Will Lemon Coffee Help You Lose Weight?

A magic potion that melts away pounds? Everyone wants one, right? Well, there’s a touted miracle concoction making the rounds at the moment thanks to the armchair wellness experts on TikTok.

Adding lemon juice to a cup of coffee is percolating as a weight-loss remedy. All you need to do is sip the mixture and watch those unwanted pounds disappear!

The concept is generating quite the buzz on the social media platform … and not just from the caffeine in the cup of joe. Videos of the dieting remedy have received tens of millions of views (and counting).

So, is adding lemon to coffee the secret to slimming down? Let’s find out from registered dietitian Beth Czerwony, RD.

These Green Veggies are bad for Diabetes

What is lemon coffee?

The simple description of this drink — coffee with lemon — serves as the ingredient list, too. The most common mixture seems to be the juice from half a lemon squeezed into a standard cup of black coffee.

The taste falls somewhat short of yummy, which may explain why a steaming cup of “lemon coffee” isn’t featured on menu boards at local cafes.

Don’t try adding lemon juice to a latte, either, unless you’re into curdled milk. (Blech!)

Sweetened iced coffee, however, does have a culinary connection with lemons in some cultures. For instance, a drink called mazagran originated in Algeria almost two centuries ago and remains popular in Portugal.

Are the weight-loss claims true?

The answer to this is easy: No. Lemons do not have special fat-burning qualities, explains Czerwony. A squeeze of the fruit’s pucker-inducing juice won’t help you squeeze into a smaller pair of jeans.

“That mechanism of action is just not there,” says Czerwony. “There is nothing in lemon juice that is going to burn fat or a chemical connection to make that happen. Sorry to say, it’s not that easy.”

So how did this lemon-in-coffee weight-loss hack come to be? It’s most likely due to similar lemon-in-water claims.

Drinking a glass of H2O with a lemon slice is often cited as a helpful way to drop pounds. It’s not because of any mystic properties possessed by lemons, though. It’s more a product of the water filling your stomach without any calories.

“The water keeps you fuller, which works to keep down hunger cues that make you want to eat,” explains Czerwony.

These Green Veggies are bad for Diabetes

Coffee brings a similar appetite-suppressing benefit, while also revving up your metabolism with a kick of caffeine. But healthy diet plans aren’t built around guzzling coffee — with or without lemon, says Czerwony.

Are there benefits to adding lemon to coffee?

Lemons do have some nice nutritional qualities. Like many citrus fruits, lemons serve as a solid source of vitamin C. The citric acid in lemons may also help with digestion and decrease the likelihood of kidney stones. Plus, lemons offer a certain zing on the taste front.

“Lemons are a perfectly fine fruit,” notes Czerwony. “They’re just not magic when it comes to weight loss.”

The risks of adding lemon to coffee

Lemon juice may sometimes cause heartburn, given its high levels of citric acid, especially if you have a history of acid reflux. That acid can also be rough on tooth enamel over time and with high enough volumes.

But the biggest risk to adding lemon to java? “You’re probably going to ruin a good cup of coffee,” says Czerwony.

So, is lemon coffee worth trying?

People are always looking for that “one thing” that’ll make a difference when it comes to the number on the scale, says Czerwony. Chai seeds grabbed attention for a bit. Ditto for apple cider vinegar and grapefruit.

“I understand why these weight-loss fads become popular,” says Czerwony. “They’re based on products that are natural and in our kitchens and have some health benefits. They seem like they could work.

“But if these things were tried and true, everybody would have been doing them for a long time and been successful. The truth is there are no quick fixes when it comes to weight loss.”

As for adding lemon to coffee to get a better figure? “It’s not be something I’d recommend,” says Czerwony. “So unless you just like the taste for some reason, I’d stay away from this TikTok trend.”

These Green Veggies are bad for Diabetes

Can You Eat Potatoes If You Have Diabetes?

Different types of potatoes

Whether baked, mashed, fried, boiled, or steamed, potatoes are one of the most popular foods in the human diet.

They’re rich in potassium and B vitamins, and the skin is a great source of fiber.

However, if you have diabetes, you may have heard that you should limit or avoid potatoes.

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In fact, there are many misconceptions about what people with diabetes should and shouldn’t eat. Many people assume that because potatoes are high in carbs, they’re off-limits if you have diabetes.

The truth is, people with diabetes can eat potatoes in many forms, but it’s important to understand the effect they have on blood sugar levels and the portion size that’s appropriate.

This article tells you everything you need to know about potatoes and diabetes.

How do potatoes affect blood sugar levels?

Like any other carb-containing food, potatoes increase blood sugar levels.

When you eat them, your body breaks down the carbs into simple sugars that move into your bloodstream. This is what’s often called a spike in blood sugar levels (1).

The hormone insulin is then released into your blood to help transport the sugars into your cells so that they can be used for energy (1).

In people with diabetes, this process is not as effective. Instead of sugar moving out of the blood and into your cells, it remains in circulation, keeping blood sugar levels higher for longer.

Therefore, eating high-carb foods and/or large portions can be detrimental to people with diabetes.

In fact, poorly managed diabetes is linked to heart failure, stroke, kidney disease, nerve damage, amputation, and vision loss (2, 3, 4, 5, 6).

Therefore, it’s usually recommended that people with diabetes limit their digestible carb intake. This can range from a very low carb intake of 20–50 grams per day to a moderate restriction of 100–150 grams per day (7, 8, 9).

The exact amount varies depending on your dietary preferences and medical goals (9, 10).

SUMMARYPotatoes spike blood sugar levels as carbs are broken down into sugars and move into your bloodstream. In people with diabetes, the sugar isn’t cleared properly, leading to higher blood sugar levels and potential health complications.

These Green Veggies are bad for Diabetes

How many carbs are in potatoes?

Potatoes are a high carb food. However, the carb content can vary depending on the cooking method.

Here is the carb count of 1/2 cup (75–80 grams) of potatoes prepared in different ways (11):

  • Raw: 11.8 grams
  • Boiled: 15.7 grams
  • Baked: 13.1 grams
  • Microwaved: 18.2 grams
  • Oven-baked fries (10 steak-cut frozen): 17.8 grams
  • Deep-fried: 36.5 grams

Keep in mind that an average small potato (weighing 170 grams) contains about 30 grams of carbs and a large potato (weighing 369 grams) approximately 65 grams. Thus, you may eat more than double the number of carbs listed above in a single meal (12).

