We all have our guilty pleasures when it comes to food, but what are the most nutrient deficient foods to avoid? The list could go on forever, but below you will find Ten Nutrient Deficient Foods to Avoid. Consider yourself warned!
1. Donuts – Krispy Kreme donuts are yummy, yes. But good for you? Not even a little bit. Most donuts are made with large amounts of trans fat (fatty acids that are produced when manufacturers use a chemical process to turn liquid oil into solids) and are loaded with sugar and simple carbohydrates. Not to mention up to 400 calories per donut. Donuts are definitely a nutrient deficient food, so opt for a scrambled egg and some whole wheat toast instead.
2. Chips and snacks – While there are some healthy alternatives out there, most chips are made with processed vegetable oils and have high fat, sodium, and carbohydrate levels. Instead, choose whole-grain crackers with a little cheese for protein.
3. Soda – Soda is everywhere and it’s easy to grab, but it is definitely a food you should avoid. A large orange soda at McDonalds will cost you 350 calories and carries with it a whopping 89 grams of carbohydrates. Sugary colas are nutrient deficient foods that are basically made up of artificial ingredients, sodium, and sugar. Switch to water and flavor it with lemon or lime for a healthy drink.
4. Fries – You know this one isn’t good for you, right? Fried potatoes can raise your insulin levels, are loaded with salt, fat, and carbs. The saturated fat content is high in fries and other fried foods, raising your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels, and they often contain high levels of trans fat. They may taste good, but they are nutritionally deficient food and are going to put you on the fast track towards a heart attack if eaten on a regular basis.
5. Hot dogs (and other processed meats) – Processed meats, including hot dogs, are high in nitrates, which can convert to a toxic chemical in your body. Plus, they are extremely high in salt, fat, and calories. Ask for a grilled chicken sandwich instead.
6. White bread – Bread is harmless, right? Well, that depends. White flour has low levels of calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, copper, thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin. That makes white bread nutrient deficient in many ways! Look for 100% whole wheat bread and check to make sure “whole wheat flour” is the first or second ingredient listed.
7. Pasta – Pasta is usually made from white flour, and then gets topped with butter and cheese. While small servings of pasta are okay, most of us heap up servings that can equal up to 500 calories and 30 grams of fat. Choose whole-grain pasta or make another choice entirely to avoid consuming a nutrient deficient dinner.
8. Full-fat ice cream – While there are plenty of low(er) fat ice cream choices out there, the full-fat kinds still rein supreme. Beware of high saturated fat levels, tons of calories, and an expanding waistline. Better choice? Full-fruit sorbet or low-fat frozen yogurt.
9. Alcohol – Most alcohol contains high levels of calories, absolutely no nutritional content, lowers your inhibitions when it comes to consuming unhealthy food (as well as more alcohol and other risky choices), and can eventually cause liver damage. One glass of wine a day may do your heart good – but drink no more than that.
10. Fried seafood – Yes, some seafood is healthy for you, like grilled salmon. But almost all seafood contains mercury, and fried seafood is largely a nutrient deficient food. And frying any kind of food makes it unhealthy for your heart and your waistline. So go ahead, order some grilled salmon…but avoid the fried shrimp.
When in doubt, choose whole grains, avoid fast food, drink water, and eat lots of fruit and veggies. Then your diet will be a “do” instead of a “don’t!”