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January 19, 2016 2 min read

A healthy lifestyle is all about balance. If you eat clean the majority of the time, having a treat now and then won't do you any harm. But, there is one type of food out there that will mess up your efforts, each and every time. "Diet foods" are diet disasters. These are foods labeled in an effort to make you believe they are healthy and will promote weight loss. Foods that are touted as being fat-free, low-fat, or "diet," are often just plain unhealthy. They may contain fewer calories and a lower amount of fat but they also lack in just about anything and everything that might be good for you. Here are 5 reasons to give up packaged "diet" foods:

1. They are highly processed.

Most of the packaged diet foods on the market have been so processed that they no longer even resemble food. While it is being processed, the food is stripped of all of the nutrients that would allow your body to even recognize it as food. Have a look at the ingredient list, can you even pronounce all of the chemicals that have been added just so it can have a longer shelf life?

2. The body needs good fat to function.

Fat-free foods are not diet friendly foods. In order to work properly, your body needs the right balance of nutrients. Fat is a key part of this process. Your brain, body and organs need it. It helps you to rebuild cells and regulate hormones. When it comes to fat, you should be looking for the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated kinds. These can be found in fatty fish like salmon, olive oil, olives, avocado, sesame seeds, almonds, peanuts and flaxseed, just to name a few sources. [bctt tweet="Why You Need To Get Rid Of "Diet Food" Today"]

3. Sugar

Sugar is one of the worst things you could be consuming. While you may have removed it from your cupboards, it is hidden in just about everything. The majority of the time, when manufacturers remove fat from food, they add sugar. That's how they keep the food palatable. Sugar just represents empty calories while increasing your risk for serious health conditions like type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.

4. Artificial sweeteners

If you see a "calorie-free" label on something, you can bet it contains artificial sweetener. Artificial sweeteners are man-made and chemical-based substances used by manufacturers to mimic the sweetness of sugar. While there are some pretty interesting debates raging out there about whether or not artificial sweeteners are damaging to the body, we figure that ingesting chemicals that don't occur naturally in the foods we eat is probably not such a good idea. If you are looking for "diet food," stick to whole, fresh fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, seeds and oils. Eating food as close to the source as possible is not only natural, it is healthy. Do you have a favourite "diet food" you were sad to learn was actually unhealthy?

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