DIY it. Potato chips are made with three simple ingredients: sliced potatoes (a whole food), oil, and salt. Part of the problem with store-bought chips is the type of oil used. The high omega-6 fatty acid oils used for frying chips—including sunflower, safflower, and corn oil—have been associated with fueling inflammation.
Frying is another strike, as cooking starchy foods to very high temperatures has been shown to trigger the formation of acrylamide, a chemical linked to aging and increased cancer risk.
For a healthier version, thinly slice a skin-on potato, lightly toss in extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or avocado oil, along with a little sea salt and black pepper, and cook on a baking sheet at 400 degrees F. And if, like me, you just can't resist grabbing an occasional bag of ready-to-eat chips, opt for those made with avocado or EVOO, which are high in heart-protective monounsaturated fats.
Artificially sweetened drinks are no better than those made with real sugar, and they may actually be worse for your waistline. Some scientists say that faux sugars activate the brain's pleasure center, which triggers an increased desire for sweets. That's likely why statistically, people who drink diet beverages aren't slimmer. One report found that two-can-a-day diet drinkers had a 54.5% chance of becoming overweight or obese, compared to 32.8% for those who drank the same amount of regular soda.
Better yet, fill up a daily pitcher with 64 ounces of filtered water that's been infused with all natural add-ins to impart nutrients and flavor, such as sliced cucumber, mint, citrus, ginger root, or other bits of slightly mashed fresh fruit. Sip on it throughout the day to stay hydrated, skirt sweeteners, and avoid any artificial additives.
Sweets and desserts
It's not realistic to go through the rest of your life avoiding sweets altogether. But, most people are eating far more than the daily recommended amount. According to the American Heart Association, women should consume no more than six teaspoons worth of added sugar per day, and men no greater than nine.