The Five Worst Foods in Your Fridge

 
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Feeling sluggish? Lacking concentration or fighting flab? The contents of your fridge may be to blame. The quantity stored there and their position directly influence what you eat and drink. What does your fridge say about you?

Be fridge aware

If you buy more food than you need, you can double your intake of that food or drink without even realising, according to Dr Brian Wansink, a food psychologist at Cornell University.

If fruits and veggies are tucked away near the bottom of your refrigerator and unhealthy snacks are staring you in the face, you may have a further problem with shelf management! In fact, you’re 2.7 times more likely to eat healthy food if it’s in your line of sight.

Five foods that sabotage health

  • Soft drinks. Drinking one can of soft drink per day can make you 4.5 kilograms fatter over a year, according to the New York City Health Anti-Soda Ad, “Are You Pouring on the Pounds?” Don’t drink yourself fat. Switch to chilled water with some fresh lemon or lime squeezed in.
  • Alcohol. Whether it’s beer, wine or pre-mixed drinks, alcoholic drinks promote weight gain and decrease your mental alertness. They also cause liver damage, brain damage (especially in teenagers) and many types of cancer, such as breast cancer. For special occasions, try nonalcoholic wine or dark grape juice.
  • Butter and margarine. The saturated and trans fats hiding in these foods will clog your arteries and expand your waistline. Use extra-virgin olive oil in recipes and spread with natural nut butters or avocado for healthy fats.
  • Processed meat. Salami, sausages, ham and bacon may be easy sandwich fillings, but are loaded with salt and up to 50 per cent of their fat is saturated! Replace these with a tasty lentil burger or falafel balls.
  • Takeaway foods. According to the Australian Food Safety Information Council, close to 80 per cent of food poisoning cases occur from eating out, so don’t save those leftovers in your fridge. Better still, make your own healthy fast food at home!
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Sue Radd is one of Australia's leading nutritionists and health communicators. She also advises law firms, providing expert nutrition reports for use in court cases.