You may be surprised to learn that these so-called “health” foods are not as good for you as you thought…
While food manufacturers may advertise many of their products as “healthy” foods that deliver lots of nutrition, help you lose weight, give you energy, or offer other physical and mental health advantages, unfortunately, all the advertising tricks in the world don’t change the chemical composition of a food item. If something contains unhealthy ingredients, it’s simply unhealthy (yes, even if it’s organic)!
For better health, you may want to consider avoiding the following 5 “health” foods which are not nearly as healthy as you thought they were…
1) High-Fiber Snack Bars and Protein Bars
The key here is reading labels. There are some energy bars, protein bars and high-fiber snack bars which may be just fine or even beneficial for your health. Make reading food labels a habit. Find those that don’t contain sugar, salt, added flavors and a long list of ingredients that end in -ite, -ate and -ose.
You also shouldn’t eat an entire day’s worth of fiber, roughly 25 g, in a single snack bar, as this can have a dramatically negative effect on your digestive system – especially if you’re not used to eating a lot of fiber.
2.) Low-Fat Foods
I bet there are some low-fat foods you like a lot. Some low-fat foods taste delicious, don’t they? Well, think about this for a second. If the fat is removed, and fat provides incredible flavor, where is your flavor coming from? The answer is, in most cases, incredibly high doses of unhealthy, refined sugar.
Your body needs healthy fats in moderation, which means enjoying guacamole or hummus instead of a fat-free food product full of unnatural ingredients that are added just to make you think the food tastes good.
3.) Orange Juice
Did you know it could take as many as 5 to 7 oranges to make a single glass of orange juice? Unfortunately, when you drink the juice you get all of the calories from all those oranges in one beverage! It’s why even 100% juice is jam-packed with tons of calories.
The natural sugar in all of those oranges can additionally cause a blood sugar spike. The natural fruit sugar (fructose) which gives many fruits their sweet taste tricks your body into gaining weight by not letting you realize when you are full. The same is true for artificially sweetened foods and beverages. Avoid these beverages and drink a glass of water instead. If you prefer some flavor, add a few slices of cucumber or lemon or lime, or a sprig of mint.
4) “Health” Drinks
There are dozens of drinks out there touting amazing health benefits, but if they’ve got more than 3 ingredients, you probably should skip them. No matter how the ingredients are disguised (and manufacturers are very good at disguising empty calories and simple carbohydrates like sugar), if there is a long list of ingredients, your healthy drink is probably anything but.
5.) Store-Bought Vegetable or Meat-Substitute Patties
There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying a meat-free meal. When you make your own vegetable patties or black bean burgers, you know exactly what you are putting into your body – and you know it’s good for you!
Unfortunately, many of the processed vegetable patties you find in the frozen foods section of your local grocer have more fillers and binders than healthy vegetables.
A lot of so-called healthy vegetable patties are extremely high in sodium and sugar as well, and some contain unhealthy hydrogenated oils and trans-fats.
By all means, enjoy that veggie burger – but only if you make it yourself.
It’s amazing how many tricks food manufacturers employ to hide what’s really in your food, or make you think it’s good for you. By educating yourself, learning to decipher food labels, and preparing most of your food yourself, you can ensure that what you’re eating truly is healthy.