5 Foods You Should Never Eat

Put. Down. The. Margarine.Put. Down. The. Margarine.You already know you should limit how much junk food you eat on a regular basis in order to be healthy. But nutritionist Stephanie Middleberg, RD, founder of Middleberg Nutrition, says you should avoid some foods altogether. Her list of foods you should never eat

By Korin Miller

1. Artificial Sweeteners
In small doses (think: one teaspoon per serving), sugar is totally fine. But it gets a little dicey when you have too many artificial sweeteners. Here's the deal: Sweeteners are way, um, sweeter than sugar, and they can reset your taste buds to crave sugary foods. As a result, you end up eating more junk. Plus, people who limit their artificial sweetener use find that they have more energy, and don't have as many cravings.

2. Margarine
Most of us think it's a healthy alternative to butter (err, guilty), but margarine has loads of trans fats, which increase your cholesterol. And it contains a lot of ingredients vs butter's one or two. The calorie count is also similar to butter, but we tend to eat more of it because we think it's healthier. Your best bet: Stick with small does of butter or use heart-healthy olive oil.

Related: 7 Ways to Get Perky Boobs

3. Soy Protein Isolate
All soy isn't bad, but the isolate (a refined, often genetically-modified form of soy that pops up in a lot of soy-based products) resembles estrogen, which is iffy-some research has shown that it can increase the risk of cancers and infertility in women. If you want to go vegetarian, opt for veggie burgers with quinoa, chickpeas, or black beans as a base, and eat protein bars that are based on nuts and seeds. And for meat subs, go for beans, nuts, seeds, nut butters, and natural sources of soy like edamame, tofu, and tempeh.

4. Diet Foods
Unfortunately, "diet" or "low-fat" doesn't mean low-calorie. Diet bars and low-fat foods like yogurts usually have more sugar, salt, and unhealthy fillers to make them taste okay. Even worse, we typically eat double the serving we should because we're not satisfied or think that it's okay to eat more because it's "healthy."

Related: The Best Diet Tricks That Don't Involve Dieting

5. Frozen Meals
These babies are convenient (hello dinner in five minutes or less!) but are often heavily processed and filled with fat and salt. Instead of going this route, make a big meal (like a yummy soup or stew) at home when you have some downtime, portion it out, and freeze the servings. Frozen fruits and veggies are okay, too, as long as you look for options without added sauces or salt.

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