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Worst Foods in Your Fridge

10 unhealthy foods that are probably lurking in your refrigerator or freezer right now.
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WebMD Expert Column

You know you're courting nutritional disaster if you order the fettuccine Alfredo or double bacon cheeseburger when you're eating out. But what about unhealthy foods right in your own refrigerator? If you're like most of us, your fridge probably holds some basic food products that are adding extra calories, salt, fat, and sugar to your everyday diet -- perhaps without you even realizing it. 

To make my top 10 list of unhealthiest foods, the products had to be commonplace, and they had to be high in trans fats, saturated fat, sugar, or salt. Here's my list:

1. Mayonnaise

It's really easy for the calories and fat to add up when you're slathering on the mayonnaise.

The truth is that regular mayo isn't too bad if you're talking about a teaspoon or two. But most mayo users spread it on thicker than that. And if you're a true mayonnaise lover, you can rack up 360 calories and 40 grams of fat in a 1/4-cup serving.

Mayo maniacs have three better options. They can use a lower-calorie condiment instead of mayonnaise such as mustard, BBQ sauce, salsa, or taco sauce. They can switch to a light mayonnaise with 35 calories and 3.5 grams of fat per tablespoon. Or they can pare down their portion of real mayonnaise to a couple of teaspoons which has 60 calories and 6.7 grams of fat.

2. Soda and Other Sweet Drinks

Sugary drinks are everywhere. Not only are they standard fare in restaurants and vending machines, but the drinks sold in supermarkets -- bottled teas, fruit drinks, sports and energy drinks -- are usually sweetened as well.

Soda, sweet tea, and fruit drinks generally contribute no nutrients but add plenty of calories. And recent research shows that we don't tend to compensate by eating less when we drink sweet drinks.

Plain water is best for hydrating the body and should make up most of what we drink each day. But there are several beverages without calories, like green and black teas, that not only hydrate but contribute healthy antioxidants. And although skim or 1% milk has some calories, milk also has key nutrients, such as calcium, vitamin D, B-12, potassium, and magnesium.

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