Diets in Review - Find the Right Diet for You

processed food

Your Temptation-Free Kitchen Survival Guide

Your kitchen is the key to your weight loss success. By simply stocking it with the ingredients for healthy meals and snacks, you won’t be able to make a bad decision, even when those late night munchies hit.

So, what do you keep and what do you toss? Here’s your guide to cleaning out your kitchen and setting yourself up for success:

Grab a garbage bag and toss:

  • High-fat dairy products like cream cheese, heavy cream, full fat milk, cheeses, creamy salad dressings and full-fat yogurts.
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Sneaky Salt: How Sodium Hides in Your Diet

Salt Hidden in the American DietConsuming too much salt is a major factor in high blood pressure, which in turn can lead to heart disease. Nearly 90 percent of adults in the U.S. consume more sodium than is recommended, in part due to the fact that salt can hide in foods that don’t taste salty.

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines have recently cut the daily recommended intake of sodium from 2,300 milligrams to 1,500 milligrams per day. The best way to cut down on salt is to eat fewer processed and restaurant foods. It’s also important to get used to the idea that salt is in foods like cake, soda, bread, and cereal. A 30 grams slice of angel food cake can have 243 milligrams of salt, a 12 ounce can of diet soda has 70 milligrams of sodium and a tuna fish sandwich made with whole grain bread can have as much as 462 milligrams of sodium.

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Can Eating Meat Cause Cancer?

A new study is suggesting that certain compounds used in processing methods for meat may be associated with an increased risk of developing bladder cancer.

Processed meats often contain nitrate and nitrite, both used as preservatives in hot dogs, pepperoni, and deli cold cuts. The good news is that the cancer link comes with eating large amounts of the processed meats.

Researchers believe that what may happen is that when processed meats are eaten in large quantities over a long period of time, the preservatives could interfere with the bladder’s lining.

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The Great Salt Debate

My father used to tease that at my mother’s family gatherings everyone was given their own salt shaker with their flatware. At family gatherings on both sides I have heard suggestions of adding salt to apples, watermelon, cottage cheese, and pumpkin pie. I am not a pumpkin pie fan, but admittedly, it did seem to make it taste more sweet. Thus I wasn’t all that surprised to read this article in the New York Times.

Government health officials, the Institute of Medicine, and Michelle Obama are all urging food companies to greatly reduce their use of salt, in hopes of saving thousands of American lives each year. I should not have been surprised to read that processed foods account for 80 percent of the salt in the American diet.

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FDA to Reduce Salt in Your Food

According to a report by the Washington Post, the Food and Drug Administration is planning to require food manufacturers to reduce the salt levels found in their processed foods. The initiative’s goal is to gradually reduce salt intake over the coming years, which would adjust our palate to a low sodium diet.

While officials have not determined the future salt limits, the Post’s source says that the FDA would analyze the salt in thousands of foods, including spaghetti sauces, breads, and beverages.

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