Worst: Canned soup
Canned soup may be convenient, but most contain a shocking amount of added sugar and salt. “Although the fluid in soup is hydrating, eating a large amount of sodium can lead to water retention,” warns Palinksi-Wade. “Although water weight doesn’t increase cellulite, it can make its appearance more visible.” If you want to warm up with soup, read labels, she advises. Tomato, butternut squash, and sweet potato flavors are likely to have more added sugar than others, for example. Avoid ingredients like sugar, cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and evaporated cane juice. Opt for versions that are broth-based, full of vegetables, and use whole-grain starches such as brown rice, says Palinksi-Wade. “Soups packed full of veggies, lean proteins, and whole grains will contain nutrients that can help fight against inflammation, helping decrease the appearance of cellulite,” she says.
Worst: White bread
White flour products (breads, rolls, crackers) white rice, white potatoes, and many breakfast cereals are refined carbohydrates. These high-glycemic index foods fuel the production of advanced glycation end (AGE) products that stimulate inflammation, says Arthritis.org.
“When you’re looking for bread, choose a whole-wheat or whole-grain bread in which the first ingredient is a ‘whole’ type of flour,” says Amy Gorin, MS, RDN, owner of Amy Gorin Nutrition in New York. “This reveals that the bread contains plenty of good-for-you whole grains.” Here’s the real difference between whole wheat and whole grain.
Worst: Cottage cheese
Despite its healthy reputation, cottage cheese contains loads of salt. As with canned soup, all that sodium (salt) can cause your body to retain fluid and make cellulite more apparent. Retaining water works against hydration—the water turnover that helps cleanse your body and keep your skin healthy. Water retention aggravates the appearance of cellulite, and salt can make that happen very quickly: “Just one cup of cottage cheese has over 800 mg of sodium,” says Hultin. “The American Heart Association suggests limiting to 2,300 mg per day and ideally 1500 mg for most adults.” If you’re craving cottage cheese, try a variety that has no salt added. “You can flavor it with herbs, spices, or fruit while still getting the nutrients and protein from cottage cheese,” she says. Or eat plain Greek yogurt instead and flavor it yourself so you can control the portions of ingredients, recommends Hultin. It’s a good low-salt, high-protein alternative. “Read the labels on all yogurt to ensure you’re not getting adding sugars,” she says.