WASHINGTON (WUSA9) -- With today's constant barrage of studies and propaganda on the effects of a proper diet, the "food-fight" for healthy eating has become more fierce than ever.
But what do the experts do? We ask a couple of DC area nutritionists about the foods they avoid altogether!
Alana Sugar, CN, Nutritional Consultant for Whole Foods Market steers clear of pantry cheese spreads.
"It's full of addictives and preservatives and chemicals that preserve it so that it doesn't need refridgeration. That's not real and cheese does not live in the pantry," says Sugar.
She suggests low-fat cheeses like feta, ricotta, or cream cheese to get that creamy effect.
The granola and fruit bar can be deceptive according to Registered Dietician Alice Bender of the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). She says you may think you are packing a nutritional punch, but think again.
Bender says, "There are 9 different kinds of sugar in that bar. So it's mostly white flour and sugar. They don't fill you up, you are hungry again a couple of hours later and you are not getting much nutritional value."
She suggests eating walnuts or almonds packed with nutrition without the extra sugar.
Alana puts a red flag on stuffing and most rice mixes.
"You can't event pronounce what's in it! And you've got trans-fats, partially hydrogenated oils, you've got artificial flavors, msg...," says Sugar.
She suggests couscous, brown rice or a grain mix for an alternative.
Most fruit nectars (peach, pear, etc...) make Alice Bender want to sound the alarm due to the high sugar and low fruit content. She advises everyone to check the labels for high fructose corn syrup and other sugary ingredients.
Bender says, " You know if you want something like the peach beverage, instead have a water and a peach. You're gonna be satisfied much longer, you're gonna get more nutrients and it's gonna take you longer to eat and drink that then it would a can of juice."
Alana will never drink a glass of soda, she suggests sparkling water with a splash of OJ or apple juice.
Sugar says, "This is my answer to sodas. Sparkling waters that have natural flavors in them. There's not added sugars and you can blend these with juices to make a delicious spritzer that's not full of artificial flavors or sugar sweeteners or things like that."
"So for example, I really like to do mint with a small splash of orange juice and it's delicious," adds Sugar.
Both experts avoid a popular low-fat snack, the rice cake. Nutritionists warn some rice cakes can have a high glycemic index. Which is bad for weight loss and blood sugar levels.
Another must have for many of us, fat-free salad dressings. The fat may be gone, but make sure you pay attention to the sugar and high fructose corn syrup counts on the labels.