If you want to lose weight this year, avoid low-quality “junk” foods. The 2022 State of Obesity Report found that 19 states now have obesity rates exceeding 35% and that 4 in 10 American adults are obese, according to Eat This, Not That! The report notes that our obesity epidemic may be caused, in part, by easy access to affordable ultra-processed foods and beverages.
Some common examples of common culprits include sugary drinks, shelf stable deli meats and meat snacks, fried potatoes and other savory snacks, French fries, ice cream and doughnuts. These products not only cause weight gain, but also increase the risk of cognitive decline, according to a study published in JAMA Neurology.
Here are some of the foods and drinks you should avoid in 2023:
• Processed meat and poultry products. Studies have shown that the consumption of deli meats, bacon and sausages, shelf stable meat sticks and other processed animal products is linked to increased abdominal fat and central obesity. Dr. Gabe Mirkin, author of “The Healthy Heart Miracle,” told Newsmax that a 2019 study found that women with the highest percentage of abdominal fat had double the risk of heart disease compared to those having the lowest amount of abdominal 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. Diet is the biggest contributor to belly fat. In one study, participants who ate the most processed meats experienced a 22% increased risk of central obesity compared to those who ate the least processed meats.
• Fried Potato Foods. A major study of over 120,000 middle-aged women found that potato chips and other processed potato products were strongly correlated with weight gain. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating French fries is associated with high death rates and an increased risk of developing obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
• Donuts. These treats for office meetings are more harmful to our waistline than you think, says Eat This, Not That! Donuts are full of low fiber refined flour and added sugar and when fried they become extremely high in calories and low in nutritional value. Having coffee and a donut for breakfast instead of a filling high-protein meal can trigger cravings for other refined carbs and high-calorie foods late into the afternoon. Eggs, low-fat yogurt, and cottage cheese are better high-protein options to eat in the morning to boost metabolism, beat cravings, and help build and maintain muscle mass that helps shed belly fat.
• Ice. Ice cream has been labeled one of the “most addictive foods,” says Eat This, Not That! Studies have shown that eating ice cream often makes you crave more of it to get the same level of brain satisfaction, much like having to take more medication to get the same response. The combination of sugar and fat in ice cream is what makes it so enjoyable.
• Sugary drinks. A recent study in Nature Reviews Endocrinology provided ample evidence that sugary drinks are linked to weight gain, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer. Sugary drinks are the number one source of sugar in the United States. Studies show that consuming a can of juice or sugary soda daily results in a weight gain of 5 pounds over a period of one year. Reducing the consumption of these beverages can help you not only avoid weight gain in 2023, but possibly also help you lose weight.
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