In comparison, a single piece of white bread contains about 14 grams of carbs, 1 small apple (weighing 149 grams) 20.6 grams, 1 cup (weighing 158 grams) of cooked rice 28 grams, and a 12-ounce (350-ml) can of cola 38.5 grams (13, 14, 15, 16).

SUMMARYThe carb content of potatoes varies from 11.8 grams in 1/2 cup (75 grams) of diced raw potato to 36.5 grams in a similar serving size of french fries. However, the actual serving size of this popular root vegetable is often much larger than this.

Are potatoes high GI?

A low GI diet can be an effective way for people with diabetes to manage blood sugar levels (17, 18, 19).

The glycemic index (GI) is a measure of how much a food raises blood sugar compared with a control, such as 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of white bread (1, 11).

Foods that have a GI greater than 70 are considered high GI, which means they raise blood sugar more quickly. On the other hand, foods with a GI of less than 55 are classed low (1, 11).

In general, potatoes have a medium to high GI (20).

However, the GI alone isn’t the best representation of a food’s effect on blood sugar levels, as it doesn’t take into account portion size or cooking method. Instead, you can use the glycemic load (GL).

This is the GI multiplied by the actual number of carbs in a portion, divided by 100. A GL of less than 10 is low, while a GL greater than 20 is considered high. Generally, a low GI diet aims to keep the daily GL under 100 (11).

Potato variety and the GI and GL

Both the GI and GL can vary by potato variety and cooking method.

For example, a 1 cup (150 gram) serving of potato may be high, medium, or low GL depending on the variety (11, 20):

  • High GL: Desiree (mashed), french fries
  • Medium GL: white, Russet Burbank, Pontiac, Desiree (boiled), Charlotte, potato crisps, instant mashed potato
  • Low GL: Carisma, Nicola

If you have diabetes, choosing varieties like Carisma and Nicola is a better option to slow the rise of blood sugar levels after eating potatoes.

You can check the GI and GL of different types of potatoes through this website.

How to lower the GI and GL of a potato

The way a potato is prepared also affects the GI and GL. This is because cooking changes the structure of the starches and thus how fast they’re absorbed into your bloodstream.

In general, the longer a potato is cooked the higher the GI. Therefore, boiling or baking for long periods tends to increase the GI.

Yet, cooling potatoes after cooking can increases the amount of resistant starch, which is a less digestible form of carbs. This helps lower the GI by 25–28% (21, 22).

This means that a side of potato salad may be slightly better than french fries or hot baked potatoes if you have diabetes. French fries also pack more calories and fat due to their cooking method.

Additionally, you can lower the GI and GL of a meal by leaving the skins on for extra fiber, adding lemon juice or vinegar, or eating mixed meals with protein and fats — as this helps slow the digestion of carbs and the rise in blood sugar levels (23).

For example, adding 4.2 ounces (120 grams) of cheese to a 10.2 ounce (290 gram) baked potato lowers the GL from 93 to 39 (24).

Keep in mind that this much cheese also contains 42 grams of fat and will add nearly 400 calories to the meal.

As such, it’s still necessary to consider the overall number of carbs and the quality of the diet, not just the GI or GL. If controlling weight is one of your goals, your total calorie intake is also important.

SUMMARYA low GI and GL diet can be beneficial for people with diabetes. Potatoes tend to have a medium to high GI and GL, but cooled cooked potatoes, as well as varieties like Carisma and Nicola, are lower and make a better choice for people with diabetes.

Risks of eating potatoes

Although it’s safe for most people with diabetes to eat potatoes, it’s important to consider the amount and types you consume.

Eating potatoes both increases your risk of type 2 diabetes and may have negative effects on people with existing diabetes.

One study in 70,773 people found that for every 3 servings per week of boiled, mashed, or baked potatoes, there was a 4% increase in the risk of type 2 diabetes — and for french fries, the risk increased to 19% (25).

Additionally, fried potatoes and potato chips contain high amounts of unhealthy fats that may increase blood pressure, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and lead to weight gain and obesity — all of which are associated with heart disease (26, 27, 28, 29).

This is particularly dangerous for people with diabetes, who often already have an increased risk of heart disease (30).

Fried potatoes are also higher in calories, which can contribute to unwanted weight gain (27, 29, 31).

People with type 2 diabetes are often encouraged to maintain a healthy weight or lose weight to help manage blood sugar and reduce the risk of complications (32).

Therefore, french fries, potato chips, and other potato dishes that use large amounts of fats are best avoided.

If you’re having trouble managing your blood sugar levels and diet, speak with a healthcare provider, dietitian, or diabetes educator.

SUMMARYEating unhealthy potato foods, such as chips and french fries, increases your risk of type 2 diabetes and complications, such as heart disease and obesity.

Good replacements for potatoes

Although you can eat potatoes if you have diabetes, you may still want to limit them or replace them with healthier options.

Look for high fiber, lower carb, and low GI and GL foods like the following (33):

  • Carrots and parsnips. Both are low GI and GL and have less than 10 grams of carbs per 2.8-ounce (80-gram) serving. They’re great boiled, steamed, or baked.
  • Cauliflower. This vegetable is an excellent alternative to potato either boiled, steamed, or roasted. It’s very low in carbs, making it a terrific option for people on a very low carb diet.
  • Pumpkin and squash. These are low in carbs and have a low to medium GI and a low GL. They’re a particularly good replacement for baked and mashed potatoes.
  • Taro. This root is low in carbs and has a GL of just 4. Taro can be sliced thinly and baked with a little oil for a healthier alternative to potato chips.
  • Sweet potato. This veggie has a lower GI than some white potatoesand varies between a medium and high GL. These tubers are also a great source of vitamin A.
  • Legumes and lentils. Most foods in this category are high in carbs but have a low GL and are rich in fiber. However, you should be careful with serving sizes as they still increase blood sugar levels.

Another good way to avoid large portions of high carb foods is to fill at least half of your plate with non-starchy vegetables, such as broccoli, leafy greens, cauliflower, peppers, green beans, tomatoes, asparagus, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cucumbers, and lettuce.

SUMMARYLower carb replacements for potato include carrots, pumpkin, squash, parsnip, and taro. High carb but lower GI and GL options include sweet potato, legumes, and lentils.

The bottom line

Potatoes are a versatile and delicious vegetable that can be enjoyed by everyone, including people with diabetes.

However, because of their high carb content, you should limit portion sizes, always eat the skin, and choose low GI varieties, such as Carisma and Nicola.

