“It’s way too abstract to be effective, and it means different things to different people,” says Keri Glassman, R.D., author of The New You (and Improved!) Diet. You’re better off specifying how many treats you can work into your plan—say, a glass of wine per day, or three cookies per week.
It’s a common sign on packaged foods, and “by legal definition, the food contains at least 25 percent fewer calories or fat than the original, but that number can still be high,” says Melina Jampolis, M.D., physician nutrition specialist and author of The Doctor on Demand Diet. Your best bet is comparing labels to see which item offers less sugar, more fiber, and less saturated fat to get a sense of the healthiest option.
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“When I hear this word, I want to scream!” says Keri Gans, R.D.N., author of The Small Change Diet. “No one needs to physically go on a food detox—our liver and kidneys are designed to automatically filter toxins out.” But if you’re eating a lot of added sugar, you’ll feel less foggy if you cut back and add more fruits and veggies. (Learn how bone broth can help you lose weight with Women’s Health’s Bone Broth Diet.)
“When you eat healthfully, think of it as nourishing and empowering—not ‘good,’ which is a moral judgment,” says Michelle Dudash, R.D., a chef and the author of Clean Eating for Busy Families. “And if you eat an indulgent—not ‘bad’—food, just forget about it.” Your next meal or snack is an opportunity to eat something nutritious.
This article originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of Women’s Health. For more great advice, pick up a copy of the issue on newsstands now!
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