Diet advice from the past focused heavily on removing certain foods from your routine, in the hopes that what you supplement the unhealthy stuff with will benefit you positively.  Recently, "fad" diets like the ketogenic and paleo diet have gained popularity, and they push the old notion to its extremes, eliminating a plethora of dairy products, salt, grains, and even certain high-sugar fruits.

If you're interested in pursuing new diet options, Virtua offers classes on cooking and eating healthy, and even offers wellness coaching and personalized diets put together by registered dietitians.

While they're the experts, and say that losing weight isn't about restricting yourself, there are a plethora of local foods in NJ that are nothing short of unhealthy. So, if you're looking to get back in shape during the New Year like I am, it might be best to avoid these foods altogether.

(Sigh) This is going to be a tough list to write.

  • TheGirlsNY

    Disco Fries

    The internet has been all the rage over a recently published New York Times article that recommends a maximum of six fries per serving to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

    It also recommends staying far away from poutine, the Canadian cousin of disco fries, because of how detrimental a combination of cheese, gravy, and deep fried potato can be for your health.

    Even though they're some groovy fries like the name implies, it might be best to leave this dish in 2018.

  • wuestenigel

    Trenton Tomato Pies

    The Trenton tomato pie puts an interesting spin on pizza, to say the least.  Their method sees the cheese and toppings hit the dough first, then the sauce is added, and voila, that's a Trenton tomato pie.

    This variation on one of the staple dishes in American culture is unfortunately not much healthier than its classic counterpart so it's probably for the best to keep pizza consumption to a minimum, as hard as that may be.

  • dinnercraft

    Jersey Hot Dogs

    The hot dog's history dates back to Coney Island in the mid 1800's, where German-born pushcarter Charles Feltman began serving the first sausages to be encased in a roll.  One of his employees, Nathan Handwerker, would split to found "Nathan's Hot Dogs" in the early 20th century, and from there, hot dogs spread throughout the country like wildfire.

    Just like their New Yorker counterparts, hot dogs in New Jersey come with hundreds of different toppings and options.  Most of New Jersey's reputation for dogs comes from up north, so it might be a good thing for our stomachs that us SJ people don't have the same hot dog heritage.

  • Pictured: A sandwich that is fat, but not THE fat sandwich. Credit: bhofack2
    Pictured: A sandwich that is fat, but not THE fat sandwich. Credit: bhofack2

    Fat Sandwich

    Popularized by the "grease trucks" that sat on campus at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, fat sandwiches are a demonic amalgam of all things that taste delicious but are potentially deadly.

    The original fat sandwich, the "Fat Cat," contained two cheeseburgers, fries, lettuce, mayo, and ketchup all on a bun.  Now, sandwiches like the "Fat Darrell" and other variations on the original combo, with additions like fried chicken, are sold all across the state, and have gained a reputation for their exorbitant unhealthiness.

  • Austin Murphy
    Austin Murphy

    Pork Roll (Taylor Ham)

    When I was younger, I took for granted the deliciousness of regional specialty, pork roll, and didn't realize the reputation it had as such.  Marketed as Taylor Ham, (because it failed to meet the newly established definition of "ham" in 1906) the processed pork product has been around for over 150 years and is an integral part of NJ's culture.

    A Taylor Ham, egg, and cheese sandwich has become influential enough to earn mentions in songs, and was even honored as the official state sandwich in 2016. Although pork roll does great things for our taste buds, it does no good for our belt sizes, and for that reason it's best to keep other breakfast options open in the New Year.

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