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Dieting? Here are some things you should stop eating first.

We can all agree that restrictive diets don’t work. They are a total drag, which makes you less likely to stick with them, and they can be detrimental to health in the long run. For our sanity, it’s important to enjoy what we eat, and registered dieticians insist that most foods are fine in moderation. That said, there are some foods that provide minimal nutritional benefits that we should limit or avoid.

 

1

Sugary beverages

Beverages with added sugar are one of the easiest things we can cut from our diets. The American Heart Association recommends that women consume no more than six teaspoons (about 24 grams) of sugar a day, and men no more than 9 teaspoons. To give some perspective, one 20 ounce lemon-lime soda has a whopping 77 grams of sugar—more than triple the recommended daily amount.

 

2

Sweetened cereals

Here’s another place to slash added sugar. Sweet cereals and flavored instant oatmeal are packed with added sugars and typically made from refined grains, which contain minimal fiber. Instead, enjoy whole grain cereal (like one of these low-sugar cereals that don’t taste like twigs) or old-fashioned oats with fresh fruit.

 

 3

Processed meats

You may want to think twice about bringing home that bacon - or at least turn it over and look at the ingredients before putting it in your cart. According to a 2010 Harvard University study, processed meats including bacon, ham, and hot dogs have been shown to increase the risk of heart disease by 42 percent and the risk of diabetes by 19 percent.

 

4

Trans fat

Trans fat increases your overall cholesterol, lowers your "good cholesterol", and raises your "bad cholesterol". In short, according to research by McMaster University, trans fat has been linked to a greater risk of “early death and heart disease". Foods that contain trans fat include shortening, prepackaged biscuits, store-bought pie crusts and cookies, and packaged frozen meals.

 

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