Worst Foods in Your Fridge
10 unhealthy foods that are probably lurking in your refrigerator or freezer right now.
3. Alcoholic Beverages
From a nutritional standpoint, there are definitely better beverages you can have in your fridge.
Alcohol calories are empty calories because the body can't use them as energy. The liver is forced to break alcohol down into fatty acids, which then accumulate in the liver. In fact, fat accumulation can be seen in the liver after a single night of heavy drinking. Liver cells and brain cells actually die with excessive exposure to alcohol.
And then there are the calories. One glass of wine (8 ounces) has around 170 calories, and a bottle of beer (12 ounces) has 150. Each 1.5-ounce shot of liquor (gin, rum, vodka, whiskey) has about 105 calories, not including any soda or mixers you might drink along with it.
If you're going to drink, do so in moderation. At parties or happy hours, instead of alcoholic drinks, consider drinking mineral or soda water with a wedge of lemon or lime, hot or iced coffee or tea, or diet soft drinks in moderation.
4. Processed Lunch Meat
Lunch meats, including deli cold cuts, bologna, and ham, make the unhealthy list because they contain lots of sodium and sometimes fat as well as some preservatives like nitrites.
Processed meat -- defined as any meat preserved by smoking, curing, salting, or adding chemical preservatives -- is linked to an increased risk of colon cancer. Some experts suspect that certain substances used as preservatives in meats may change into cancer-causing compounds in the body.
The sodium in one small serving of lunch meat (one slice of bologna or five slices of salami) ranges from 310 to 480 milligrams. A diet high in sodium is thought to increase the risk of high blood pressure, a major cause of heart disease and stroke.
What should you eat instead? You eliminate the sodium and preservatives and get straight to the protein, vitamins, and minerals when you use freshly roasted and sliced turkey, chicken, or roast beef in your sandwiches. Roast your own, or look for deli brands low in nitrates and sodium.