In addition, it’s best to stick with boiling, baking, or steaming and avoid fried potatoes or potato chips, which are high in calories and unhealthy fats.

If you’re struggling to make healthy choices to manage your diabetes, consult your healthcare provider, dietitian, or diabetes educator.

 

These Green Veggies are bad for Diabetes

12 Sweet Snacks and Treats for Diabetes

chia pudding with fresh fruit

If you have diabetes, finding sweet treats that are low in carbs and added sugar can be a challenge.

Not only that, but selecting snacks that are also high in fiber, protein, and heart-healthy fats to support better blood sugar control can be even more difficult.

These Green Veggies are bad for Diabetes

Fortunately, there are plenty of nutritious options available, including many that you can make at home using just a few ingredients.

Here are 12 simple sweet snacks and treats for people with diabetes.

Single-ingredient foods

The foods below don’t need any preparation and are therefore very quick, portable, and handy.

1. Dark chocolate

When enjoyed in moderation, dark chocolate can be a healthy and delicious way to satisfy your sweet tooth.

It’s especially rich in flavonoids, a type of plant compound that may help prevent insulin resistance and protect against heart problems for people with type 2 diabetes (1).

Plus, it’s lower in sugar, carbs, and calories than milk chocolate, with just 13 grams of carbohydrates in each 1-ounce (28-gram) serving (2).

For best results, look for dark chocolate with cocoa content of at least 70%, and stick to around 1 ounce (28 grams) at a time.

2. Pears

Pears are a great source of fiber, boasting over 4 grams of fiber, with 21.3 grams of carbs, in each 1-cup (140-gram) serving (3).

Fiber slows the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream, which can stabilize blood sugar levels after eating (4).

According to one study, consuming fresh pears may also be an effective strategy to help improve blood sugar control for people with diabetes (5).

Pears can be enjoyed as-is for a sweet and simple snack or cut into thin, chip-like slices and baked for an extra bit of crunch.

3. Apples

Apples are versatile, delicious, and nutritious, with 28 grams of carbs and 5 grams of fiber in one medium apple (6).

They also have a low glycemic index, which is a measure of how much certain foods affect blood sugar levels (7).

What’s more, one study also found that consuming an apple before eating rice helped reduce blood sugar levels, compared with eating rice alone (8).

Try slicing apples and adding a bit of cinnamon for an easy snack on the go, or pair with some peanut butter to boost your intake of protein and healthy fats.

These Green Veggies are bad for Diabetes

4. Grapes

Like other types of fruit, grapes can be a healthy, high fiber treat for people with diabetes.

In fact, each 1/2-cup (75-gram) serving contains about 1 gram of fiber and 14 grams of carbs (9).

Red grapes are also loaded with antioxidants and polyphenols, which may help decrease oxidative stress and protect against health complications related to diabetes (10).

For a sweet and refreshing snack, enjoy fresh grapes or try freezing them overnight.

5. Greek yogurt

With 20 grams of protein in each 7-ounce (200-gram) serving, Greek yogurt can be an excellent snack option for people with diabetes (11).

Increasing your intake of protein could help support appetite control and decrease food cravings (12).

Interestingly enough, some research also suggests that daily supplementation with yogurt that is fortified with vitamin D and probiotics may help improve blood sugar control in people with type 2 diabetes (13).

It’s best to opt for plain Greek yogurt and sweeten it at home with your favorite fruits, along with a sprinkle of cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice.

Prepared snacks

Below are some great snack options that may need a bit of preparation but are still quick and easy to make and grab when you’re on the go.

6. Chia pudding

Chia pudding is healthy, delicious, and easy to make using just a few simple ingredients.

It features chia seeds, a nutritious ingredient brimming with fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids (14).

According to one review of 12 studies, adding chia seeds to your diet may be associated with lower blood sugar levels and reductions in diastolic blood pressure (15).

To make chia pudding at home, combine 1/2 cup (120 mL) of almond, oat, or coconut milk with 2 tablespoons (25 grams) of chia seeds and a bit of honey or maple syrup in a jar.

You can also top the pudding with your favorite fruits and then cover and leave it in the refrigerator to set for at least 2 hours.

7. Low carb energy bites

Low carb energy bites are convenient, portable snacks that you can easily customize to fit your personal food preferences.

They typically include nuts like almonds or cashews, which are high in fiber and protein (16, 17).

One large review of 40 studies showed that consumption of tree nuts may be linked to lower levels of fasting insulin and reduced insulin resistance, both of which could help support better blood sugar control (18).

To get started, add 1/2 cup (70 grams) almonds and 1/2 cup (70 grams) cashews to a food processor, along with 1 cup (200 grams) Medjool dates, sea salt, and a drizzle of vanilla extract.

If you’re feeling creative, you can also experiment with other ingredients, such as shredded coconut, cocoa powder, nut butter, flaxseeds, or protein powder.

Blend the mixture until well combined, then divide into small balls and place on a lined baking sheet or plate. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes until firm, and enjoy.

8. Cottage cheese fruit bowl

Cottage cheese and fruit is a great snack that provides plenty of protein and fiber in each serving.

Some research suggests that low fat dairy products, such as cottage cheese, may be beneficial for improving insulin resistance and decreasing both body weight and belly fat (19).

One study in over 482,000 people also showed that increased fruit intake may be associated with a reduced risk of vascular complications in people with diabetes (20).

For a delicious snack or dessert, combine a few tablespoons of cottage cheese with your favorite fruits, such as apples, strawberries, blueberries, or kiwi.

9. Trail mix

Trail mix is portable, convenient, and completely customizable, making it a great snack for people with diabetes.

However, because many store-bought varieties are high in carbs, calories, and sugar, it may be better to make them at home.

Most recipes call for nuts and seeds like almonds, pecans, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds, all of which are rich in protein and fiber (16, 17, 21, 22, 23).

You can also sweeten it up with small amounts of dark chocolate and dried fruit.

These Green Veggies are bad for Diabetes

9 Foods to Avoid When You Have Diabetes

Fruit Juice
If you have diabetes, your healthcare provider has likely told you the importance of diet when it comes to managing your blood sugar. And if you’re not sure what foods to avoid, all you may have to do is listen to your body for clues.

Certain foods, particularly those rich in carbohydrates, can cause blood sugars to rise quickly. This can make you feel sluggish, cause high blood sugar, and even make you gain weight.

 

You may even be surprised to realize that some of the foods you consider healthy are on this list because of their high carb content, lack of fiber, and generally limited nutritional value.

