Chilli peppers, hot peppers, Tabasco sauce—anything spicy can offset the fat and grease in fast or fried foods. “If you’re eating fast food or oily food, you have to go for the hot foods too,” says Glassman. “Add anything that is hot or has zest to it.” Think jalapenos on that greasy burger. Garlic is rich in antioxidants and has medicinal properties that help prevent disease, colon cancer and heart disease, but unless you eat it raw, you won’t get the maximum benefits. “Think of your body as a human jigsaw puzzle,” says Glassman. “Break your body down into parts, skin, vital organs, bones and think about your food choices and where those foods wind up in your body. If you’re eating pizza and beer and soda, it’s going to go to straight to your gut. It’s going to make your skin oily, your breath stink and take away from your A-game.”
If fried chicken is your vice, eat it grilled instead. “Chicken is a great source of protein, but we want to lose the saturated fat in the frying in the fat of the chicken,” says Gans. “So by losing that they’re gaining heart benefits.” For the man who loves potatoes, don’t cut them out just yet. “We don’t want them to eliminate them because they have potassium,” says Gans. “They’re high in fiber. Fiber helps lower cholesterol. Think about potatoes in a different way—maybe a simple baked potato, roasted potatoes or taking large fries and going small.” Gans also recommends adding a salad to any fried or fast food selection, so you get a balance of antioxidants and high fiber in the veggies. “A lot of the time it’s taking away and adding something else that has those benefits to your heart and overall health,” she says.