A lot of us try and make the right food choices without realizing that what we thought was healthy is actually not. Every food is okay in moderation, so make sure you aren’t fooled into thinking you can consume these foods with no constraints. Here are several foods that may seem healthy, or that we have accepted as healthy, but that really aren’t.
Fruit Juices: Drinking juice is a quick way to gain weight and to ruin your teeth. Millions of people around the world rely on juices to quench their thirst each day. They contain very little fruit or fruit juice, but lots of sugar, water, chemical additives for flavoring and of course preservatives that are unhealthy. Also, there is hardly any fiber in fruit juices. Choose fresh fruit whenever you can as a fresh fruit always has more fiber apart from being low in calories as compared to its juice. Even though 100 percent fruit juice is a good source of vitamins and minerals, it is too are low in fiber, so consume in moderation.
Breakfast cereals: Many cereals are so loaded with sugars that the sugar wipes out any nutritional value that the cereal may have had. Always check the nutrition label and never buy anything with less than 3 grams of fiber per 30 gram serving or more than 2 grams of sugar per 30 gram serving. Aim for 5 grams of fiber if possible.
Salads: Many people believe that any dish with the word ‘salad’ in its name is a healthy choice. Unfortunately, the truth is that many times salad is the worst choice on the menu. Salads, especially those served in restaurants, are loaded with mayonnaise, sodium, and calories. Avoid ordering salads with calorie-packed extras like noodles and heavy dressings. If possible, choose a dressing made with olive oil. Tip: If you choose a heavy dressing then just dip your fork into the dressing before taking the salad, rather than drizzling it all over your plate.
Whole milk & Dairy: They were once considered healthy; they no longer are because of their high cholesterol content. There are now unhealthy additives added to some dairy products to extend the shelf life, texture or taste. Visit our blog post MILK: Good or Bad for more information.
Smoothies: Smoothies are one of those foods that dieters consume with really good intentions. But just like the fruit juice mentioned above, smoothies can pack a lot of calories into one easy to drink package.
Diet soft drinks: Many people switch to diet drinks from regular soft drinks thinking it saves on calories and sugar. But many of the diet soft drinks have unhealthy levels of aspartame (the substitute of sugar used in diet drinks), chemical preservatives and chemical colors. As a result, many people who consume such drinks have unbalanced insulin and blood sugar. Aspartame is 180 times sweeter than sugar, and has been linked to depression, insomnia, neurological disease, and a plethora of other illnesses.
Fat-free: ‘Fat-free’ doesn’t make it healthier. In fact, some fat-free products contain more calories than the original as often sugar or artificial flavors and sweeteners are added to improve the taste of such products.
So many foods out there are claiming to be healthy, but there are also misleading claims being made on so many foods. That is because of the abundance of information. You can pick up a magazine one day that tells you what is good/bad for you only to pick up a newspaper the following week with a totally contradictory article. The important thing to remember is to never blindly allow a food product’s packaging or let public relations campaigns hoodwink you into thinking that they are a healthy & consequence-free food. Read labels and ask questions. We have a dedicated article about reading Food Labels, that way you can enjoy the nutritional meal you thought you were eating all along.
If I can teach you anything, it is to think for yourself, instead of being told what to think.