If you succeed in planning your diet around fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and good fats, you may find yourself naturally cutting back on foods that can get in the way of your healthy diet—sugar, salt and refined starches.
It is okay to enjoy sweets in moderation, but try to cut down on sugar. Sugar causes energy ups and downs and adds to health problems like arthritis, diabetes, osteoporosis, headaches, and depression.
* Give recipes a makeover. Often recipes taste just as good with less sugar.
* Avoid sugary drinks. One 12-oz soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar in it! Try sparkling water with lemon or a splash of fruit juice.
* Eliminate processed foods. Processed foods and foods made with white flour and white sugar cause your blood sugar to go up and down leaving you tired and sapped of energy.
Salt itself is not bad, but most of us consume too much salt in our diets.
* Limit sodium to 2,300 mg per day – the equivalent to one teaspoon of salt. Most of us consume far more than one teaspoon of salt per day.
* Avoid processed, packaged, restaurant and fast food. Processed foods like canned soups or frozen meals contain hidden sodium that quickly surpasses the recommended teaspoon a day.