#2013alive: Cut Out the Bad by Ditching Soft Drinks and Trans Fats

#2013alive: Cut Out the Bad by Ditching Soft Drinks and Trans Fats

It’s week 2 of our 12 Months of Wellness! This week we focus on cutting out the bad – soft drinks and trans fats, that is.

It’s week 2 of our 12 Months of Wellness, and this week we’re focusing on improving our nutrition by ditching soft drinks and trans fats.

Why soft drinks and trans fats?
While there are a plethora of ingredients and food items we could benefit from cutting out of our diets, soft drinks and trans fats are some of the worst.

Loaded with sugar, soft drinks have been linked to a host of health issues, including diabetes, higher body weight, and lower intake of essential nutrients. In addition, soft drinks contain a laundry list of chemicals unpronounceable by the average human being. One such chemical is brominated vegetable oil, a patented flame retardant, which is found in 10 percent of soft drinks.

Trans fats, too, are hazardous to our health. These vegetable fats are often added to foods during processing, as they “improve” texture and taste (read: they make you addicted). Such foods may include deep-fried foods, ready-to-eat foods, margarine and shortening, donuts, oriental noodles, coffee whiteners, chips, and a plethora of other items. Trans fats are dangerous because they lower good (HDL) cholesterol and raise bad (LDL) cholesterol, increasing our risk of heart disease.

Swap it out
Are you guilty of occasionally indulging in these health offenders? While dropping them from your diet, satisfy your cravings by replacing these items with healthier options.

Rather than sugar-laden soft drinks, consider drinking natural soft drinks sweetened with calorie-free stevia; water with lemon and lime wedges; spa waters; homemade unsweetened iced teas; fresh squeezed juice; and even carbonated water if you like the bubbly feel.

Trade trans fat-laden snacks for crunchy carrot sticks and snow peas, creamy nut butter on crackers, and air-popped popcorn.

Missed last week’s 12 Months of Wellness challenge? Take a look back to see what you’ve missed (hint: it all starts with a healthy breakfast!), and download our January goal planner to keep yourself motivated and accountable.

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