The 5 “W” Foods To Avoid This Winter
Maintaining a balanced DIETARY regimen isn’t easy.
We all have busy lives that can make it hard to maintain consistent, healthy eating habits, so we are here to help make it a bit easier this winter. Whether you’re eating out or shopping for groceries, watch out for these five “W’s” and opt for their healthier alternatives this winter to ensure you’re getting the most out of your food.
White potatoes have gotten a bad rap lately — but the truth is, they themselves aren’t all bad.
The biggest problem with most white potato dishes lies in the preparation: butter, cream, table salt, cheese, and bacon are all bad news. Try avoiding these fried and creamy variations of white potatoes like french fries, potato chips, mashed potatoes, and tater tots. Instead, have a baked potato, substitute for a sweet potato, or go with cauliflower mash instead of mashed potatoes.
White flour and everything made with it — white bread, dinner rolls, baguettes, hot dog buns, and more — lack nutritional value.
There are three parts to a wheat kernel: the bran, endosperm, and germ. White flour is made exclusively of the endosperm, a starchy substance that lacks nutritional value. The bran and germ — the location of fibers and minerals — are removed from the wheat before its ground into white flour. Eating refined starches like this, also known as simple carbohydrates, can cause rapid swings in blood glucose levels, which can activate your body’s natural inflammatory response. So try avoiding white flour products and opt for gluten-free alternatives. If you’re shopping for flour, there are many healthier alternatives to consider: almond meal, rice flour, oat flour, coconut flour, and all-purpose gluten-free flour.
Consuming too much white granulated sugar can cause many different health issues, from diabetes to tooth decay.
Companies add white sugar to so many packaged foods that the FDA has recently mandated that “added sugar” be listed in nutrition facts. If purchasing packaged foods, watch out for added sugars. Thankfully, there are enough healthier sources of natural sugar available to avoid white it completely. Instead of granulated sugar, try using Stevia as a white sugar replacement and coconut sugar as a brown sugar replacement. There are also other great natural sweeteners like raw, unfiltered honey and agave nectar.
Milk does a body good… right? Research shows that actually might not be the case.
Approximately 75 percent of the world’s population will lose the ability to digest lactose at some point in their life. Dairy contains more calories and less nutritional value than many of its alternatives. Try replacing dairy milk with a plant-based alternative like almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, hemp milk, or hazelnut milk. And if you’re worried that you won’t get enough calcium without dairy milk, don’t be! Just add in more plant-based, calcium-rich foods like dark leafy greens, seeds, and almonds.
White salt, or table salt, is a highly-processed version of naturally-occurring salt from the earth.
The processes table salt undergoes strips it of healthy minerals and leaves it lacking many of its original nutrition benefits. Most table salt also has synthetic chemicals added to it during this processing. Switch out table salt for unprocessed sea salt or pink Himalayan salt.
Try avoiding these five “W’s” starting this winter and see how much healthier you feel. Healthy habits don’t form overnight, so start slow. These incremental changes to your nutritional regime will become more natural over time and easier once you feel the positive impacts they have on you.