Let’s face it. We are addicted to convenience foods and sugar in the US. That is causing increasing health issues besides weight gain and diabetes. We have to become diligent at reading labels and thinking about the foods we eat.
There are many “healthy” foods that are not as good for you as you may think. Food manufacturers advertise these products as effective for delivering lots of nutrition, helping you lose weight, keeping your mind sharp, and offering other physical and mental health advantages.
Unfortunately, all the advertising tricks in the world don’t change the chemical composition of a food item. Yes, some foods are easy. I get it. But in order to rid myself of fat and bad habits, I have to do more cooking at home and eat whole foods.
It is HARD sometimes. But if something is unhealthy for you, it is simply unhealthy. Avoid the following 5 foods which are not as healthy as you thought they were, and your mental and body-based fitness efforts will receive a boost.
5 Foods That Are Not As Healthy As You Think
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 are very good for you. Start reading food labels. 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, if you don’t space out the fiber throughout the day.
Cut a bar in half for your snack or look for smaller size snack bars, like the ones from Mauer.
2 – Low-Fat Foods
I bet there are some low-fat foods you like a lot. They 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 and other chemical ingredients. Your body needs healthy fats in moderation, which means enjoying guacamole or hummus instead of a fat-free food product.
I figure, if I am going to enjoy something that is full of fat, just let me indulge and I can exercise more to burn it off. Ridding myself of chemicals is the 1st step to freedom from the manufactured lifestyle.
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. Avoid orange juice and drink a glass of water instead.
If you love fruit juice, eat the fruit instead. Much less calories and your body will process it correctly, as it is digesting.
4 – “Health” Drinks and Smoothies
There are plenty of drinks touting amazing health properties. If they’ve got more than 3-5 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.
Beware of smoothie style drinks too! These can be loaded in empty calories that will leave you wondering why you are gaining weight. Veggie blends and juicing should be an nutrition enhancement, not a calorie buster.
5 – Store-Bought Veggie Burgers
When you make your own vegetable patties and black bean burgers, you know exactly what you are putting into your body. Unfortunately, many of the frozen, 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.
Read labels and make sure you are getting what you pay for. Or find a great recipe and make your own.
All of these are great reminders that we have to read labels and stay diligent with our efforts to reduce chemicals and processed foods. I hope this helps you!
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