.
Though it’s billed as a cholesterol-free, healthy alternative to butter, margarine is the ultimate source of trans-fats, which actually elevate cholesterol and damage blood vessel. Skip the fake stuff and go with olive oil or other monounsaturated fats.
During 2016 as I renew my effort to get healthy I am working hard on changing my diet as part of my plan…Good luck to you and much success.