Here’s a look at a few of them and why they should be avoided or eaten in moderation if you have diabetes.

1

Whole-Wheat Bagels

Whole-wheat options are generally always better choices than refined-grain counterparts—but they do not translate to fewer carbohydrates.

Eating just one whole-wheat bagel is about the same as eating four to six slices bread. Whole-wheat bagels are very carbohydrate-dense and can raise blood sugar quickly.

They are also lacking in filling fiber and protein, which can leave you feeling hungry just an hour or two after eating.1

There are healthier breakfast options that can have a positive impact on your diabetes. Studies suggest a larger, higher-protein, higher-fat breakfast may help reduce hemoglobin A1C, your average blood sugar over the last three months.2

If you really want a bagel, scoop the bread out from the middle and top it with a few scrambled eggs and a vegetable of your choice.2 This will at least cut back the calories and carbs, while adding some fiber and protein.

2

Dried Fruit

Dried fruit, particularly when covered with yogurt, chocolate, or otherwise sweetened, is loaded with sugar—even in very small portions. Additionally, because dried fruit is condensed, a serving is very small. For example, one serving of raisins is only 2 tablespoons.

It is important to know that dried fruits are not the recommended way to get your fruit intake for the day. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans notes that adults should consume approximately 2 servings of fruit each day with an emphasis on whole fruits.

Fresh 100% juice is also acceptable, but it can raise blood sugar more quickly than whole fruits, which have more fiber. It’s also much easier to rack up calories by drinking juice.

3

Margarine

The intent of margarine is to reduce saturated fat and calories. However, some margarine spreads are made with partially hydrogenated oil (trans fat).

It is important to avoid trans fat, because it acts similarly to saturated fat.4

When choosing a margarine, be sure to read the label. If it lists “hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oil,” consider a different product.

Or avoid margarine altogether. Hummus, mashed avocado, and nut butters are heart-healthy fat alternatives that make for great spreads.

4

Fat-Free Salad Dressing and Low-Fat Peanut Butter

Thinking about purchasing low-fat peanut butter or fat-free salad dressing? You might want to think again.

Often, fat is replaced with sugar in these products and they may contain more carbohydrates than regular versions.

  • Fat-free salad dressing: About 7 grams (g) carbohydrate in 2 Tablespoons
  • Low-fat peanut butter: About 8 g carbohydrate in 1 Tablespoon

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans state that replacing total fat with overall carbohydrates does not lower cardiovascular disease risk. On the other hand, strong and consistent evidence shows that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat reduces the risk of heart-health events and related death.3

Foods that contain heart-healthy fat like nut butters and oil-based dressing are good for you in moderation and can have favorable effects on cholesterol.5

5

Sauces and Condiments

It’s not uncommon to dip, pour, and smear condiments and sauces on sandwiches, bread, and other food items without factoring them into your carbohydrate and calorie count for the day.

Sauces and condiments tend to contain a large amount of sodium, carbohydrates, fat, and calories—even in small portions. This is often due to the fact that flour and sugar are added for texture or flavor.

Estimated nutrition facts for these popular condiments and sauces:

  • Gravy: About 6 g of carbohydrates in 1/2 cup serving
  • Barbecue sauce: About 9 g of carbohydrate in 2 tablespoons
  • Ketchup: About 4 g of carbohydrate in 1 tablespoon
  • Salsa: About 3 g of carbohydrate in 1 tablespoon
  • Tomato sauce: About 7 g carbohydrate in 1/2 cup

This can add up quickly. The best way to keep track of your intake is to always read labels when choosing these products. When possible, avoid packaged or canned sauces or gravies, since these foods tend to be high in sodium, which can increase blood pressure.6

6

Sugar-Free or No-Added-Sugar Foods

Many people assume that sugar-free and no-sugar-added food items will not affect their blood sugar. This isn’t always the case.

Sugar-free and no-sugar-added foods can still contain carbohydrates, especially if they contain milk or flour. Make sure to always read the labels and consume these foods in moderation.

For a sense of carbs in some common sugar-free foods:

  • Sugar-free pudding snack: About 13 g carbohydrate
  • Sugar-free maple syrup: About 12 g carbohydrate in 1/4 cup
  • Sugar-free jelly: About 5 g carbohydrate in 1 tablespoon
  • Sugar-free candy bar (chocolate): About 18 g carbohydrate depending on bar
  • No-sugar-added ice cream: About 13 g carbohydrate in 1/2 cup
7

Battered and Fried Foods

Fried food items such as chicken nuggets, eggplant Parmesan, and chicken wings are breaded or dipped in flour before cooking. Flour and breading are starches and contain added carbohydrates.7

For example, a 3-ounce breaded chicken cutlet has about 10 grams of carbohydrate.

You can indulge from time to time, but note the carbohydrate content of those foods and aim to keep your portions manageable.

Also keep in mind that these types of foods are rich in calories and saturated fat, which can cause weight gain and elevated cholesterol.

 

8

Sweetened Beverages

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but sweetened beverages, including juices, sodas, and flavored coffees, can increase blood sugars quickly.

For people with diabetes, sweetened beverages can serve a purpose when blood sugar is low. But on a daily basis, these types of beverages should be avoided.8

One of the simplest ways to lose weight, improve blood sugar control, and reduce triglycerides (a type of fat in the blood) is to avoid these types of beverages.

It’s also a good idea to read labels of other caloric beverages, such as flavored milk alternatives and coffee drinks. Some beverages may contain hidden carbohydrates from added sweeteners. Here a few to watch out for:

  • Low-fat latte: About 15 g carbohydrate in 12 oz
  • Vanilla soy milk: About 10 g carbohydrate in 1 cup 9
  • Coconut water: About 9 g carbohydrate in 8 oz
9

White Bread, Rice, and Pasta

Refined carbohydrates, such as white bread, white pasta, and white rice, are starches that have undergone processing to remove the bran and germ of the grain. This strips them of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

These foods can cause big blood sugar spikes yet yield little to no nutritional value.10

Instead of choosing refined grains, it is better to choose whole grains. In fact, research has shown that choosing whole grains instead of refined grains can reduce the risk of heart disease, decrease blood pressure, and aid in weight loss.11

The fiber found in whole grains slows down the speed at which blood sugars rise. Whole grains also contain more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

When Is the Best Time to Weigh Yourself?

person standing on white digital bathroom scale

If you’re trying to lose weight, the scale can be a double-edged sword. When you’re slaying your diet and exercise goals, stepping on it brings a wave of joy. But when you hit a slump or plateau, you might have the urge to throw it out the window.

