What to eliminate in a daily diet

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Eliminating some food from your diet may not be all that bad, but it differs for each person.

Weight creeps up on people in the colder months of the year because of the lack of exercise and binge eating during holiday seasons.

There are certain things that people should reduce or avoid in their day-to-day lives as well to maintain a healthy diet.

Susan Brush, professor of Food and Nutrition program at Fanshawe College, suggests avoiding corn syrup.

As a derivative of corn cobs, corn syrup is more difficult to break down than natural sugars like honey or maple syrup as it does not “activate the satiety trigger, which means that we don’t feel full even though we have taken in the calories [from consuming food]”, Brush said. “Our bodies don’t recognize it as a feeling of fullness or satisfaction.”

This means an unnecessary overconsumption of food, which contributes to weight gain.

Brush explained that if someone were to buy the same salad dressing (packaged into one bottle), there would be vinegar and oil in there, but there would also be additional corn syrup, additional sodium, and an emulsifier agent.

“You’re adding all these extra calories and additives that your body has to process,” Brush said.

Trans fat is also something to reduce in a daily diet, Brush said.

This is because in the long-term, “this can lead to a higher instance of plaque build-up”, she said. This can reduce the chance of getting a heart disease. However, there is a distinction between natural trans fats and artificial versions.

Natural trans fat products found in milk and meat products, whereas artificial ones are synthetically created to make liquid vegetable oils more solid. Many fast food chains use trans fats in their deep fryers because they can be used and reused many times.

While eating whole foods is integral to implementing a healthy diet, avoiding processed foods are not entirely necessary.

Brush suggested buying foods “without or with a decreased label”. This allows people to reduce the amount of additives, sodium, and levels of saturated fat and get them “closer to eating real [and nutritious] food”.

Artificial trans fats can raise bad cholesterol levels and lower good cholesterol levels, which increases the chances of strokes, getting type-2 diabetes, or developing heart diseases.

Brush suggested taking a closer look at food labels because certain products are given exemptions in labeling if their products contain less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. Other times, trans fats are also labelled as “partially hydrogenated oil”, to dodge a careful eye.

Both specialists agree that some substitutes for processed foods are actually more unhealthy than their counterparts.

An example they cite is butter versus margarine.

“Anything in excess is bad. You don’t need to have a whole chunk of butter or put it on everything,” Brush said.

However, having it in moderation would not hurt an otherwise healthy diet.