It’s no secret that maintaining a balanced diet is one of the most important parts of leading a healthy life and losing weight. This means that in addition to adding nutritious foods to your plate, you also need to cut out highly processed options. Processed foods that contain fat and calories without offering any nutritional value put you at risk for a whole range of health problems and should be especially avoided by anyone looking to lose weight. And while you’re probably already aware of the more obvious culprits, like fast food and potato chips, there can still be some sneaky foods that end up on your plate, including a variety of processed meats.
To shed light on some of the worst processed meats you should cut from your diet if you want to lose weight, we spoke to registered dietitian Catherine Gervacio, nutrition writer for Living.Fit. She told us that three of the worst and most common to watch out for are bacon, deli meats and tube meats like hot dogs and sausages. Learn more about the risks of these meats below!
Bacon’s extremely high fat content makes this meat a serious red flag for anyone looking to lose weight. In fact, Gervacio points out that bacon is “actually considered fat because of the ratio of fat to actual meat.” She says a single slice contains 10.4 grams of fat, providing just 3.84 grams of protein. “Fat contributes to a high calorie intake of 110 calories, which is already the equivalent of 2 slices of bread,” she warns. Ouch! If you love a good old-fashioned egg and cheese sandwich with bacon but don’t want to put your health goals at risk, Gervacio has some better alternatives for you: “Tofu bacon or plant-based bacon is a healthy alternative as it has no cholesterol and tastes similar to bacon,” she suggests.
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As much as we love a tasty ham sandwich made with lunch meat, Gervacio warns that processed deli meats are another food you might want to cut out if you’re looking for a flatter stomach. “Lunch meats and corned beef are also high in fat,” she says, noting that these meats are highly processed, meaning they’ve lost a lot of the nutrients they would otherwise provide. , such as B vitamins and vitamin C. “This compromises healthy weight loss because nutrients needed for daily functioning and metabolism can be affected,” says Gervacio. “It’s best to always choose lean meats fresh from the market, with no visible fat and cooked with little or no fat.” I understood!
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3. Hot dogs and sausages
Although tube-shaped meats can be delicious, they are generally not a good idea for your health, especially if you want to lose weight. Gervacio explains that options like hot dogs and sausages “have a mix of fat and meat to make them tastier. That means they’re high in calories from fat.” But it’s not just the fat content that makes these meats an unhealthy option. Gervacio warns that many of them also contain nitrites, “which are linked to cancer”. Overall, it’s best to remove these processed options from your diet to improve your health. “Instead of processed meats, choose ground, lean meats and cook them with whatever seasonings are available,” Gervacio recommends. “90% ground beef is just as tasty as a sausage when cooked with commercially available sausage seasoning.” Good to know!
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The bottom line
All in all, filling your body with processed foods is never a good idea, as they can seriously harm your health. Choosing whole, nutritious foods is always the best bet, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. Sure, treating yourself to a hot dog or a few slices of bacon once in a while won’t cause you to gain too much weight overnight, but eating these foods in excess can definitely hurt your weight loss journey. So whenever possible, you should swap these options for lean meats or plant-based proteins – you might be surprised at the difference it can make!
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