Your scale can be a useful tool in your health journey. But you need to know when and how to weigh yourself to get accurate and helpful info from it. Registered dietitian Chelsey Ludwiczak, RD, shares her expertise on how to use your scale to reach your health goals.

These Green Veggies are bad for Diabetes

Should you weigh yourself regularly?

Your weight is just one piece of your overall health picture. So do you really need to weigh yourself?

“Regularly weighing yourself can help you stay on track with your weight loss or weight maintenance goals,” says Ludwiczak. “It’s like having a weekly budget. If you go over your budget one week, you want to know so you can fix it. If you don’t realize you’re overspending every week, it adds up.”

The scale helps you keep track of your own weight so that you can change behaviors before 1 pound of weight gain becomes 5 or 10.

But there’s an exception to the weigh-in habit. “If you have a history of eating disorders or anxiety about the scale, avoid weighing yourself for now,” Ludwiczak says. “Speak with a psychologist or mental health professional about these concerns.”

How often to weigh yourself

It’s not how often you weigh yourself, but how you do it, Ludwiczak says. The key is consistency.

“It should always be on the same scale, at the same time and wearing the same thing or without clothes,” she explains.

These Green Veggies are bad for Diabetes

If you want to step on the scale weekly, for example, do it on the same day each week. “Your weight won’t be consistent if you weigh yourself on Friday and Monday,” she says. “Many people have a different routine on the weekends. They might eat out more, drink alcohol or snack more. Compare that to Friday, if you’ve been eating consistently for five days, and you’ll see a big difference.”

You’ll also get a more reliable result if you weigh yourself first thing in the morning, as food and drink can change what the scale says for a few hours.

The best day to weigh yourself

Some research says you should weigh yourself on Wednesdays because it’s the middle of the week. Ludwiczak says Wednesdays are good, but you’re not tied to that day.

“Many people like to see what they weigh on Friday because they’ve had a consistent routine throughout the week,” she explains. “You see where your weight is after you’ve held a routine for five days. Then you can adjust your routine if you’re not seeing results.”

Reasons for “overnight” weight gain

Certain things may cause a rapid change on the scale, sending you into a panic. But take a breath — overnight weight gain is not a thing. “Some people ask why they seemingly gained five pounds overnight,” Ludwiczak says. “We know that 3,500 calories equals one pound of weight gain. If you’ve gained five pounds overnight, it’s unlikely that you ate 17,500 calories. It’s probably due to other factors.”

Water retention is a major cause of an overnight change on the scale. You might be retaining more water if you:

  • Ate high-sodium foods.
  • Drank alcohol.
  • Traveled, including flying or long drives.
  • Have premenstrual syndrome (PMS) or started your menstrual cycle.

If you’re retaining water without an obvious reason, see your doctor.

Maybe you’re not bloated, but your weight still went up overnight. In those cases, think about the last time you went to the bathroom. Constipation is another reason people see a rapid weight increase.

When the scale won’t budge

Even the most dedicated person can hit a weight-loss plateau, which is oh-so frustrating. But the number on the scale is a piece of your overall health, not the whole picture.

“During any health journey, there’s more than one way to measure success,” Ludwiczak says. “The scale is just one factor. You can also take body measurements once a week, such as your waist or thighs. Those measurements may show that you’re losing inches instead of pounds, suggesting you’re losing fat mass and gaining muscle, since muscle weighs more than fat.”

Look in your closet for another way to check in on your health goals. “Maybe your favorite pair of jeans fits better, even though you haven’t lost much weight,” Ludwiczak says. “This could be a sign that your body composition is changing, even though the scale isn’t reflecting that.”

These Green Veggies are bad for Diabetes

Your weight doesn’t define you

Maybe you’ve got a number in mind, but your scale taunts you with another one. Don’t give up. It’s time to take some power away from the scale.

“You’re more than that number,” Ludwiczak says. “Your scale isn’t going to reflect all the positive changes you make. Think about how your food choices are making you healthier. Focus on the amazing mental and physical benefits of regular exercise. Maybe you have more energy to play with your kids. So many victories are not scale-related.”

 

Can Certain Foods Reduce Uterine Fibroids?

Large head of cabbage.

If you have uterine fibroids and experience pain or heavy bleeding, you’re not alone. Up to 80% of all women and people assigned female at birth (AFAB) develop fibroids before they hit menopause.

But do you have to accept uterine fibroids as a condition that’s completely out of your control? Maybe not.

 

Some research shows that certain foods could reduce your risk of fibroids or help tame symptoms like pain and heavy bleeding. Minimally invasive gynecologic surgeon Megan Billow, DO, explains what your diet can — and can’t — do for uterine fibroids.

Foods to help prevent or shrink fibroids

“There’s no single diet that will work magically to prevent or treat fibroids,” Dr. Billow says. “But some studies suggest that certain foods may lower your risk of fibroids. Diet changes may minimize symptoms by lowering amounts of the hormones that fuel fibroids.”

If you’re hoping to avoid fibroids or improve your symptoms, eat more of these potentially fibroid-fighting foods.

Fruits and vegetables

Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables lowers your risk of many health problems, including heart disease and certain types of cancer. And it turns out, they may also help lower your risk of getting uterine fibroids.

“A large review found that people who ate more fruits and vegetables were at lower risk of getting fibroids,” says Dr. Billow. “The research suggests that patients who ate four servings per day had a lower fibroid risk compared to patients who ate one serving per day.”

All fruits and vegetables have major health benefits, but these kinds seem to be particularly helpful in fighting fibroids:

  • Apples.
  • Broccoli.
  • Cabbage.
  • Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons and grapefruit.
  • Tomatoes.

 

Why do fruits and vegetables help prevent fibroids? Some research on fibroids and diet suggests a few possible reasons:

  • Fiber content: Fruits and vegetables are high in fiber, which helps your body get rid of excess estrogen through your stool. Estrogen feeds fibroids, so clearing out any excess may decrease risks of fibroids.
  • Lower BMI: Fruits and vegetables are generally low in calories. So eating more of these foods in place of higher-calorie, less nutritious options may help you achieve a lower body mass index (BMI). Having a higher BMI raises estrogen levels, which increases your risk of fibroids.
  • Nutrition: These foods have nutrients like vitamins, trace minerals and antioxidants that may discourage the growth of fibroids.

