You can become healthier this year and keep ailments at bay if you cut out these foods from your diet, according to leading nutritionists.
The foods include the following:
People should try to cut down on sugar consumption. Sugar adds excess calories to your diet and also results in diabetes. Some harmful effects of fluctuating blood sugar are lack of sex drive, irritability, palpitations, anxiety, dizziness, insomnia, muscle cramps and headaches.
"...the next step is to stop adding sugar to your hot drinks and other foods. Some people will sprinkle sugar on to their cereal in the morning when there is already a lot of sugar added to it. And read the labels to see that 'healthy' fruit yogurt actually contains eight teaspoons of added sugar," stated Dr Marilyn Glenville, an author and nutritionist specialising in women's health, harperbazaar.com reported.
According to American Heart Association (AHA), the sugar intake for men is 150 calories per day (37.5 grams or 9 teaspoons) and for women, it should be 100 calories per day (25 grams or 6 teaspoons).
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Another nutritionist and health writer, Cassandra Barns, believes that people should give up vegetable oils. Though these are comparatively healthier than saturated fats, they too have a negative impact on the long term.
"Instead of using vegetable oils for cooking, I advise using coconut oil. Coconut oil is mainly made up of saturated fats, which don't turn into harmful fats when heated. You can buy coconut oils that have been gently 'de-odorised' to remove the coconut smell and taste, and these are ideal for cooking," Barns said.
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Alternatively, use cooking methods that don't involve oil, such as steaming or baking. Olive oil is also a healthy oil and isn't included in those to avoid – but ideally, use it unheated in dressings, or use it for cooking at lower temperatures. Also: keep down your intake of processed foods too, as they often contain vegetable oils as a primary ingredient," Barns added.
Salt is a crucial part of our diet, it aids in stabilising irregular heartbeat and also helps in regulating blood pressure but excess intake of it can cause high blood pressure. Most of the food products we consume already have some quantity of salt added to it, hence we should be more careful which consuming salt.
According to a London nutritionist Lily Soutter, people in the UK consume salt in excess amounts.
"The maximum recommended intake of salt per day is 6 gram, yet on average we're consuming 8 gram per day. Eating too much salt can raise blood pressure, which can increase the risk of developing heart disease and stroke. Most of our salt is hidden in foods; therefore, it can be difficult to quantify how much we're consuming each day. It has been estimated that as much as 75% of our salt intake comes from everyday foods such as bread, breakfast cereal and ready meals," Dr Soutter said, harperbazaar.com reported.
According to nutritionists, processed meat is classified as cancer-causing. It also has the ability to trigger antibiotic resistance in your body which makes you more prone to microbes. Processed meat is also linked to hormone problems, diabetes, heart diseases and inflammation. Hence it is advised to avoid it.
"The World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting red meant but advises to avoid processed meat completely – so the new year is a perfect time to start afresh and switching to a more healthful source of meat," according to Rhian Stephenson, nutritionist, naturopath and CEO of Psycle London, as quoted by harpersbazaar.com.
Also, we should avoid following a crash diet as it is unsustainable in the long run. It results in slowing down our metabolism because of the extreme calorie restriction.
"Instead try and focus on some healthy foods you enjoy to include in your diet. Talk positively about yourself more often and don't punish yourself about food or exercise. Ever. That's not what being healthy is about," said Charlotte Stirling-Reed, nutrition consultant.