They may come in a pretty package, but these foods are bad for your waistline and your health. Here are nine processed foods you need to ditch right now, according to Redbook.
9. Flavored Yogurt
An average container of flavored yogurt can contain 24 to 30 grams of sugar -- the entire recommended daily allowance for most women. Buy plain yogurt to cut down on the sugar and the cost.
8. Cookies with added fiber
The fiber from processed foods like yogurt and cookies isn't as healthy as eating the unprocessed, intact kind of fiber found in whole grains, beans, and produce. Choose cookies made with whole grains instead.
7. Fat-free potato chips
Olestra is an ingredient in many fat-free potato chips, and the side effects -- like diarrhea -- are pretty gross. Plus, chips aren't high in fiber so they aren't going to fill you up much and make you more likely to snack again.
6. Diet soda
Besides triggering major dips in energy, soda often makes it tougher to fall asleep at night and can damage tooth enamel if you drink enough of it every day.
5. Instant oatmeal
Oatmeal is good for you, but those little packets of instant oatmeal have a high glycemic index, meaning your body digests them quicker than slow-cooked oats and won't leave you feeling very full.
4. Packaged egg whites
Unlike the real stuff, Egg Beaters and other packaged egg whites contain artificial ingredients such as "color" and maltodextrin, a sweetener also used in candy. Egg yolks aren't all that bad either. They're packed with protein and lutein, which keeps eyes healthy.
3. Bottled barbecue sauces and salad dressings
Bottled barbecue sauces and salad dressings often have high levels of sugar, which stoke your appetite and are linked to inflammation. The low-fat versions are typically even sweeter.
2. Sugar-free bars
Sugar-free snack bars containing the artificial sweetener sorbitol are difficult for your body to break down and can cause bloating and indigestion. Choose snack bars low that are naturally low in sugar with less than five ingredients.
1. Multigrain tortilla chips
An ounce of multigrain tortilla chips is high in fat and calories and doesn't pack much of a fiber punch at just 2 grams or less. Spread salsa or guacamole on lower-calorie, higher-fiber crispbreads or flatbreads instead.