Low-fat dairy products

Some research suggests that calcium-rich dairy products may lower your risk of fibroids. “Aim to get three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy products each day,” Dr. Billow advises. Focus on yogurt that contains probiotics — beneficial bacteria that keep your gut healthy.

Eating the right amount of dairy isn’t a guarantee that you’ll stay fibroid-free. But it could be helpful for some people. “More research is needed to prove that dairy can help with fibroids,” notes Dr. Billow. “But your body benefits from calcium and probiotics, so it’s worth considering.”

If you’re lactose intolerant, look for plant-based milk, yogurt or cheese. Many of these contain added probiotics and calcium. Check the nutrition label for their calcium content, and look for “live and active cultures” on yogurt labels.

Foods that contain vitamin D

Vitamin D is important for bone, immune and nerve health. And some research suggests getting enough vitamin D lowers your risk of fibroids.

Food sources of vitamin D include:

  • Fortified dairy products like milk and yogurt.
  • Fortified dairy alternatives like soy, almond, coconut or oat milk or yogurt.
  • Light tuna.
  • Rainbow trout.
  • Salmon.

“Vitamin D deficiency is often seen in women with fibroids,” says Dr. Billow. “Raising your vitamin D levels could help you avoid this condition.”

How do you know if you’re deficient in vitamin D? You can’t know for sure without a blood test, but vitamin D deficiency is common.

“It’s hard to correct vitamin D deficiency with diet alone,” Dr. Billow adds. “The main way people get vitamin D is through unprotected sun exposure. But venturing out without sunscreen comes with the risk of sunburn, premature aging and skin cancer.”

And if you live in a northern climate, you might go months without enough sunlight to keep your D levels up. People with darker skin tones also have a higher risk of deficiency because their skin doesn’t make as much vitamin D.

A vitamin D supplement could help you sidestep uterine fibroids, but ask your provider first. “If you already have good levels of vitamin D, a supplement probably isn’t necessary, and could be harmful,” Dr. Billow cautions. “Always tell your provider about any vitamins or herbal supplements you take.”

Foods that may contribute to fibroids

While some foods may help decrease your risk of fibroids, others may have the opposite effect. Some research suggests limiting or avoiding these foods:

Red meat and ham

A diet high in red meat, like ground beef, steak, veal or ham, has some possible health risks, like heart disease and cancer. And red meat might also play a role in uterine fibroid formation, although more research is needed to confirm this link.

“In some studies, people with uterine fibroids reported eating more red meat and ham than people who didn’t have fibroids,” says Dr. Billow. “We don’t yet know if it’s due to their unhealthy saturated fats, pollutants or some combination of these factors.”

This doesn’t necessarily mean burgers are off the table. Try saving these meats for special occasions. Aim to eat no more than 6 ounces of red meat per week, or 3 ounces if you have heart disease. To get less saturated fat when eating these meats, you can:

  • Choose leaner cuts of steak, like sirloin or flank steak.
  • Cut off any visible fat.
  • Swap higher-fat ground beef for 90% lean ground beef.
  • Use ground turkey in place of ground beef.

Alcohol

Drinking alcoholic beverages like beer, wine and spirits can affect your overall health and possibly your fibroid risk. Some research shows that drinking alcohol, especially in higher amounts, changes hormones in your body. These hormonal changes can lead to fibroid formation.

“If you want to improve your health and lower your fibroid risk, avoid alcohol,” advises Dr. Billow. “If you do drink, limit yourself to moderate amounts.” This means:

  • No more than two drinks per day for men and people assigned male at birth (AMAB).
  • No more than one drink per day for women and people AFAB.

Watch out for miracle supplements and ‘cures’

Fibroid symptoms can be hard to live with. Understandably, many people turn to online advice and supplements for possible solutions. But be careful — these “miracle cures” are usually ineffective and a waste of your money, at best. At worst, they can be dangerous.

“Don’t use a supplement or take someone’s advice on social media instead of getting recommended medical care,” states Dr. Billow. “There’s no evidence that any natural supplements will cure or shrink fibroids. And if you don’t see your provider regularly, you could miss out on important health screenings.”

Pair diet changes with more movement

While you’re working on eating more fibroid-friendly foods, also consider more physical activity. Don’t worry: You don’t have to join a gym or sweat through strenuous spin classes to reap some benefits.

“Daily movement like walking can minimize fibroid symptoms if you pair it with diet changes,” Dr. Billow says. “Regular exercise can boost endorphins, which are natural pain fighters. And more physical activity benefits your mental health, too.”

And like a healthy diet, exercise can help you lose any excess pounds and lower your estrogen levels. “Fighting fibroids is really about adopting an overall healthy lifestyle,” she adds. “Together, diet changes and exercise are a powerful way to balance your hormones naturally.”

 

Focus on small, doable changes

Tweaking your diet is a step in the right direction if you want to decrease your risks of fibroids. And a diet rich in fruits and veggies and low in fatty meats can boost your overall health.

“There’s no guarantee that certain foods will prevent or shrink fibroids in everyone,” notes Dr. Billow. “But a healthy diet provides many health benefits that will help you feel your best. It could help boost your energy levels and help you achieve a healthy weight. You’ll also lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.”

Even though we know it’s good for us, it can be difficult to change your diet. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you struggle — and don’t try to make big, sweeping changes all at once. Slowly replace red meat and less nutritious processed foods with fruits and vegetables to help build healthier habits.

“You may find that eating healthy foods gets easier with time because you feel better,” says Dr. Billow. “Don’t look at diet changes as a miracle cure, but as an investment in yourself and your overall health.”

Why You Should No Longer Worry About Cholesterol in Food

person holding brown egg on green ceramic bowl

High levels of “bad” cholesterol in the blood, which have been linked to heart disease, are still a health concern.

But evidence shows people no longer have to be concerned about eating foods that are high in cholesterol. What’s changed is that many researchers and physicians believe that eating cholesterol-rich foods such as eggs may not affect the cholesterol that is in your blood.

 

“However, people with certain health problems, such as diabetes, should continue to avoid cholesterol-rich foods,” says cardiologist Steven Nissen, MD.

It’s complicated

Is cholesterol good for you? Is cholesterol bad for you? It’s complicated.

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that ultimately ends up in the walls of arteries. It causes plaque that leads to heart attacks and strokes. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines call for a daily cholesterol limit of 300 milligrams.

