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What foods should I avoid if I want a healthy diet?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
The first step to getting on the path to better eating is to take stock of your pantry. Dr. Mehmet Oz, Vice-Chair and Professor of Surgery at Columbia University, and Dr. Michael Roizen say there are five ingredients that should be banned from your diet forever.

The first to avoid is hydrogenated oil, which often masquerades as partially hydrogenated oil. Dr. Roizen says we also should eliminate sugar and high-fructose corn syrup from our foods. "We eat sixty-three pounds of [high-fructose corn syrup] a year, which puts thirty-three pounds on the typical American," he says.

Enriched flour is the fourth ingredient to avoid. "[Enriched] means they took all the good stuff out and put a little back," Dr. Roizen says. In 1960, Americans didn't use enriched flour, but today we consume 63 pounds a year, he says.

The fifth offenders are white foods -- including bleached flour. The only white items you should have in your fridge are egg whites, cauliflower, and fish, Dr. Roizen says.

Your favorite snack foods won't advertise their artificial ingredients. Oprah's medical experts say you have to read the small print for yourself.

After you've read the ingredients on the label, check out how much saturated fat and sugar is in your food. Dr. Roizen says you want to buy foods that contain less than 4 g of saturated fat and less than 4 g of sugar per serving.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.