Thursday, August 12, 2010

Dr. Oz's 6 Worst Meals in America

With the help of Andrew Knowlton, restaurant editor for Bon Appetit magazine, Dr. Oz identified the 6 most diet-busting meals in America. But you can enjoy healthier versions of your favorite unhealthy dishes with's good-for-you alternatives.
By merrit watts

Ice cream with mix-ins (candy, brownie bits, sprinkles and sauce)
This sweet treat was caught with 1,344 grams of sugar, thanks to the added toppings. Dr. Oz's advice: If you want to indulge a bit, just stick to a plain scoop or order gelato or sorbet instead, which are often lower in sugar; also trade candy mix-ins for fresh fruit.
Or, try these frozen faves that both slim and satisfy: Sharon's Sorbet, Mixed Berry (110 calories, 0 g fat per 1/2 cup); Edy's Light Slow Churned Neapolitan (100 calories, 3 g fat per 1/2 cup); and Yoláto Frozen Yogurt Gelato Bars Swirled With Pomegranate Sorbet ((80 calories, 0 g fat per pop).

Breakfast Sandwich
This diner sandwich consisting of pancake-wrapped egg, sausage and cheese has 973 milligrams of cholesterol. The average amount of cholesterol recommended per day? 300 milligrams.
"Eggs, sausage and cheese stuffed in any kind of bread—even whole-grain—is not a healthy combo. But wrapped in a pancake? That's a serious offense," Dr. Oz says.

Pasta with breaded shrimp
Pasta with breaded shrimp has 196 grams of carbs, nearly an entire day's worth. Huge portions of inexpensive carbs like pasta or fries are common offerings at restaurants. Such ingredients are both cheap and make the customer feel stuffed, as if they've gotten a great deal, Dr. Oz warns.
But there's no need to skip the carbs altogether. Research shows high-fiber varieties are so satisfying, they'll curb cravings to keep you slim and may help ward off cancer and heart disease.
You can definitely put pasta on your plate, but keep servings modest (one cup of cooked pasta has about 220 calories) and pair it with other healthy foods like vegetables and protein to round out your meal. Substitute a whole-grain variety in any recipe, which is naturally higher in fiber, protein and iron than the white stuff. Swap rich cream and butter toppings for marinara and other vegetable-based sauces.

Pepperoni and meatball pizza
The average slice of pepperoni and meatball pizza has 25 grams of fat, about half a day's worth. But one of America's favorite pastimes—going out for pizza—doesn't have to be a caloric catastrophe if you stick with the basic and stop at two slices. Steer clear of cheese-filled crusts; they can add 10 grams of fat per slice.
Dr. Oz advises ordering "Neapolitan-style" pizza with a thin crust and classic, beautiful ingredients like tomato sauce, fresh cheese and basil. (Want to make 100% sure your slice is healthy? Prepare it at home.)

Fish encrusted with parmesan cheese, served with spicy rice
You think you're making a healthy choice by ordering the fish, but not if it's served encrusted with salty breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese and seasoned rice on the side, Dr. Oz warns. (Eaten in moderation, however, parmesan is also a top weight loss food.) This salt-laden dish has 3,300 milligrams of sodium; the average maximum daily intake should be 2,300 milligrams. Not only will taking in too much sodium prompt your body to hang on to water weight, which causes bloat, but it's also harmful to your health. When cooking at home, add flavor with hot peppers and onions instead of salt.

Chicken burrito and chips
This lunch special has 1,700 calories—almost an entire day's worth! High-calorie ingredients like refried beans, white rice, cheddar cheese and sour cream make this dish a diet don't.
But cheese doesn't have to be a no-no. Women who had one serving of whole milk or cheese daily were less likely to gain weight over time, a study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition finds. Whole dairy may have more conjugated linoleic acid, which might help your body burn fat.
Love avocado? It's actually a top weight loss food. The heart-healthy monounsaturated fat it contains increases satiety. Add avocado to your sandwich instead of mayo for a creamy texture and a shot of flavor. Avocados do contain a lot of calories, however, so it's best to watch your portions.

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