If you want to lose weight this coming year, avoid low-quality “junk” foods. The 2022 State of Obesity Report found that 19 states now have obesity rates topping 35% and that 4 out of 10 US adults are obese, says Eat This, Not That! The report notes that our obesity epidemic may be caused, in part, by the easy access to affordable, ultra-processed foods and beverages.
Some common examples of common culprits include sugar-sweetened beverages, deli meat and shelf-stable meat snacks, potato and other fried salty snacks, french fries, ice cream, and donuts. These products not only cause weight gain but also increase the risk of cognitive decline, according to research published in JAMA Neurology.
Here are some of the food and beverages you should avoid in 2023:
• Processed meat and poultry products. Studies have shown that consumption of deli meat, bacon and sausage, shelf-stable meat sticks, and other processed animal-based products is linked to increased belly fat and central obesity. Dr. Gabe Mirkin, author of “The Healthy Heart Miracle,” tells Newsmax that a 2019 study found that women with the highest percentage of belly fat had double the risk for heart disease compared to those with the lowest amount of belly fat. Tara Collingwood, co-author of the “Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies,” says the more belly fat you have, the more dangerous it is to your health. The largest contributor to belly fat is diet. In one study, participants who ate the most processed meats experienced a 22% increase in risk for central obesity compared to those who ate the least amount of processed meats.
• Fried potato-based foods. One prominent study of more than 120,000 middle-aged women found that potato chips and other processed potato products were highly correlated with weight gain. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that fried potato consumption is associated with elevated mortality rates, and an increased risk of developing obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
• Donuts. These office meeting treats are more harmful to our waistline than you think, says Eat This, Not That! Donuts are full of refined, low-fiber flour and added sugar and when they are fried, they become extremely high in calories and low in nutritional value. Having coffee and a donut for breakfast instead of a satiating, protein-rich meal can trigger cravings for other refined carbs and high-calorie foods well into the afternoon. Eggs, low-fat yogurt, and cottage cheese are better high-protein options to eat in the morning to boost metabolism, conquer cravings, and help build and maintain muscle mass that helps blast away belly fat.
• ice-cream. Ice cream has been labeled one of the most “addictive foods,” says Eat This, Not That! Studies have found that eating ice cream frequently causes you to crave more in order to get the same level of brain satisfaction, much like having to take more drugs to elicit the same response. The combination of sugar and fat in ice cream is what makes it so crave-worthy.
• Sugar drinks. A recent study in Nature Reviews Endocrinology provided abundant evidence that sugary beverages are linked to weight gain, Type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and some types of cancer. Sugar-sweetened beverages are the number one source of sugar in the US Studies show that drinking one can of a sugar-sweetened juice or soda every day results in a 5-pound increase in weight over a one-year period. Cutting back on these beverages may help you not only stave off weight gain in 2023 but perhaps lose weight.
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