If you’re struggling with your overall health, then the foods that are in your refrigerator could be contributing to your problems. Many grew up in homes that had a fridge that was stocked with foods like cheese, yogurt, and lunch meat. Although these food items can be healthy in moderation, far too often they are the foundation of a dietary plan.
Some foods just need to disappear – like that lunch meat. Many lunch meat slices are filled with nitrates and extra sodium. If you just can’t give up your sandwiches, consider using fresh poultry, like chicken or turkey breast, to make the sandwich instead. It’s cheaper, healthier, but won’t last as long because it doesn’t have preservatives.
Here are some other foods that seem healthy, but could be contributing to poor nutritional habits.
1. Whole Milk
Milk is nice because of its high calcium levels, but whole milk contains a lot of extra fat that adults don’t really need. Whole milk will also cause your cholesterol numbers to rocket upward in a way that you don’t want.
Switch to skim milk if you want to keep this beverage in your fridge, but consider going with coconut or hemp milk for a healthier alternative that doesn’t taste like milk-water.
It’s a vegetable for sure, but it is also one that has a high level of salt with virtually no other nutrients. If the pickles have been sitting in the fridge for a couple of months, then the brine around them will cause the pickle to absorb even more salt than what is likely on the food label.
If you love pickled foods, consider making a switch to sauerkraut instead. Because it is made with cabbage, you’ll gain several healthy nutrients while still getting to enjoy that specific fermentation flavor that you love.
3. Flavored Water
What could be wrong with flavored water? It has natural flavoring, but tends to be sweetened. Some flavored water products have almost the same number of calories as a can of Coca-Cola. Some of them sneak some caffeine into the product, however, and there can be surprisingly high levels of sodium in some products as well.
Look at carbonated water instead. Seltzer waters can be infused with natural flavors, have no sugar, and give you the bubbles that you like without the high calories of other water or soda products.
4. Juice Cocktails or Drinks
If a product is 100% juice, then it isn’t necessarily bad for you. Grape juice and cherry juice have excellent qualities to them and can even help to support a plan of good nutrition. Unsweetened cranberry juice supports urinary health. It’s when the label says that the juice is a “drink” or a “cocktail” that you need to be careful.
Many of the drinks and cocktails are not 100% juice. They may have added water, corn syrup, and other sweeteners that mimic the real thing. Stick with the real thing, but still watch how much you drink, because even natural sugars can add up.
5. Cheese Slices
If it doesn’t grow mold, then it can make your body become prematurely old. Cheese slices might be made from old melted cheese, but they also tend to have lots of preservatives in them so they can last. This is especially true for the individually-wrapped slices.
Use raw cheese from local sources that have big flavors. Aged cheddar is always a good option. A low-fat mozzarella cheese is another good choice. If local isn’t an option, then look for small, independent suppliers at your store instead of national-brand cheese for the best results.
Good nutrition requires good eating habits. Unfortunately, some of our favorite foods don’t support good eating habits. Evaluate what is in your fridge today and then make any changes that you feel may be necessary.