It’s not always easy to make good food choices. I think about this every morning when I’m at my favorite coffee place and the gorgeous assortment of perfectly glazed doughnuts—each one the size of my head, mind you— right next to the register starts talking to me. Luckily, just in time for the overindulging season, “Today” show nutritionist Joy Bauer came by The Thread to give us a little extra healthy-eating motivation. Did you know that certain sugary, fatty, white-floury goods can actually make you look, and, of course, feel, older than you are? In this episode, Joy lays out the five foods we should all steer clear of. And be sure to check out the blog below for Joy's healthy alternatives.
We all know the “you are what you eat” concept, but sometimes it’s still hard to keep that in mind when we just want that giant slab of pizza. By the time we’ve reasoned with ourselves, were holding only the crust. If we focus on what these ingredients are actually doing to our bodies (i.e. aging our insides and our outside), hopefully we'll all be able to make better food choices more often. Joy's latest book, Food Cures, explains how you can use your food— eating more of certain things and avoiding others—to treat a variety of ailments. Powerful stuff. What I love about Joy’s advice is that she’s always got something else you can “treat” yourself with so you don’t feel like you’re missing out. Here are the five foods Joy says we need to cut back on and what we should turn to instead.
1. Sugary breakfast pastries
Danishes, donuts, toaster cakes—they’re all a combo of white flour, sugar, and fat that skyrocket your blood sugar and set you up for an inevitable crash a few hours later.
A better idea: Make your own version with a toasted whole-wheat pita slathered with nut butter and topped with strawberries, apple slices or bananas.
2. Big white starchy bagels
When you eat one of these, you’re missing the benefits whole grains have to offer, such as fiber and antioxidants. Plus, one bagel is the caloric equivalent of eating four to five slices of white bread!
A better option: Go for a whole-grain bagel and get rid of some of the inside dough to save calories. Top your bagel with a healthy option like a nut butter or light cream cheese.
3. Hot dogs
They may look like protein, but they’re actually 80% fat and nutritionally abysmal. According to Joy, many studies have linked fatty meats to diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
A better idea: Eat them only at the ballpark or avoid them entirely.
4. Deep-dish pizza
All that crust means a ton of white refined flour (see white bagels above), plus full-fat, artery-clogging cheese and often, fatty meats. When you’re going deep-dish, one slice is actually more like three.
A better idea: Go for a thin-crust option in moderation and pile on fiber-rich veggies.
5. Movie theater popcorn
It’s so hard not to indulge when the smell overtakes you as soon as you buy your ticket, but focus on the fact that a medium bucket of the stuff has more calories and fat than three fast-food burgers.
A better idea: Make some popcorn at home without all the butter and fat and sneak it in with you.