Healthy Options That Aren't Great For Your Health
We live in the age of the fad diet and miracle weight loss program.
Eat this superfood and lose 10 pounds in 3 days!
Do this workout and have abs like Arnold!
Don't want to workout or eat healthily? Fine! Just take this pill!
Luckily, it's usually pretty easy to spot a scam when we see one.
Processed Foods Labeled "Low Fat" and "Fat-Free"
The war against saturated fat is one of the biggest mistakes in the history of nutrition.
It was started based on weak evidence that has since been thoroughly debunked, but we haven't yet been able to recover.
When the war started, every processed food manufacturer jumped on the bandwagon and started removing the fat from their foods.
But, there's a catch. Food tastes terrible after the fat has been removed.
That's where sugar comes in, a substance that has been proven actually to be bad for us.
The manufacturers added copious amounts of sugar to compensate for the removal of the fat that didn't need to be removed in the first place.
Avoid anything you see labeled as low fat or fat-free.
That's a sure sign that it is super processed and packed with sugar.
The truth about wheat products is that you can add wheat to just about any carbohydrate and then label it as a wheat product.
That doesn't make it healthy.
Unless it is 100% whole wheat, it more than likely contains enriched flour that will give you a sugar spike and subsequent crash without providing any nutritional value.
As a rule of thumb, avoid anything labeled as "enriched," including enriched flour.
That basically means that it has been stripped of all its nutrients.
Instead of enriched bread, look for 100% whole wheat or sprouted bread.
Or, avoid bread altogether and use lettuce instead. Learn how to make a healthy lettuce wrap by clicking here.
If you're looking for a healthy burger alternative or are vegetarian, you're likely to turn to veggie patties.
While some veggie patties can be healthy, the majority of them are processed and have more fillers than vegetables.
If you want to try veggie patties, always take a look at the ingredient list.
The top of the ingredient list should be full of veggies, not fillers and preservatives.
When people want to kick sodas to the curb, one of the first go-to beverages is fruit juice.
It is sweet, tastes great, and hey, it is made from fruit so it must be healthy, right?
Unfortunately, that orange juice you have for breakfast is just as bad for you as that Pepsi you're trying to stop drinking.
But isn't fruit good for you?
Sure, but your typical fruit juice found in the grocery store isn't really fruit juice.
Fruit juice commonly and conveniently found at your grocery store is glorified sugar water.
Even drinking 100% fruit juice is a bad idea.
Fruit juice is like fruit, but most of the nutritional value has been taken out, and all you're left with is sugar.
Pretzels are usually the healthy swap for potato chips.
However, being healthier than a potato chip doesn't make it good for you. That is a pretty low standard.
Pretzels do have just a tenth of the fat of potato chips, but they have just as much sodium, and they have no nutritional benefit.
They're also made with enriched flour that we talked about earlier that's going to give you that sugar spike.
Just take a glance at the ingredient list on that bag of pretzels; it's extensive and many of the ingredients hard to pronounce.
That's always a bad sign.
If you really need a replacement for potato chips, try kale chips.
They have fewer calories, and you'll get protein, fiber, and some essential vitamins and minerals in every serving.
I know, a lot of you are devastated after reading this title.
I mean, sushi is fresh fish without any heavy sauces, so it has to be healthy.
We tend to overeat sushi in order to feel full, and many sushi rolls are made up of rice and very few vegetables.
Eating a California roll is equivalent to eating two sandwiches filled with fake crab meat.
A spicy tuna roll? Similar to eating one and a half tuna sandwiches full of mayo.
If there's no chance of you giving up your love of sushi, opt for rolls wrapped in cucumber and go easy on the rice.
Also, have a healthy side option to help fill you up without overeating the sushi.
"Health Food" Isn't Always Healthy
After reading this list, some of you are probably feeling pretty betrayed.
Whether it's just good marketing or misinformation, some of the foods we've been made to believe are good for us just aren't good at all.
The best thing you can do as a consumer is be well informed.
Armed with our smartphones, we can research any nutritional claim we come across.
A good rule of thumb when grocery shopping is to stick to the outside of the store.
That's where the more natural food and produce is typically stocked. The middle of the store is where the processed and "enriched" foods will be.
Anything you see there, no matter what the packaging says, probably isn't good for you.
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