According to Nutritionists, You Shouldn't Eat These 9 Foods Every Day
Eating healthy doesn't mean eating as much healthy food as you want. Even with nonprocessed food, it's all about moderation and, in fact, there are a few things you shouldn't be eating every single day, according to nutritionists. Whether it's because they can hinder your weight-loss goals or have the potential to exacerbate health problems, here are nine foods two experts say you should limit to just a couple of times a week.
According to Brigitte Zeitlin, MPH, RD, a registered dietitian in New York City, tuna is a great source of protein and makes for a great, quick protein addition to your lunch or dinner. However, as with all fish and shellfish, you should keep track of the amount you eat and keep in mind eating too much of it could lead to mercury accumulation. The FDA recommends pregnant women and children eat only up to 12 ounces (or two meals) of light canned tuna a week.
"Mercury poisoning can give you bad headaches, impair your speech, walking, and hearing, slow your cognitive function ,and lead to drastic mood swings, so it's definitely something we want to avoid," said Zeitlin. "It is best to keep your tuna to just one or two meals a week, and supplement with other fish, like salmon, halibut or cod."
Animal-based proteins can be part of your healthy diet, "but it's a great idea to try to make one or two days a week plant-based days," said Zeitlin. By adding more vegetable-based meals to your diet, "You'll up your fiber and antioxidant intake, which can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, inflammation, and other chronic illnesses." She advised getting your plant-based protein from hemp hearts, lentils, chickpeas, peas, edamame, and beans. You can also add a plant-based protein powder to your morning oatmeal or smoothies.
"Dried fruit can be a great pre-workout snack for a quick energy boost," said Zeitlin. "But all dried fruit (dates, figs, apricots, mango, berries, etc.) is higher in sugar than their fresh counterpart, which can hinder your weight loss goals."
The expert prefers fresh or frozen fruit over dried, but said that if you prefer dried fruit, you should have "1/4 cup and keep it to just two times a week." Another alternative she loves: a banana with nut butter.
"Kombucha can be a great source of probiotics, and generally speaking, probiotics are helpful for fighting belly bloat," said Zeitlin. "Since this drink combines the gut-helpers with carbonation, it can backfire, as carbonation usually leads to feeling bloated and gassy. Additionally, kombucha can be acidic, so if you have any sort of reflux, this drink may make it worse." She suggested that you only drink half a bottle at time and space it out during the week instead of consuming it every day.
We're not saying you need to quit your favorite healthy morning muffin or post-lunch dessert; we're just saying you need to watch your sugar intake. "Every healthy lifestyle includes indulgences, but if you are trying to lose weight, indulging in your favorite treat every day may have you taking in too much sugar to meet your goals," said Zeitlin. "Instead, choose to have one ounce of dark chocolate on a daily basis, and keep larger treats to just one or two times a week."
Grapefruit has a reputation for being great for weight loss, but according to Shauna Sacco, MS, RDN, a certified personal trainer in Houston, it can interfere with certain medications — the FDA agrees — including cholesterol medicine, anxiety medication, and antihistamines. Talk to your doctor to determine if this is a fruit you should avoid.
"Vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and kale contain thiocyanates, which [when consumed in high quantities can interfere with the absorption of iodine and, according to some research, could play a role in hypothyroidism," said Sacco. Talk to a physician to determine if you're at risk.
You do actually need salt in your diet, but it's all about consuming it in moderation. You might want to reduce the amount of salt you add to your food and watch for the sodium in packaged goods if you're experiencing bloating, but Sacco also said that, like with cruciferous vegetables, you should talk to your doctor about cutting salt if you have any thyroid issues.
You already know juice can be high in sugar, so it probably comes as no surprise to see this item on the list. "Juicing takes out all the fiber from fruits and vegetables," said Sacco. "Fiber from whole fruits and vegetables helps keep us full longer and improves gut mobility."