5 Ingredients to Banish from Meals

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Saturated and Trans Fat

Trans fats have been shown to increase LDL which is the "bad cholesterol." The National Academies of Sciences have even released reports that say you should avoid it at all costs. Luckily, many companies and restaurants have started to post their saturated and trans fat counts on their packaging or websites.

The easiest way to cut out both saturated and trans fat is to stop eating processed baked goods. These almost always have some amount of the bad fat because they contain partially hydrogenated oils. The partially hydrogenated oils allow the products to stay fresh on the shelf for long periods of time without spoiling. Think: Twinkies, cookies, crackers, long shelf-life baked goods, etc. Small substitutions will help you at your own dinner table. When you set out the appetizers before dinner, instead of the requisite cheese and crackers, try serving crudités with a light dip like hummus. Whatever is set out is what people will snack on, so half the battle is just making healthy options available.

You can count on thick, creamy sauces on pastas and meats to be full of these "bad fats." To pass on the pounds at dinner, make your meal without the sauce. A good cut of properly cooked meat can stand on its own. You can jazz up some bland pasta with a mix of brightly colored veggies and a dash of olive oil.


Sodium increases blood pressure which is a factor in kidney disease, strokes and heart attacks. How does it do this? Well, high blood pressure can be caused by a narrowing of the arteries, increased volume of blood or the heart beating faster or more forcefully than normal. A variety of factors can influence these precursors to stroke and heart disease but if you take a few simple steps you can help lower your family's sodium intake and contingently, their blood pressure worries.