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6 Unhealthy Foods to Limit for a Clean Diet

EatingWell's Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D., provides tips for how to eat healthy and tells you what foods you should cut from your diet to clean it up. By limiting these 6 unhealthy foods from your diet, you can eat cleaner. She also offers advice on healthy foods to replace them with for better health.

Hi, I'm Brierley and I'm here in the EatingWell Test Kitchen. I'm going to show you a few ways to clean up your diet. First, here we have saturated fat. Those are the fats found in items like whole milk, full-fat cheese and butter. Eating too many of these things can raise your bad cholesterol, which isn't good for your arteries. So instead, what you want to do is you want to try and replace some or all of them with healthy fats, which are found in plant foods: think of avocados, nuts, olive oil. The second item is refined grains: think white rice, white pasta and white flour. Choosing those means that you're missing out on beneficial fiber and other good-for-you nutrients. Instead, you want to replace them with whole-wheat pasta, whole grains and whole-wheat bread. When you're buying packaged foods, look for the words whole wheat, not just wheat. Here we have alcohol. Research has shown that there are some benefits to drinking alcohol, like raising your good cholesterol and helping to ward off dementia and Alzheimer's disease. But the key thing to note is that you should only be consuming it moderately. Moderately means one drink a day for women, two drinks a day for men. The next item is processed foods. You want to look at the items that you have at home that have long ingredient lists. So try this at home: Go through your cabinet. Look for the items that you could replace with healthier homemade versions: think homemade pizza instead of frozen pizza, think homemade soup instead of canned soup. Even homemade cookies instead of packaged cookies. It's a really easy way to clean up your diet. The next item is sugar. Americans eat far more sugar than what's recommended. In fact they eat about 30 teaspoons a day, which translates to over 400 calories. Eating too much sugar has been linked with risk factors for heart disease. Instead you want to stick to what the American Heart Association recommends, that's six teaspoons a day for women and nine teaspoons a day for men. The next item is salt, another item that we eat too much of. In fact, you're only supposed to get one teaspoon of salt a day but most Americans get one and a half or more. What's the top source of salt in our diet? Packaged bread and packaged foods. The easiest way to cut back on salt is to cook with more whole ingredients than processed ingredients. And also, when you're cooking, flavor it with herbs or spices. For more healthy eating tips and recipes come to eatingwell.com.
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