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unhealthy diet foods
Nutrition

7 Surprisingly Unhealthy Diet Foods

If you think these surprisingly unhealthy diet foods are helping you reduce fat and calories, you might want to think again.

Turkey Bacon

Healthier diet food options are available, so be sure you check the packaging and read the labels. But in general, turkey bacon, which is obviously not bacon, consists of mechanically-separated turkey parts ground together, shaped, colored, and artificially flavored to become bacon-like. As a result, two ounces of turkey bacon has more than 1,900 milligrams of sodium, compared to 1,300 milligrams in pork, making it an unhealthy diet food. Pork bacon also provides more vitamin B complex nutrients and selenium (a mineral that activates certain cancer preventing proteins). Why sacrifice nutrients, flavor, and satisfaction to save about 25 calories? Go ahead and enjoy a slice or two of lean, lower-sodium, center cut bacon.

Turkey Bacon

Fat-Free Dressing

Salad dressing is supposed to be a tasty combination of vinegar (which helps control blood sugar) and plant oils (full of essential fatty acids and sometimes antioxidants). However, food companies have altered this perfect blend by removing the oil, and then adding high fructose corn syrup and emulsifying agents to create fat-free dressings. But guess what? The body’s digestive track needs oil to absorb nutrients from the veggies in your salad! Control the oil and sugar by whipping up your own tasty dressings and avoid this prime unhealthy diet food.

Salad Dressings

Rice Cakes

This iconic diet snack of the 1980s remains a versatile, yet bland substitute for bread or crackers. Rice cakes are low in calories and fat, but make the unhealthy diet foods list for a reason. They are 80% carbohydrate with glycemic index rating as high as 91 (pure glucose has a rating of 100). A small baked potato, on the other hand, is only 23% carbohydrate, which won’t cause a blood sugar spike and will leave you more satisfied.

Rice Cakes

Low-Fat and Fat-Free Margarine

First of all, margarine is not natural. Hydrogen is added to vegetable oil to make a semi-solid spread. The more solid a margarine is, the more trans fat it contains–as much as 3 grams per tablespoon. The artificial ingredients and synthetic vitamins in these butter substitutes do nothing to boost your immune system. On the other hand, real butter is one of the best dietary sources of vitamin A and is rich in selenium. Because it is full fat, butter tastes better and is more satisfying. Ditch artificial spreads and add extra virgin olive oil and a handful of nuts to your daily diet to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, dementia, and cancer.

Margarine

Diet Soda

When you drink a diet soda, you’re not digesting any calories–but you aren’t doing your body any favors either. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame and saccharin trigger insulin, which sends your body into fat storage mode and leads to weight gain. This is just one of the many reasons diet sodas make the list of unhealthy diet foods. In addition to harmful artificial sweeteners, diet sodas contain citric acid, which weakens tooth enamel over time. Try adding superfruit juice concentrates to mineral water for a healthier alternative.

Diet Sodas

Granola Bars

Once thought to be the epitome of a natural healthy snack, most granola bars are anything but. High fructose corn syrup (linked to weight gain and insulin resistance), hydrogenated oils (elevates cholesterol levels), and monosodium glutamate (MSG) are just a few of the many unhealthy ingredients packed into these deceptive bars. If your granola bars don’t contain oats, nuts, fruits, and at least 4 grams of fiber, you might as well eat a candy bar.

Granola Bars

Low Calorie Frozen Meals

Who doesn’t want a meal that is portion controlled, low-calorie, and ready in five minutes or less? And, unlike most items on this list, low calorie frozen meals aren’t full of added sugar or saturated fat. So why are they considered an unhealthy diet food? Because these meals are loaded with sodium and simply unsatisfying. Most of these meals contain 700-1800 milligrams of sodium (more than 1/3 of the daily recommended allowance), have very little nutritional value, and lack taste–which means you’ll be snacking within an hour.

Frozen Meals

Avoid these unhealthy diet foods by choosing fresh, whole foods over processed and occasionally give your body the bacon it craves!

Read Next:

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Top 5 Foods That Cause Brain Fog

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