The relationship between cholesterol and the body is extremely complicated. Some of the ways its complicated are:

  • The body regulates how much cholesterol is in your blood.
  • There are different kinds of cholesterol. Low-density lipoprotein or LDL (bad) cholesterol contributes to plaque buildup along with triglycerides, another lipid. High-density lipoprotein or HDL (good) cholesterol discourages plaque buildup.
  • LDL is the bad cholesterol that you should avoid because it can increase your risk of heart disease.
  • The way people process cholesterol differs. Some people appear to be more vulnerable to cholesterol-rich diets.

 

“Your genetic makeup – not diet – is the driving force behind cholesterol levels, says Dr. Nissen. “The body creates cholesterol in amounts much larger than what you can eat, so avoiding foods that are high in cholesterol won’t affect your blood cholesterol levels very much.”

About 85% of the cholesterol in circulation is manufactured by the body in the liver. It isn’t coming directly from the cholesterol that you eat, according to Dr. Nissen.

It’s also likely that people with a family history of heart disease share common environments that may increase their risk, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

What you should worry about

Should you actually worry about cholesterol in food? The greater danger for everyone is in foods that are high in trans fats.

“Those often appear on food labels as hydrogenated oils or partially hydrogenated vegetable oil,” he says. “Those types of fats do tend to raise cholesterol and do tend to increase the risk of heart disease.”

All in all, look for trans fat and saturated fat on labels at the grocery store. The American Heart Association recommends limiting dietary saturated fat intake and focusing more on eating fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean animal protein, or plant protein sources.​

 

The #1 Best Food to Eat for Diabetics, According to Dietitians

red berries on person's hands

 

Diabetes affects an estimated 34.2 million people in the U.S., or 10.5% of the country’s total population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Diabetes Statistics Report 2020. For those with the condition, carefully monitored food intake is essential to staying healthy and reducing potential complications. Fortunately, there’s one food you may already have on hand that experts consider a near-perfect addition to your diabetes diet: walnuts.

 

Walnuts are a fantastic food to include in a diabetes-friendly diet,” says dietitian Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD, of Nutrition Now Counseling. “In one study published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, after evaluating people who ate 56 grams of walnuts every day for 6 months, researchers found that the inclusion leads to an increased intake of key nutrients that lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.”

Manaker notes that a 2004 study published in Diabetes Care found that eating walnuts as part of a low- or modified-fat diet also helped individuals with diabetes improve their cholesterol ratio, potentially reducing their risk of heart disease—a condition that people with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing than the general population.

In fact, according to a 2019 study published in the journal Circulation Research, among a group of 16,217 men and women who had been diagnosed with diabetes, those who increased their consumption of nuts after their diagnosis reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease by 11%, slashed their risk of coronary heart disease by 15% and reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease mortality and all-cause mortality by 25% and 27%, respectively.

So, why are walnuts particularly effective when it comes to diabetes management?

“Walnuts are low in carbs and contain nutrients like plant-based proteins, healthy fats, and fiber—nutrients that may help support blood glucose control,” says Manaker, who explains that the antioxidants in walnuts can also help support overall health.

If you want to add some walnuts to your regular routine, Manaker recommends “adding a handful of walnuts to your salad, topping your yogurt with walnuts, or simply eating them on their own.” With a nutritional resume like that, you’d be nuts not to.

How Much Walking Is Best for Diabetes Control?

Happy woman with a backpack spending a day in nature, a portrait.

Exercise and walking are excellent tools for controlling Type 2 diabetes and improving health for people with diabetes. Brisk walking workouts can help you maintain a steady blood sugar level and body weight if you have Type 2 diabetes.

A 30-minute walk at least five days per week is recommended by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association.1 Learn how you can enjoy walking and manage your diabetes.

Walking Workout for Diabetes

Consult your health care team to see if walking is the right exercise for you and any precautions necessary for your individual circumstances and adjustments to your medications or diet.

Walking Goal: To walk for 30 minutes, with at least 20 continuous minutes at a brisk pace of 15 to 20 minutes per mile (3 to 4 mph).1

Preparations

Before you get started, take care of the following preparations for a successful walking workout:

  • Walking shoes and socks: You need to protect your feet and prevent developing blisters or sores. Get fitted for flat and flexible athletic shoes at the best running shoe store in your area. Avoid cotton socks and tube socks and choose athletic socks or diabetic socks made of sweat-wicking polyester fiber.
  • Walking clothing: You need good freedom of movement and you need to prevent chafing, which can lead to sores. Wear a fitness T-shirt and fitness shorts, warm up pants or yoga pants. Sweat-wicking polyester fabric is preferred over cotton.
  • Where to walk: You can use a treadmill for your walking workout. If you prefer to walk outside, you should look for a walking route where you can walk with few interruptions to cross streets. Using a track at a nearby school is an option, or look for a greenway path or a park with a walking loop.
  • Do a foot check: Check your feet before and after each walk. You may not feel blisters and hot spots, which could develop into ulcers if not treated.

Walking Workout

Once you’re ready for your workout, follow these steps:

  1. Get ready to walk: Prepare for your walk with a few moves to get your body ready. Stand up. Loosen up your shoulders and neck with a few shrugs and shoulder circles. Loosen up your legs and hips by marching in place for a few seconds.
  2. Adjust your posture: Posture is very important to being able to walk fluidly at a brisk pace. Take a moment to get into the right walking posture. Stand up straight, with your eyes forward and your chin parallel to the ground. Engage your core muscles by pulling in your stomach and tilting your hips slightly forward as you tuck in your rear. Now straighten up by pretending there is a string attached to the top of your head and, with feet flat on the ground, raise yourself up from your hips to the top of your head. Relax your shoulders with another couple of shrugs. Bend your arms. Now you are ready to walk.2
  3. Walk at an easy pace for three to five minutes: Use the beginning of your walk as a warmup to get your blood flowing to your muscles and to continue to tweak your walking posture. An easy pace is one where you could sing or carry on a full conversation without any heavier breathing.
  4. Speed up to a brisk pace for 20 to 25 minutes: Now now want to move into a brisk walking pace to achieve moderate exercise intensity that has the best health benefits. Move your arms faster in coordination with your steps to help pick up the pace. A brisk walking pace is one where you are breathing heavier but you can still speak in sentences. You want to aim for 50 percent to 70 percent of maximum heart rate.1 Take your exercise pulse to see if you are in the moderate-intensity zone.
  5. Cool down for one to three minutes: Finish your walk by walking at an easy pace.

