Losing weight is a combination of burning enough calories through regular exercise and maintaining a proper diet. These two are critical for lasting weight loss and improved fitness and health. Too much focus on just one aspect reduces the effectiveness of the overall weight loss program.
There are a lot of resources available when you want to know more about the different sports or exercises that you can incorporate into your fitness regimen. When it comes to maintaining a proper diet, however, comes the trickier part.
It is especially hard to turn down delicious comfort food like a glazed doughnut or a big bag of chips. While choosing the right food may be a never-ending battle of wills, knowing the reason why you should avoid certain foods might help you make better food choices in the future.
Listed below are major “junk food groups” that you should know about. Learning about them and their harmful effects to your body is an important step towards making a better, fitter you!
All of the calories found in regular soda come from sugar or high-fructose corn syrup. This translates into 10 teaspoons of sugar, 150 calories, 30 to 55 mg of caffeine, artificial food color, sulphites and artificial sweeteners for an average can of soda. Aside from empty calories that can lead to obesity, soda also damages your teeth and aids in developing cavity formation. In fact, studies show that cola may weaken bone density.
Hot dogs and other processed meats
Close to 80% of calories found in hot dogs is unhealthy saturated fat. Moreover, processed meats do contain a carcinogenic (cancer-causing) precursor ingredient known as sodium nitrite. In fact, studies have linked regular consumption of hot dogs and other processed meats to increased risk of heart disease, colon and pancreatic cancer.
Potato chips and French fries
While these snack foods are immensely popular, some research has shown that potato chips and French fries contain acrylamide, a carcinogen that forms when food is baked or fried at high temperatures. Deep fried staples like French fries contain large amounts of fat (saturated and trans fat), carbohydrates and salt. These, when consumed excessively, can raise the level of cholesterol leading to high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes.
A doughnut, for all its tasty goodness, is roughly 362 calories of nothing more than 22 grams of refined sugar, 340 mg of sodium, flour, artificial flavors and partially hydrogenated oil that is chock full of trans fats. Eating more than one donut a day can increase risk for obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, blood circulation problems (blocked arteries) and even hypertension.
Most canned and packaged soups that can be readily found on the grocery store contain high levels of trans fats, sodium and artificial preservatives like MSG. In fact, one cup of canned soup contains close to 1,000 mg of salt, which is a lot considering the 2,400 mg recommended dietary allowance per day.