5 Foods To Watch This Year

In my last post, I discussed 10 Healing Foods for 2011. Just as there are foods you should incorporate in your diet, there are foods that should be eaten in moderation. I am going to share my top 5 foods to watch this year. This list may not surprise you, but its important to keep our eye on certain foods that contribute to health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and cancer.

5 Foods to Watch in 2011

  • Saturated Fat/Oils—Saturated fats come from animal products such as red meat and dairy products (cheese, milk, butter). It can also be found in some plant-based sources like coconut oil and palm oil. Diets high in saturated fats contribute to high cholesterol levels and increased risk for heart disease and stroke.
  • Processed Meats—New research shows that even small amounts of processed meats (sausage, bacon, packaged deli meats, etc), eaten daily can increase risk for heart disease and type 2 diabetes. These contain high levels of phosphates and may accelerate aging.
  • Refined Sugar—It may seem easy to “avoid” table sugar, but do be mindful that refined sugar can be hidden in many everyday food items (cereals, baked goods, processed foods & snacks). When reading food labels & ingredients check for some of these hidden names for sugar: corn syrup, dextrose, fruit juice concentrate, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, maltodextrin, maltose, sucrose.  The best way to avoid refined and processed foods is to eat more whole foods such as fruits and vegetables.
  • Sodium/salt—Sodium intake is one of the key factors in development of high blood pressure (hypertension) for some individuals. Monitor and reduce your consumption of salt and salty condiments. Examples of condiments that are high in sodium include: mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salad dressings, baking soda, monosodium glutamate (msg), soy sauce, steak sauce, barbeque sauce, catsup. Try using herbs and natural spices for seasoning instead of salt.
  • Processed and refined grains—Products that are refined are actually stripped of the nutrients, particularly the fiber and bran that are naturally good for you. Replace white rice with brown rice and reach for whole grains and whole grain flour instead of refined flour. Your digestive system will thank you.