10 Foods to Banish from Your Pantry

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8. White bread

Start your children on whole wheat bread when they're young, and they'll thank you when they're enjoying the health benefits years down the road. A study from the University of Washington, published in a 2003 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association, found that making the switch from white bread to whole wheat bread can lower the risk of heart disease by 20%.

9. Grocery store bakery muffins

Today's muffins are monstrosities compared to the smaller versions of the bygone days. The average bakery muffin packs anywhere from 340 to 630 calories each and unhealthy levels of saturated fat, including the particularly dangerous trans fat. Like most baked good, you're better off using whole wheat flour, applesauce and natural fruits and nuts to make portion-controlled muffins in your own kitchen.

10. Soda

Regular soda is nothing but carbonated, highly acidic sugar water, and most diet sodas are flavored with artificial sweeteners of dubious health consequences. Both have been linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes (yes, even diet soda has been found to contribute to weight gain). Break the cola addiction by slowly decreasing your daily intake and switch to naturally flavored waters or carbonated water mixed with a splash of 100% real fruit juice.

By banishing these 10 foods from your pantry, you and your family are taking an important first step to living and eating more healthfully and consciously.