Friday, October 26, 2012

Your Refrigerator ~ Friend or Foe?

OK, let’s have some fun and treat this like a game. Ready, set, go!

Go to your refrigerator and take a pen and paper with you. As quick as you can, open the door and start writing everything in your fridge. Remember to include the items in the door.
 Does your refrigerator look like this?

For many of us on a path to optimal health we tend to overlook what’s really lurking in our refrigerators. There are everyday staples loaded with hidden fat grams & high fructose corn sugar that we use on a regular basis like salad dressings, hot dogs, processed lunch meat, sausage and mayonnaise. Mayonnaise alone packs with it 11 grams of fat and 100 calories per serving and 1 tablespoon is a serving. Most of us will spread 4 to 5 tablespoons on 2 slices of bread for a sandwich without much effort.

Let’s do the math. There are 11 grams of fat per serving X 5 tablespoons = 55 grams of fat and 500 additional calories for just the spread on your sandwich. 

The real killer is the hot dogs which our kids LOVE to eat. One Oscar Meyer Premium hot dog packs with it 240 calories, 23 grams of total fat and 9 grams of saturated fat per serving (1 hot dog). Most Americans and their children eat more than 1 hot dog at a time! You do the math on this one! 

In addition to the high fat food items in your refrigerator there are items harboring high fructose corn syrup like Heinz Catsup, Smucker’s Strawberry Jelly, Worcester sauce, Mott’s Original Applesauce, Capri Suns and even Yoplait Yogurt.

High fructose corn syrup is sugar and sugar of any kind leads to obesity. Dr. Mark Hyman wrote a great article on the dangers of High fructose corn syrup in an article published in May, 2011. It’s entitled, “The 5 Reasons High Fructose Corn Syrup Will Kill You”. It’s a great read.

Decode the fine print and become a “Label Reader”.

Pay particular attention to the serving size when reading a label. Sometimes that alone can be a real shocker when it comes to grams of fat and calories.

It’s important to know how many grams of fat you should be eating in a day for your height, age and activity level in order to maintain your ideal weight. The University of Maryland Medical Center has an easy way for you to calculate your daily need. Find that out before you go to your refrigerator

Healthy Alternatives


Heinz organic tomato ketchup
French's Worcestershire
Farman's pickle relish
Mt. Olive Hamburger dill chips
Annie's Natural Organic Ketchup
French’s Honey Dijon Mustard 


Brown Cow Vanilla Yogurt
Southern Home Nonfat Plain Yogurt
Dannon Plain Yogurt*
Mountain High Yogurt (it appears all varieties are HFCS free)
Dannon All Natural Vanilla Yogurt
Dannon All Natural Coffee Yogurt
Horizon Organic Fat Free Yogurt

Peanut Butter & Jams

Adams Peanut Butter
Costco sells an organic peanut butter
Whole Foods brand peanut butter
Karo Dark (with Blue label)
Karo Brown Sugar syrup
Hero Jams (from Switzerland) --- can be found at Cost Plus World Market
Darbo Jams (from Austria) --- can be found at Cost Plus World Market
Whole foods brand (365) strawberry jam
Smuckers organic grape jelly
Safeway "O" Organics Maple Syrup

Salad Dressings

Fat is not a bad thing when selecting a salad dressing. I read the labels and make sure there are no more than 6 grams of fat per serving, BUT watch the serving size…some are only 1 tablespoon!

Great Value (WalMart) Zesty Italian Dressing
Walden Farms
Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise
Hidden Valley Ranch Old Fashion Buttermilk
Blue Plate Mayonnaise
Wishbone Light
Ken's Sweet Vidalia Onion Dressing
Annie's Naturals Organic Papaya Poppy Seed Salad Dressing.
Annie's Naturals Goddess Dressing (check other Annie's too, quite a few are HFCS free).
Brianna's Homemade Blush Vinaigrette Salad Dressing (all varieties seem to be HFCS free)
Drew's Salad Dressings
Most Newman's Own varieties
Kraft Honey Dijon Vinaigrette, dressing & marinade
Kraft Balsamic Vinaigrette, dressing & marinade


Dr. Mark Hyman


University of Maryland Medical Center


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