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10 Worst Foods Lurking in Your Fridge

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Bethany Sanders: Need a makeover? The healthiest place to start is in your fridge, where foods high in calories, saturated fat and sodium are waiting to sabotage your diet.


Sure, you've sent the cookies and chips packing, and maybe you've even cut your wine consumption down to one glass per night (men get two, lucky bastards). But if you haven't made over your fridge yet, then your new, healthy lifestyle isn't complete. WebMD has a list of the 10 worst foods found in the fridge. And they are:

Mayo: Not too bad, except most of us slather it on. Measure out your servings until you're sure you can eyeball it.

Soda and other sweet drinks: Too much sugar -- and too many "empty" calories. Unsweetened tea (which contains antioxidants), nutrient-rich skim milk and plain water are much healthier choices.

Alcohol: A little is good -- stick to the one-glass rule -- but too much adds excess calories and can damage your liver.

Processed lunchmeat: Want a little turkey with all that sodium?! And don't forget the nitrates -- they're implicated in colon cancer risk. Try eating freshly roasted meats instead.

Hot dogs and sausages: The easy fix? Watch how hot dogs are made. Bingo! You'll quit them for life.

Whole-milk dairy products: Two glasses of whole milk a day can add up to nearly 2,000 calories a week. Stick with skim.

Fancy ice cream: If you aren't buying the low-fat version, you're gobbling up too much saturated fat.

Creamy salad dressing: Keep it to a strict two-tablespoon serving, or switch to a lighter style.

Stick butter or margarine: If it can keep its shape at room temperature, it doesn't belong in your body. Olive oil -- in small amounts -- is a great substitute.

Frozen french fries: Far too high in fat and sodium. Roast your own potatoes instead.

Does this list bum you out? Don't despair! You don't have to give up your favorite foods for good. The easiest and most permanent way to improve your diet is to replace unhealthy habits or foods with healthier versions -- not to deprive yourself. 

OK, so with the exception of milk, there's no true "healthy" version of the foods listed above. But choosing a low-fat or lighter style will go a long way toward reducing fat, sodium and calories. If you eat them in moderation along with a diet filled with fresh fruits, veggies, lean proteins and whole grains, you'll be well on your way to a healthier lifestyle.

next: A To-Do List for Parents of Kids With Special Needs
4 comments so far | Post a comment now
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mj June 24, 2010, 1:29 PM

Yes, these are all terrible! You forgot to add yogurt… despite many people being misled thinking that it is a health food, it’s actually often very high in sugar and as a general rule less dairy is better in people’s diets. I always encourage them to find alternate (veg) sources of calcium such as legumes, almonds, sesame seeds, and leafy greens!

cucumberFTW July 16, 2010, 2:39 AM

Yup, I’ve heard that yogurt is misleading as well, but I was told recently that Greek yogurt is different?

About the list of foods in this article - YUCK! I can’t remember the last time i’ve had soda. But sadly, I must admit to using butter every so often for my baking. And I cringe when I do :P

Ashley July 18, 2010, 2:42 PM

Not all yogurt is bad! Plain low-fat or fat free Greek yogurt is very good for you. So is regular plain low-fat/fat free. Cut up some fresh fruit (ie: strawberries, peaches, etc) and stir it in…yummy!

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