How Your Healthy Foods Are Working Against You

| Diet & Nutrition

weightloss

Despite your good intentions and confidence in food selection, the weight keeps hanging around. Diet is extremely important when it comes to your weight and overall health. It's time to take a closer look at what you're doing and apply small tweaks to help your body make the turn.

Identify your body's enemies. Sugar and artificial sweeteners, high sodium, trans fat, MSG and BHA, potassium bromate and food coloring all add to the list of enemies. They seem delicious and harmless on the outside, but once they make their way into your body, they can wreak havoc. It's nearly impossible to avoid all of these, so make sure to limit them. Read the label, not the fancy package image on the front. Understand that even if it's "reduced fat" there's likely increased sodium or sugar to help the taste. Click here to see which "health" foods are harboring more sugar!

Sugar can lead to development of fat cells, therefore obesity and things like diabetes, even cancer. High sodium can put a burden on your circulatory system. All you need is about 200 milligrams per day, but most Americans are getting more than 3,000 a day! Trans fats are really difficult for the body to break down and add to your cholesterol level. MSG and BHA are food additives that act as preservatives, and both of them are recognized as "human carcinogens." Potassium bromate makes bread fluffier and you more likely to have cancer. In fact, it's banned in several countries. Food coloring makes food look more appetizing, especially the case for bottled smoothies and juices. It can cause hypersensitivity and other adverse reactions.

Solution: Read the labels and establish brand favorites to make grocery trips more efficient.

Get the best version. You know that fish is an excellent source of protein and omegas, but you buy it shipping and frozen instead of local and fresh. You pack a bag of almonds to take to work, but they're roasted and salted, not raw. You reach for the Greek yogurt, but the brand you selected has 12 grams of sugar versus its competition, which has zero grams. You eat your veggies, but they come from a can packed with sodium instead of a bag with fresh or frozen produce. As far as produce goes, enlist one of these companies to do the shopping for you!

>> Read more: Wild Salmon vs Farm Raised

Solution: Try fresh or frozen whenever you can; shop and eat locally, finding out where your food comes from (usually cheaper and tastier!) and know that not all nuts are created equal.

sugar label

Slow down on the meat. Protein is awesome. Lean meats, fish and the occasional red meat dish are excellent complements to your weight loss as well as overall health. You should know where your meat comes from and if there are any additives in it. This is really tough to know when you get fast food or order meals at restaurants. More places are beginning to divulge this information. At the same time, a meat-heavy diet can negatively affect your weight and line you up for health problems including stress on the kidneys and cancer.

Solution: Plan your meals to know when the protein dishes will be served and keep the portions between three and five ounces, getting more when you exercise more.

Food shouldn't always have the upper hand. Have you been following the 80/20 rule? Essentially, it states your wellbeing is made up of 80 percent diet and 20 percent exercise. It gives exercise a very low spot on the totem pole, meaning if you follow this rule or something close to it, you might be getting by on a very low caloric intake (doesn't sound enjoyable). Pairing up exercise with a good diet will enforce the good food choices you already have and help you time your meals, remain hydrated and select appropriate portions. You might even find yourself craving protein over sugar and other really awesome side effects. Click here to double check your portions by using quick comparisons.

Solution: Get active. Keep healthy snacks on hand to curb cravings and hunger attacks, increasing your intake of natural proteins, vitamins and minerals.

>> Try this: Your 7-Day Cheat Sheet to Losing Weight