On a Monday like this I am at my favorite cafe on Little street and I wish I had a stick for everyone eating to keep warm. Winters are associated with the weight month and many of that blame come from trying to keep warm.
Considering the weather here in the western cape is under its own calendar, keeping warm sometimes is a mission.
Cold winter days and nights get us thinking about munching away on warm comfort foods. But the problem with most comfort foods is – well – they’re bad for you. They’re bad for your weight loss program and bad for your overall health. With wintertime rapidly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about how you should stock your cupboards during the cold winter months. If you’re interested in keeping the weight off and your arteries clean, here are ten foods you’ll want to avoid this winter.
1. Cream-based soups
Nothing’s better than a nice bowl of soup on a cold winter day, but stay away from those cream-based chowders and bisques which are high in both salt and fat. Reach instead for broth-based soups, like chicken noodle and minestrone.
Everyone loves pie, and we always conveniently to point to the antioxidant-rich nuts and healthy fruits that are used to make it. You’re right…they have some truly good-for-you ingredients, but they’re also loaded with sugar and tend to be covered with whipped topping or ice cream. So if you must have pie, only take a small sliver, and avoid the toppings!
3. Fried Sides
French fried potatoes are the most popular vegetable in America…and they’re fattening you up more than you’ll know! Switching out fried foods like onion rings and fries for a side salad keeps you trimmer and healthier.
4. Pot Pie
Yummm….pot pie during the winter. Pot pies taste great, but they’re a treasure-trove of fat and salt. It’s almost like eating a cream-based soup inside a pie! If you like chicken or turkey, eat some roasted poultry and skip the calories.
5. Baked Goods
Warm baked goods melt in your mouth on a cold day. Dumplings is a custom but while they are slowly losing the trans fats, they’re still jam-packed with saturated fats. Indulge yourself only occasionally, and choose low- or no-fat desserts like fruit or sorbet instead.
Cheese-topped lasagna on a winter night – sounds good, right? Unfortunately, full-fat cheeses can add inches to your belly. Try a veggie lasagna and leave the cheeses at the grocery store!
Just to be clear, bacon is really just salted fat. Thus it should come as no surprise that it’s loaded with – wait for it! – salt and fat. Worse yet, it contains cancer-causing nitrates. Hop off the heart attack express and check out veggie sausages or turkey bacon, which aren’t as bad for you.
8. Hot Dogs
Beef hot dogs are a lot like bacon – lots of fat, salt, nitrates and meat of questionable origin. Try turkey or all natural hot dogs instead.
9. Tropical Oils
It’s become fashionable to cook with coconut or palm kernel oils, but they are loaded with saturated fat. It’s bad enough that you’ll get them when you eat out…avoid them at home. Stick with olive or canola oil to keep your cholesterol in check.
Soda may go down like water, but it packs on the pounds like cookies. If you are a soda drinker looking to lose weight, start a love affair with water…it’s the surest path (and one of the easiest!) to short-term weight loss.
Smile – it isn’t all bad. Leafy green vegetables are still great for you, and both eggs and berries are considered superfoods. Eggs load you up with quality proteins, and berries can satisfy those sweet-tooth cravings…with none of the guilty downsides of a hot fudge sundae!
Which winter comfort food will you be avoiding this winter?
– Contributions from Healthy Lifestyles