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What do registered dietitians avoid when they’re eating at home or out at a restaurant? The answer may surprise you. You already know they wouldn’t indulge in fast food or fried items, but their other avoidance foods are unusual.

Consider these choices and talk to your own dietitian:

1. Fat-free salad dressings. Health experts know that the fat-free salad dressings you can purchase in most stores are misleading.

* Fat-free salad dressings tend to compensate for the removal of fat by adding more sugar and salt. They may also add other unhealthy ingredients like chemicals.

* Registered dietitians don’t want to eat emulsifying agents commonly found in this product.

2. Refortified grains. These are grains that have been refined, but important nutrients are added back to refortify them.

* Registered dietitians don’t eat refortified grains and don’t recommend them.

* Although they have nutrients added back, they are not as healthy as the real versions that are whole grains. It’s better to stick to whole products like unrefined wheat, rice, and corn.

* Companies often use synthetic versions of minerals and other nutrients to refortify grains, and your body may not absorb or utilize them as well as the natural versions.

3. Rice cakes. If you’ve been on a diet before, you’ve probably eaten rice cakes. Rice cakes tend to taste bland. Although there are some flavored versions on the market, people still complain about their blandness. Plus, they’re not as healthy as they seem.

* Registered dietitians don’t often eat rice cakes. Rice cakes can spike your blood sugar levels and they have a detrimental, high glycemic index.

4. Diet soda. You’ll often see people choose diet soda over regular because they think they’re making a wiser decision. However, registered dietitians won’t drink it.

* Diet soda isn’t a healthier option. It has artificial sweeteners that have been linked to a higher risk of obesity and diabetes.

* You may think that by drinking diet soda you’ll lose weight. However, the opposite is true, and the word diet is very misleading in its name. You may actually gain weight and hurt your health.

5. Pretzels. Pretzels tend to have a lot of calories and salt. They’re also high in carbohydrates. In most cases, they lack fiber, vitamins, or minerals.

* You may think they’re a healthier alternative to chips, but the truth is that they’re just as bad. Both types of food can hurt your weight loss plans and spike your blood sugar levels.

6. Farm-raised shrimp. The fact that many registered dietitians won’t eat farm-raised shrimp surprises people.

* This type of shrimp isn’t the healthiest option because it can be filled with chemicals and antibiotics. You really don’t have any way of knowing what additives might be in your shrimp from the farm.

* Unfortunately, it can be hard to find shrimp that isn’t raised on a farm.

* Ask where your shrimp is from and try to avoid the farmed versions. One report found high levels of bacteria in farmed shrimp, so ask questions before buying them and ensure you know they’re safe.

Registered dietitians avoid some items that many people think are healthy. Their training and experience has shown them that it’s better to avoid these specific products. Take advantage of their knowledge and use it to help you and your family be healthier.

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