With the barrage of dietary advice, it’s hard to know what should be on your menu and what shouldn’t. Keep it simple by looking at the top 5 ingredients on any food label. If you see these health busters, pass it up.
High-fructose corn syrup: A highly processed sugar, this corn-based sweetening agent not only raises your blood sugar without providing much nutrition, it adds extra calories like other sugars do. Look carefully at labels. High-fructose corn syrup shows up in unexpected places, like being one of the first ingredients in many seemingly healthy breads.
Trans-fats: Trans-fats result when oils are heated and hydrogenated. Unfortunately, these corrupted fatty acids increase LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, directly contributing to coronary death. Manufacturers are now required to list trans-fats on their packaging. But you’d do well also to avoid any product that includes partially hydrogenated oils or shortening in its ingredients.
White flour (refined or enriched): Refinement doesn’t make it better; it strips the whole grain of its natural nutrients. And while the word sounds like a fortification, enrichment is just a fancy way of returning a handful of nutrients destroyed during milling… often with chemical additives like bleach. Most baked goods and many breads are made with white flour. Shoot instead for unprocessed products with whole grains.