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processed food

What You Should Know about Interesterified Fat

Now that Americans, food manufacturers and restaurant chains have made trans-fats part of their every day vernacular and a daily avoidance in their diets, enter a new unhealthy fat also found in processed foods: Interesterified fat.

A bit more difficult to pronounce than “trans fatty acids,” but equally dangerous, interesterified fats are liquid oils, rather than a semi-solid fat, like the now taboo, trans fats.

To get a jump on this new addition to the health dictionary, read on to learn where this additive may be lurking in your kitchen and how it might be hurting your health.

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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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