Top 10 Worst Foods in Your Fridge and Freezer

by in Food Safety, Healthy Tips, April 24, 2012
refrigerator
Is it time for a major fridge cleaning at your house?

Take a peek in your fridge or freezer. How many of these items do you have stocked?

Defining “Worst”
It’s no big shocker that large portions of ice cream, butter and mayonnaise aren’t super healthy, but they’re not off limits as far as we’re concerned. For this list we’re highlighting 10 foods that you’re better off avoiding all together.

1.    Expired Condiments
Condiments do last a while, but certainly not forever! Mold, yeast and other types of creepy-crawly bacteria can grow even in the chilly refrigerator, especially when stored in the warmest part of the fridge—the door. Check dates on all condiments and toss anything you aren’t sure about.

2.    Sugar-Sweetened Beverages
Sodas, juice drinks and teas can dump hundreds of sugary calories into your day. A 2010 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that most folks consume a whopping 21.4 teaspoons of added sugar each day. You’ll find anywhere from 12 to 22 teaspoons in just one bottle of sweetened (16 to 20 fluid ounces) of tea or soda.

3.    Coffee Creamer
They’re sweet, creamy and totally addictive. But your coffee is really getting mix of palm oil, hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, thickeners and preservatives if you’re using these creamers. Stick to good old cream and sugar if you like your coffee light and sweet.

4.    Frozen Fried Foods
We recently posted about frozen french fries – the same goes for other frozen fried foods like chicken nuggets and mozzarella sticks. You’re better off taking the time to make homemade, baked versions of these favorite foods and stocking your freezer with those, instead.

5.    Bottled Salad Dressing
Why ruin a perfectly good salad with gobs of sugar and preservatives? Making your own dressing couldn’t be easier.

6.    Rotten Fruit
Have you checked the fruit drawer lately? It’s easy to forget about fresh produce. Leave it in there for a week or two and you’ll end up with a mushy, sticky, moldy and bacteria-filled mess. Overripe fruit also emits ethylene gas that will cause the other fresh produce in your fridge to rot faster.

7.    Frozen Entrees
Convenience should never trump health. You can do so much better than plastic trays of salty and fake-tasting food.

8.    Ready-to-Bake Dough
Whether it’s cookies, croissants or biscuits – these products are tubes of highly-processed ingredients and unhealthy fats. Take the time to make your own dough; you can store it in the freezer so it’s always ready to go.

9.    Highly Processed Meats
You’ll find lots of sodium and preservatives like nitrates in hot dogs, sausages and deli meats – many of these meats are also filled with fat. Choose low-sodium and nitrate-free varieties when available and pass on the higher fat options (like salami and bologna) all together.

10.    Artificially-Sweetened Yogurt
An alarmingly high number of low-calorie yogurts use a combination of sugar and artificial sweeteners (that’s how they get the calories so low). Check ingredient lists and chose brands that don’t use them.

Tell Us: What foods should you toss out of your fridge?

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