The phrase "all things in moderation" has merit, particularly when you're watching what you eat. However, some foods are so laden with trans fats, added sugars and sodium that you should avoid them entirely. Focus on eating whole foods such as lean proteins, whole grains and plenty of produce rather than the foods that dietitians, doctors and other medical professionals say should be restricted as much as possible.
Breakfast No-Nos: Fast-Food Breakfast Sandwiches, Bacon, Sugary Cereal
When you're looking for breakfast on the run, a breakfast sandwich seems like an easy choice. However, nutrition consultant Bonnie Taub-Dix says commercial breakfast sandwiches from fast-food chains should be on list of foods to avoid because the ingredients -- egg, meat and cheese on a bun -- are often processed and greasy. She also recommends skipping bacon because it's high in fat, sodium and the preservative sodium nitrate. Sugary cereal is also on the "skip it" list for breakfast, as too much sugar spikes insulin and causes your body to store more fat.
Unhealthy Lunches: Fast-Food Burgers, Rice Cakes, Fat-Free Salad Dressing
When it comes to selecting your lunch, nutrition author Michael Pollan recommends avoiding industrially produced hamburgers. He says the cattle the beef comes from are raised in dirty conditions, full of growth hormones and fed diets of genetically modified corn. These hamburgers are also more likely to be contaminated with disease-causing bacteria. If you're craving a hamburger, make your own with grass-fed ground beef. If you're on a diet, you might reach for rice cakes and a salad for lunch. The rice cakes, however, are so high on the glycemic index -- a 91, compared to 100 for pure sugar -- that they could make your blood sugar soar. While the salad is a good choice, avoid fat-free salad dressings. According to nutritionist Mike Roussell, Ph.D., they contain sugar, high-fructose corn syrup and other unnatural ingredients. Choose vinegar and plant oils instead.
No-Go Dinners: White Pasta, Swordfish
Pasta and fish are two dinnertime staples, but be careful which kinds you choose. Taub-Dix says never to eat white pasta, as it lacks fiber, vitamins and minerals that its whole-grain counterparts offers. You should also avoid swordfish, says Philip Landrigan, MD -- it is too high in mercury, a neurotoxin, and overfished -- therefore, not eco-friendly.
Desserts to Avoid: Store-Bought Frosting, Restaurant Ice Cream Sundaes
It's a no-brainer that most desserts are high in fat, calories and sugar, but some are worse than others. Melina Jampolis, MD, says to never eat store-bought frosting, as it contains trans fats. These unhealthy fats raise bad cholesterol while lowering good cholesterol and boosts inflammation. Nutrition author Dave Zinczenko also says to avoid eating ice cream sundaes from chain restaurants. They're too big in portion size, he says, and have less-than-desirable ingredients such as corn syrup, cellulose gum and vegetable shortening.