Seven Foods You Thought Were Actually Healthy (But Aren’t)
The health food craze seems to be relentless – just when you think it’s over, with every day comes a new, more fashionable superfood or healthier version of the food we know and love.
But with the sheer amount of choice out there for healthy eaters, it can actually become really difficult to work out which so-called healthy foods are legitimate in a world packed full of diet foods and superfoods. As after all, just because something is lower in fat, doesn’t mean it’s not high in sugar, trans fats and a host of other nasties.
In this article we take a look at 7 of the most common culprits – foods that masquerade as healthy when the reality really isn’t quite so clear cut.
There’s no denying it – granola is everywhere. But this trendy breakfast staple is often a case of being more than meets the eye… especially when it comes to sugar, trans fats and hydrogenated oils.
That’s right – while granola is touted as the healthy cereal alternative, ready-made versions can be full of all of these diet no-nos. But that’s not all – many people eat way more than an average serving, often frittering away 200 calories on one bowl instead of using granola as a topping.
This handy little snack is a great choice for busy people who want to grab and go when it comes to getting fuel in the tank. But pre-prepared trail mix often contains a huge range of ingredients, which means the calories quickly add up.
What’s more, the dried fruit included in many versions are packed with sulphites, life-lengthening preservatives that are now proven to be carcinogenic – not good news to anyone!
It’s not all doom and gloom, though – making trail mix at home with clear portion sizes, sulphite-free dried fruit or unsalted nuts will provide a filling stack without the pitfalls.
While fruit juice can be packed full of body-friendly antioxidants, the calories contained in a glass of juice are much more concentrated that eating the actual fruit itself. And because the brain can’t compensate for such highly concentrated calories, fruit juice can cause blood sugar levels to rocket.
To avoid this, go directly for fruit and vegetables, or if you’re an avid juicer, add honey instead of any sugar.
Sushi is often viewed as a clean, healthy dinner choice – especially in terms of ‘fast’ food. But while the simpler varieties can be relatively healthy thanks to high levels of lean protein and vegetables, the fancier types often tend to find themselves accompanied by high fat sauces, lots of salt and refined white rice.
What’s more, it’s difficult for the body to extract vitamins or minerals from sushi, so while healthy on the surface, sushi’s still not the optimal choice.
Real replacement and energy-boosting bars are all the rage for keeping hunger pang at bays the healthy, but are you actually checking out the ingredients they include?
The majority of these bars are a little more than candy bars much of the time, and aside from the added protein and fibre, there’s not really much on offer in terms of nutritional value. You’d be much better off getting these ingredients from another source.
Fro-yo has become a wildly popular alternative to diet enemy ice cream and other sugar and fat-laden deserts. In terms of saturated fat, frozen yoghurt easily trumps ice cream, but once you add on at least one of the myriad toppings available at a fro-yo bar, you’re creeping up towards ice cream-level calories in no time.
In other words, this ones not quite the ‘good’ alternative it seems.
When eating out it’s unsurprising that salads emerge as the healthy choice. But while a simple salad at home can be just the ticket in terms of a healthy, nourishing meal, salads when eating out can be a different story, piling on less healthy ingredients like crispy noodles, bacon bits and cheese.
What’s more, these portion sizes can be huge – and that’s before we get started on the calorie and fat-filled creamy dressings that often accompany them. If you want to be sure your salad is healthy, keep it simple and watch your portion size. There’s little more to it……