5 Ingredients You Should Remove From Your Kitchen

There’s a lot of advice out there about what to eat, but there’s not quite as much advice about the specific foods and ingredients that are hindering your weight loss goals. So join us as we break down 5 ingredients that have likely graced our kitchens, but should be forever banned.

1. Artificial Sweeteners like Aspartame

Let’s get one thing straight, it’s not a healthy alternative to replace your sugar consumption with artificial sweetener. Next time you reach for that diet soda, yogurt, and stick o’ gum, remember to check the label. It may contain aspartame, an artificial sweetener that, while yes, contains no calories, is also a proven neurotoxin. Anything with the word “toxin” in it is a definite no no!

2. Non-Natural Food Colorings

Is food coloring an ingredient? In red velvet cake it is, so we’re going to count it as one. Unfortunately, food colorings or dyes such as Red 40, Yellow 5 and Yellow 6, and Red 3 (the most commonly used) are found in a wide variety of foods across all platforms (sweets, meat, processed foods, etc). It’s wise to avoid foods containing food colorings due to associated health risks like cancer and ADHD. If you’re looking at add some color to your diet, stick to foods that are naturally colorful. The brighter, the better!

3. Agave Nectar

Don’t be fooled—this natural sweetener is definitely not as healthy as you think. Containing a higher percentage of fructose than any other sweetener (including high fructose corn syrup!), agave nectar increases insulin resistance, thereby increasing one’s risk of developing type II diabetes. And as you likely know or suspected, elevated consumption of fructose also leads to weight gain.

4. Margarine

Can’t believe it’s not butter? That’s because it’s not and it’s NOT good for you. We were led to believe that butter was the bad guy and that we should replace it with margarine, a synthetic, refined vegetable oil spread containing unwanted additives. Margarine will not decrease your risk of heart attack, as was once thought, in fact, it may actually be more damaging to your health. Stick to the real thing, butter (of course, in moderation).

5. Nitrates in Meat

It just sounds nasty, am I right? This preservative turns into a carcinogenic compound when it’s added to meat. For those unfamiliar with the term “carcinogenic” it simply means “increases one’s risk of certain types of cancers”. This compound is formed even more readily when exposed to high temperatures. Last time I checked, cooking meat to 165F was a must for consuming it safely. Check the label for no nitrate meats!

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Carly Sippel is a registered yoga teacher, certified life coach, and nutrition nut. She has a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Dietetics from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. She turns her passion into practice, promoting healthy bodies in both her personal and professional life.