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Orville Redenbacher doesn’t care about your health, and Paul Newman doesn’t either. And it’s not just popcorn slingers and salad dressers, most packaged foods are helping you pack on the pounds with the poison punch packed in the package.

High-fat and high-sugar foods can cause heart disease, diabetes, and even cancer, because they increase chances of inflammation, liver and kidney problems, and obesity. It’s not hard to succumb to these problems, nor is it hard to see some of the easier-to-fix problems.

These next 5 foods are all bad for you out of the box, but actually pretty good for you if you make the homemade version:

Oatmeal

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Instant oatmeals are stripped of fiber and phytonutrients, and most contain high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, additive, and artificial flavoring, says cardiologist and trained chef Mike Fenster, M.D. He’s got a better way to have oatmeal.

Fenster recommends steel-cut oats. Easy to make, and easy-to-flavor: cinnamon, fresh fruit, nuts, or whatever you want.

Fruit-at-the-Bottom Yogurt

The fruit in these yogurts in typically in a sugary syrup that takes away much, if not all, of the fruits goodness, says Fenster.

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Fenster suggests (and I agree on) getting some plain natural yogurt. Make sure it’s organic. Then add your own fresh fruit like strawberries, raspberries, or blueberries. The fresh fruit makes it taste even better.

Microwave Popcorn

Popcorn is actually quite healthy for you: a complex carb that acts as roughage, it’s good before sports or running. But when it’s microwave popcorn it has a ton of fake butter and salt all over it that negate any semi-healthy aspect.

Hot air popcorn is the best. It only takes a little while longer than the 2:00 in the microwave, but it’s well worth the wait. Conversely, nutritionist Alex Caspero, R.D., owner of Delicious Knowledge, says you can just put ¼ cup of popcorn kernels in a brown paper bag and microwave it like normal.

Salad Dressings

“Packaged dressings contain excessive amounts of emulsifiers and oils, especially omega-six polyunsaturated plant oils, which are associated with an increased risk of heart problems,” says Fenster.

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Make your own salad dressing with extra virgin olive oil. Add red wine vinegar if you’d like, or even just a splash of lemon juice. I’ve seen people use mustard as salad dressing before as well, so experiment!

Peanut Butter

Any storebought peanut butter is dangerous. High levels of sodium, oils, sweeteners, and preservatives put it up there on The Hearty Soul’s “Do Not Eat” list.

“If you’ve got a blender, you can make your own nut butter and control how much salt and oil is added,” says Caspero. All you need is raw peanut and a blender or food processor. You don’t have to add anything else, maybe honey, or salt to tweak the taste and consistency to your liking.

It’s not hard to make these foods healthy – you’ve just got to make them yourself.

SOURCE: http://www.womenshealthmag.com/nutrition/make-healthy-versions-of-packaged-foods

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