Food & Diet
These 5 Products ‘Pollute’ Your Diet
When there wasn’t a mass production of processed foods, it was much easier to eat healthy. Today, there are numerous nutrition misconceptions and it isn’t so easy to stay on the right path, especially when there are so many delicious but unhealthy foods and products.
These foods are sometimes labeled as healthy, but they carry health risks along, and some are labeled as diet, but they won’t help you lose weight (maybe they will even cause weight gain).
So, here are the products you should stay away from if you want to eat healthy, as they ‘pollute’ your diet and body.
A popular snack and breakfast choice usually made from rolled oats, nuts, honey, and sometimes with puffed rice, chocolate and raisins, granola is commercialized as being natural and organic.
However, not everything labeled as such is actually healthy for you. Almost all of these products are fattening as they are packed with CALORIES, FATS and SUGAR.
One serving of granola provides around 420 calories, 10 grams of fat and 26 grams of sugar. For 420 calories you can eat a far more satisfying meal consisting of lean protein and healthy carbohydrates, which will not raise your blood sugar levels and add fat to your thighs. These products are made with the addition of oil you just don’t need to be taking in.
Instead of granola, if you like eating grains, nuts and fruits for breakfast or as a snack, you could eat muesli. The best choice would be to mix the ingredients (such as oats, nuts, and seeds, with the addition of some fruits) yourself, and have them with skim milk (or plant milk if you’re vegetarian). This way, you won’t be eating any added sugar or fat, and your diet will be healthier.
2. Brown Sugar
People think that brown sugar is healthier than the white kind, but unfortunately that is not the case. In fact, when it comes to nutritive value (read calories) and the healthiness (or unhealthiness), white and brown sugar are no different.
When people (thinking that brown sugar is healthier and has fewer calories) use it more often and even more than they actually need believing they will not gain weight or increase the risk for certain diseases, such as diabetes, it can cause major health problems. Having a little sugar once in a while won’t hurt you, but if you like adding lots of it into your foods and drinks, you should consider healthier variants.
Instead of brown (or white) sugar, you could use a little honey or maple syrup, which are also high in calories, but are sweeter than sugar and you won’t need to use as much. Sweeteners such as stevia could also be useful.
3. Canned Fruit
Fruit is healthy, right? It is, but in its natural form. When you read the labels on canned fruit, you will see how different it is from regular, whole, fresh fruit when it comes to nutritive values.
When canned, these fruits lose most of their nutritional benefits (provided by fiber, vitamins, and minerals) and with the addition of sugar, these products become unhealthy for you (and fattening as well).
Peaches are a great example of the main difference between canned and fresh fruit:
- A medium-sized fresh peach contains fiber, useful nutrients, and around 8 grams of natural sugar.
- On the other hand, a serving of canned peaches contains triple the amount of sugar, usually processed, and almost no fiber.
Eating fresh fruits is always the best option. If you want to eat healthy, try to eat more whole foods and less processed ones.
4. Flavored Fat-Free Yogurt
If it’s fat free, it must be good for your diet, right?
If something is labeled fat-free, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy. It may not contain much (or any) fat, but it could be packed with sugar. If you have to make a choice between fat and sugar, it would be better to go for fat. Fat-free yogurts usually contain 15 grams of sugar in only one small 6-ounce serving. Not to mention artificial flavors and colors added in, which certainly cannot be considered healthy.
A better choice would be buying a plain fat-free Greek yogurt which has no added sugars, and sweetening it with some fresh fruits. This way, you’ll know what you’re eating and you won’t be tricked into thinking you’re eating healthy, low-calorie food when you’re actually not.
5. Gluten-Free Products
People are very passionate about buying gluten-free products these days. But if something is gluten-free, it doesn’t mean it’s healthy, as most of these products are processed, fatty and/or packed with sugars.
If you want to eat gluten-free and healthy foods, go for fresh fruits and vegetables.