Getting Started

If you cannot yet comfortably walk for 30 minutes at a time, you should gradually increase your time. A beginner’s walking plan often starts with 10 to 15 minutes of walking and increases the time of your daily walking workout by a few minutes each week.

Not Enough of a Workout?

If you have difficulty raising your heart rate into the moderate intensity zone, use arm motion, and good stride to walk faster or add jogging intervals to your walks. You can also raise your heart rate by adding incline to a treadmill workout or using a route with hills and stairs for an outdoor workout.

Using fitness walking poles can also raise your heart rate at a slower pace.

You can also switch to cycling, swimming, or running if you prefer those activities. At the gym, try a variety of cardio machines such as the elliptical trainer, stair climber, or rowing machines. Find the one you enjoy the most or mix it up.

Walk More, Sit Less

Walkers who log 10,000 steps per day consistently are more likely to achieve the recommended amount of moderate physical activity and reduce the effects of being inactive.3 Wearing a pedometer or checking an activity app on your cell phone can help you be active.

Sitting for more than an hour at a time raises your risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.4 Many activity monitors now have inactivity alerts to remind you to get up and move.

10 Foods to Avoid if You Have Diabetes

white egg on black plate
Eating unhealthy foods can have a number of effects on the body, including weight gain and high blood sugar levels. In many cases, there are healthy options to replace unhealthy foods. Here are 10 foods to avoid if you have diabetes, along with some healthier replacement options.
 

1. Processed meats

Processed meats – such as bacon, ham, salami or beef jerky – contain many harmful chemicals that are not present in fresh meat. They have also been linked to diseases such as cancer and heart disease in numerous studies.

Replace processed meats with leaner, more natural protein choices, such as chicken, turkey, tuna or hard-boiled eggs.

Chickpeas are loaded with fibre and are a great source of plant protein. They have been shown to help lower bad LDL cholesterol as well as balance out blood sugar.

2. Full-fat dairy products

Full-fat dairy products primarily contain saturated fat (the “bad” fat), which increases the risk of heart disease. As well, because higher-fat foods naturally contain more calories, full-fat dairy products may contribute to an increased risk of obesity.

Replace full-fat dairy products with low-fat or non-fat dairy products and non-dairy milks (for example, almond or soy milk). When choosing low-fat products, always be on the lookout for other unhealthy ingredients that may have been added to replace the fat, such as sugar or saturated fats.

If you’re a fan of milk, cheese or other dairy products, remember that they do have an impact on diabetes.

 

3. Packaged snacks and processed baked goods

Most packaged pastries, cookies and cakes are made with refined sugar, refined wheat flour and unhealthy fats (such as shortening, which is high in trans fats). They also contain a number of chemical ingredients, including preservatives, and colouring and flavouring agents. As well, the carbohydrates in processed foods are usually refined, “simple” carbohydrates, which cause rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels.

Replace packaged snacks and processed baked goods with hummus and vegetables, a handful of almonds or apple slices topped with nut butter.

Most of us rely on the convenience of highly processed foods sometimes. However, when it comes to making healthy food choices, it’s best to reduce your intake of highly processed foods and replace them with healthier alternatives.

4. White carbohydrates

The “white” carbohydrates in white bread, rice and pasta all have virtually no nutritional value. They can also cause blood sugar spikes and weight gain, as well as increased low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (the “bad” cholesterol).

Replace white carbohydrates with whole grain carbohydrates, such as brown rice, quinoa, and whole grain pastas and breads.

Picture a food you love. Now imagine being told you should never eat that food again. When a person is diagnosed with diabetes, this is often the message they perceive from those around them – especially when it comes to carbohydrates.

5. Sweetened breakfast cereals

Breakfast cereals are some of the most commonly consumed processed foods that are high in added sugars. In fact, most of them list sugar as the second or third ingredient. Starting the day with a high-sugar breakfast cereal will spike your blood sugar and insulin levels. Excess consumption of sugar may also increase your risk of obesity, as well as heart disease and cancer.

Replace sweetened breakfast cereals with oatmealhomemade granola, or packaged breakfast cereals that contain little or no added sugar.

Although this recipe is so simple, it is truly my healthy “go-to” recipe.  When I need something simple that I know the whole family will love, I cook this up.

6. Dried fruits

Dried fruits are a delicious way to satisfy your appetite and your sweet tooth, and they generally contain a goodly amount of fibre. Unfortunately, they’re loaded with sugar. In fact, a small box of raisins (43 grams) contains 25 grams of sugar; a 50-gram serving of dates also contains 25 grams of sugar.

Replace dried fruits with fresh fruits. Grab an apple or a banana for a quick and healthy snack on-the-go.

The glycemic index is a scale out of 100 that ranks foods containing carbohydrate by how much they raise blood sugar levels. There are 3 categories – high, medium or low glycemic index.

 

7. French fries

Because French fries are deep fried in oil that contains unhealthy saturated fats, they are very high in fat and calories. This can pose a number of serious health risks (for example, heart disease and obesity) if you eat French fries on a regular basis. French fries may also contain a lot of salt, which can contribute to increased blood pressure levels.

Replace French fries with vegetable sticks or baked sweet potato wedges.

Making sweet potato fries to perfection is all about technique; otherwise they usually turn out pretty soggy. After much testing I think these are made to perfection.

8. Higher-fat cuts of meat

Meats that are higher in fat include beef or pork ribs, prime rib, rib-eye steak and beef brisket. A number of studies have shown that consumption of high-fat meats – especially red meat – is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.

Replace higher-fat cuts of meat with leaner meats, such as chicken or turkey breast, sirloin or eye of round steak, or pork tenderloin.

9. Foods with trans fats, or high amounts of saturated fats

Unlike unsaturated fats (which help reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol levels), trans fats and saturated fats have no known benefit to human health. They also increase low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (the “bad” cholesterol) and decrease high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (the “good” cholesterol). Common foods that contain trans fats and saturated fats include: cakes, pies, doughnuts and cookies (especially when they have frosting); crackers and potato chips; fried fast foods; and frozen pizza.

Replace foods with high levels of trans fats and saturated fats with foods that contain natural sources of vegetable fats (such as nuts and seeds, or avocados) and foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids (such as salmon, tuna or mackerel). Check out these foods that help lower your cholesterol.

Everyone craves sugary foods at some point, whether it’s chocolate, cake or candy. However, foods that are high in added sugar usually contain no protein or fibre, so they can cause your blood sugar levels to spike quickly and then drop sharply. Sugary foods are also associated with increased weight gain when eaten regularly.