The following is a list of foods you should pretty much never have. Ever. Some of them are obvious but others have concealed themselves as healthy options. Read the list, write it down and then check your kitchen straight away. It may be time for a kitchen cleanse!
1. ChipsChips are calorie dense and high in fat. They are also difficult to manage. By that I mean, portion control often goes right out the window and the bag has almost disappeared completely before you've even noticed. 2 servings of potato chips amounts to about 20g of fat. Not good.
2. Coffee CreamerCoffee creamer is one of those foods that you might think doesn't really matter. You consume it in small doses so who cares about the nutrient profile? But if you are a big coffee drinker, your creamer consumption could really add up. Opt for a healthier alternative like almond, low fat or skim milk.
3. Packaged CookiesEven the little 100 calorie pouches are things you should avoid. It is recommended by the USDA that you do not exceed 40 grams of added sugar per day. Those little single serves packs can contain up to a quarter of that amount.
4. Energy DrinksAlthough they are marketed as being crucial for replenishing, hydrating and getting your vitamins, energy drinks are not really essential to your day. They are high in sugar which makes them an unhealthy go-to. Try water flavoured with citrus or make iced green tea if you are really needed that caffeine boost.
5. Frozen YogurtIf you love frozen yogurt, keep it as an 'outside' snack. One you stop and grab when you MUST indulge. Frozen yogurt contains less fat than ice cream but it is still loaded with sugar. So, if you are eating some every day for dessert, it can really add up.
6. Granola BarsThey might seem like a healthy option but granola bars are often loaded with hydrogenated oils and sugar. Instead, reach for a piece of whole fruit and a handful of nuts. If you cannot give up the convenience of a snack bar, make your own. Check out this quinoa bar recipe as an alternative.
7. KetchupBad news for ketchup lovers. One of the main ingredients in ketchup is high fructose corn syrup. 1 tablespoon of ketchup can contain 4 grams of sugar. Who eats only 1 tablespoon? Those sugar totals are sure to add up fast. Best to avoid ketchup all together. Try A-1 or HP - way less sugar.
8. MargarineMargarine contains trans fat, the worst kind of fat. Trans fats have a negative impact on your cholesterol levels and your heart health so if your fridge is hiding margarine, best to pitch it.
9. PancakesPancake mix always seems like a good idea. You never know when you are going to be met with an impromptu brunch but to be honest, pancake mix contains little more than refined flour. Add butter and syrup and you're eating refined flour topped with fat and sugar. If you must have something on hand, keep some frozen protein waffles. You can chow down without totally falling off the wagon.
10. Microwave PopcornIf you must have popcorn, go with the air popped variety. Microwave popcorn is loaded with sodium, fat and calories. Best to skip it all together.
11. SodaWanting a soda now and then when you are out and about is one thing, drinking it regularly at home is another. Sugary drinks are not a good idea and they add up over time.
12. Sugary CerealsSome cereals contain as much sugar as a candy bar. Yes, you read that right! Always check the nutrition label before you buy your cereal. If it has a more than 8 grams of sugar per serving, put it back on the shelf and walk away.
13. Artificial SweetenersMany studies have suggested that artificial sweeteners (like those in diet soda) might actually make you hungrier which of course leads to eating more calories. So, skip the artificial stuff so you don't kick start your appetite.
14. Vegetable OilVegetable oil is just processed fat in a jar. There are plenty of other, healthier, options out there. Try macadamia nut oil when cooking at high temperatures and coconut oil is a good sub for your baking.
15. White Bread
Just no. No white bread. Ever. Compared to whole grain flour, refined white flour has no nutritional value. No nutritional value but lots of sugar and processed ingredients. Need I say more?