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Being healthy does not require a strict diet. Instead of concentrating on a small list of foods that are okay to eat, try to focus on cutting out a few unhealthy foods from the daily diet. Excluding these foods from meals will help free the body from fat and calories, and allow for the substitution of better, healthier foods.

First, say goodbye to fried foods—or at least cut down on them. Fried foods have little to no nutritional value, yet they are rich with bad fats and many calories. Trans fats are typically found in fried food. These bad fats are hard for the body to break down, so they can clog arteries and even cause an increased risk of contracting heart disease. The oils used to fry foods can contribute to a significant increase in that food’s calorie count. With these high calorie foods, people are more likely to be at risk for obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Next, choose whole grain over white. White bread has no nutritional value, so the body usually converts it into sugar. In the process of making white bread, fiber, vitamins, and minerals are all stripped from the grains. What is left over, the refined grains, are quickly converted into sugar by the body. This rapid conversion during digestion can cause great spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels in the body, which can cause weight gain and type 2 diabetes.

Don’t cancel out the nutritional benefits from eating a salad by drizzling creamy dressing on top. Choose low fat vinaigrette over creamy salad dressings, otherwise the body will receive an overload of fat and calories.

Similar to white bread, white rice has little to no nutritional value. Brown rice still contains the fiber, vitamins, and minerals that have been removed from white. It will also provide the body with more sustenance than white rice, which is absorbed quickly and causes and energy crash.

Finally, try to cut processed, white sugar. This in itself is found in many foods, so try to exclude certain sources of this unhealthy sugar from the daily diet. When given the option, at least choose raw sugar over the bleached and processed sugar. The best alternative is to add natural sources of sugar to foods, such as one of the various types of fruits.