We are a nation of diet-conscious people. We try new fads and new products. We listen to the promises of fast and easy weight loss advertisements. We also have so many food options that confusion about what’s healthy and what isn’t becomes the norm – from cookies with vitamins to drinks that will help you lose fat. When it comes to cooking dinner or buying snacks, we see words like “vegetable,” “yogurt” or “light” and assume it’s a healthy choice. Just because something sounds nutritious doesn’t mean it’s better and we may eat as much as we like. Here are 10 such food products you should cross off your “healthy” list.
Coffee contains caffeine. Caffeine overuse can trigger a fast heartbeat rate, insomnia, anxiety and restlessness, among other side effects. Drinking coffee, first thing in the morning, is a very bad idea, if you are on medication. In fact, so are all caffeinated foods and beverages. In limited amount though, coffee is advisable.
Trail mix is a highly convenient snack and the fact that it typically contains plenty of nuts and dry fruits, tends to create the impression that it is a healthy addition to your diet. A bag of nuts and dry fruit may seem like the perfect grab and go snack, but make sure to check the sugar and salt content first. The majority of conventional trail mixes are made from roasted nuts that have been cooked in vegetable oil and then coated in salt. However, nuts, when left in their natural state, are quite good for us.
Some salads are truly good for you, but most of them can be just as bad as a burger. The most popular salads found in restaurants will often be drowned in extra fats and calories so that consumers will find them tastier. A better option is to make your own salad at home.
Most granola-based products would be better described as “sugar-based” products. In fact, most granola products have far more sugar than fiber. They may have a reputation as the optimal snack for healthy eaters, but many are made with added chocolate, sugars, and chicory root extract.
If you have to eat granola, then choose the version that is highest in fiber and lowest in sugar.
Smoothies sound like a healthy drink or meal replacement, and they can be — if you go about it the right way. But because some smoothies contain more sugar than fresh and frozen fruits, yogurt, and skim (or non-dairy) milk, they can easily turn from diet-friendly to diet-busting.
Banana chips, often in a clear packaging, look like a smart choice, compared to candy or other treats. But, just half a cup has around 240 calories, with 15 grams of fat, and 8 grams (2 teaspoons) of sugar. The high fat comes from the oil these are fried in.
Muffins may look like the perfect breakfast or snack. People eat muffins in an effort to be healthy. They look forward to eating these innocuous little baked things in order to stay healthy. However, many commercially-sold bran muffins contain roughly 400 calories and some peak at nearly 800.
If you do eat muffins, choose smaller versions that contain fewer ingredients.
Fish has healthy omega-3 fatty acids and can be high in protein. Rice is a healthy grain. This has to be good but don’t let that combo and the small rolls sway you into ordering just anything on the menu. Some common dishes like shrimp tempura can come in at well over 500 calories for one roll. So, stop eating excess.
Energy drinks are high in sugar and contain a number of dyes and preservatives that have come under fire recently for their adverse health effects.They contain many of other unhealthy ingredients including vast amounts of sugar.
Always opt for organic when it’s a choice. You now know that sugar, salt and artificial additives will sneak their way into anything, so keep an eye out for them. There’s no need for enhancement when most fresh food tastes naturally delicious! Also, be sure to check the serving size if you’re watching your calorie and fat intake.