The biggest offender when it comes to eating lots of sugar with no nutrition is a bottle of soda. Unless it’s diet soda, prepared with noncaloric sweeteners, the typical bottle of soda gives you a huge amount of sugar and nothing else. Twelve ounces of soda has between 100 and 200 unhealthy kilocalories of sugar. Drink one a day for 15 days, and you gain a pound. Even the flavored fruit sodas have this problem. Do yourself a favor and switch to water with lemon or lime or the diet sodas that have no sugar. Be sure to read the label to find out what you’re drinking.
Choosing and preparing foods with less salt The guideline regarding salt intake is meant to protect you from developing high blood pressure. The recommended amount of salt is a teaspoon, or 6 grams, daily. Most people eat twice as much as that or more. One problem is that food manufacturers typically add a lot of salt to their foods. Avoid this by choosing low-salt foods as well as less processed foods and more whole fruits and vegetables. Another problem is that people are so used to picking up the salt shaker and heavily spraying their food with salt. The result is food that tastes like salt and not much else. Try your food without salt for a change. At first it may taste bland, but then you begin to notice the subtle flavors of the food coming through. When you do, you may never want to go back to eating so much salt again. Most recipes, especially in older cookbooks, recommend more salt than is necessary for proper preparation of the food. Try reducing the salt in the recipe by half. The food will probably cook just as well, and the taste may even be superior. If you don’t tell your family that you’re reducing the salt, they’ll probably never know. In the United States and many other countries, iodized salt is the major source of iodine. That teaspoon of salt a day contains twice as much iodine as you are required to eat each day, so you can reduce your salt intake to a half teaspoon and still be assured of getting enough. If you eat one piece of bread, it contains just about your daily requirement of iodine. You don’t need to eat excess salt to assure yourself of getting enough iodine.
Drinking alcohol in moderation Men who consume more than two drinks of alcohol a day or more than ten in a week and women who consume more than one drink a day or five a week should work to reduce those amounts. Like cigarettes, alcohol can damage your body in many ways. It raises your blood pressure, causes liver destruction, and promotes certain cancers. It provides no nutrition and often causes you to eat less of the foods you need for good nutrition. Severe alcoholism results in damage to the nervous