Worst Foods in Your Fridge
10 unhealthy foods that are probably lurking in your refrigerator or freezer right now.
5. Hot Dogs and Sausage
Also part of the processed meat category, hot dogs and sausage are a staple in many refrigerators. People turn to them for a quick dinner entree or, in the case of sausage, as a featured food at breakfast or brunch.
Hot dogs and sausage tend to contain lots of sodium (520-680 milligrams per 2-ounce serving) and fat (up to 23 grams of total fat and 7 grams of saturated fat per serving).
It's a good idea to substitute leaner and lower-sodium meats -- such as roasted skinless poultry, pork tenderloin, and roast beef -- and fish and seafood for hot dogs and sausage in meals and recipes. Even grilled veggies such as portabella mushrooms, eggplant, or roasted red pepper are good alternatives.
But if it's got to be a hot dog or sausage, consider the lower-fat and nitrate-free options available in most supermarkets, such as "light" franks, turkey kielbasa, or soy-based sausage substitutes. They may not be much lower in sodium, but the amounts of total and saturated fat are often cut in half.
6. Whole-Milk Products
Dairy products contain protein, calcium, B-12, and riboflavin. But whole-milk products also have an overabundance of fat and cholesterol. If you drink 16 ounces of whole milk a day, for example, it adds up to 1,904 calories, 105 grams of total fat, 59.5 grams of saturated fat, and 315 milligrams of cholesterol in a week's time.
The good news is that lower-fat options are available for most dairy products, including milk, cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, and cream cheese.
7. Gourmet Ice Cream
In many an American freezer, you'll find a pint of gourmet ice cream or a box of decadent ice cream bars.
Even sticking to the modest 1/2-cup serving size suggested on the container can send your daily totals of saturated fat, total fat, and calories into overload.
A serving of Ben & Jerry's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, for example, has 270 calories, 14 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 65 milligrams of cholesterol, and 25 grams of sugar. One-half cup of Haagen-Dazs White Chocolate Raspberry Truffle will give you 310 calories, 18 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 105 milligrams of cholesterol, and 28 grams of sugar. And a more typical serving for most people is one cup, which doubles the totals for fat, calories, cholesterol, and sugar.
Instead, try some of the great-tasting lower-fat, lower-sugar, and lower-calorie ice cream options you can find in any supermarket. The light version of Safeway brand Mint Chocolate Chip, for example, has 120 calories, 4.5 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, and 14 grams of sugar for a 1/2-cup serving. For an even healthier dessert, enjoy some fresh fruit with plain or nonfat Greek yogurt.