A huge part of leading a healthy life is to eat healthier foods and some foods have been marketed as ‘healthy foods’ but are they really? Here are some hidden traps which may wreak havoc with your diet. It is with great regret, but also the desire to help you learn, that I must tell you about some very iconic “healthy” foods that aren’t actually as healthy as you might originally think.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re probably going crazy with shock at the fact that fruit juice, the thing that people tell you is 100% healthy is the first one on this list. Well part of that is because the shock factor is good for getting you to read. The other part is that, while they shouldn’t just be discarded and treated like they’re as bad as burgers, fruit juices aren’t perfect.
Juices are still the healthier options over soda as they do offer a lot of vitamins and minerals and a lot of them (for example, pomegranate juice) can offer a lot of health benefits.
But the fact of the matter is that most juices, whether they’d be store bought or natural, have a lot of sugar in them and that does cause them to be slightly less than healthy. It’s even worse when some packet juices contain added sugar. Nonetheless, it does have vitamins, minerals and even a bit of fibre in it. Thus, we’re not asking you to throw out your fruit juices. However, do drink them in moderation instead of being a substitute for plain water.
Butter is usually treated as a really unhealthy food (though it tastes amazing) due to it’s high fat content and how it can increase your calorie intake. To remedy this, margarine is often treated as a good replacement for butter as it offers the same taste and, supposedly, healthier benefits.
Well, all of that might’ve actually been just a bunch of lies. For starters, margarine was found to contain a lot of trans fats due to the hydrogenation process where they added hydrogen to vegetable oils to turn it from a liquid into the semi-solid margarine. Although processes have improved since to eliminate as much trans fats as possible, it is still made with cheap oils and laced with additives. It is not true that margarine contains less fat than butter. In fact, natural butter contains vitamins since it is made from cow’s milk! Because of this, it’s recommended you either just stick to normal butter or eat only grass-fed butter.
Twig and Flakes Cereal
A lot of cereals contain a lot of sugar, almost the same amounts as the conventional, kid-friendly ones, although they might be higher in fibre. Of course this doesn’t mean eating cereals is bad, you just have to know which are healthier for you.
The best way to know this is to look at the nutritional facts before purchasing. Check out what the cereals are made with (whole grains are best), make sure that it has less than 6 grams of sugar per serving and short ingredients list. Cereals that have freeze-dried fruits and unprocessed nuts are also a good pick as it adds flavour, vitamins and texture without introducing refined sugars.
Veggie Chips are marketed as a good substitute for normal chips, since they are made of vegetables (isn’t this the epitome of healthy?) and contain fewer calories than normal chips. Sadly, these vegetable chips contain only very small amounts of vegetable powder (not even sure how much nutrients would be left from that process of turning vegetables into powder) and mainly made with potato starch and corn flour…which is almost the same as popping that bottle of Pringles.
To counter this, you can make your own veggie chips; there are actually a few recipes on how to make them and other healthy snacks. You can also look for brands that have kale, broccoli or brussel sprouts as the main ingredient for their chips. Moral of this story? Read the labels carefully.
Bottled Green Juices
Sometimes, it’s not easy to make your own green juices. While it mostly requires you to blend them, if you are tired when you reach home or aren’t really feeling up to it, you might just find it easier to buy some at the store. Well, green doesn’t exactly mean better.
Stored green juices tend to have a ton of sugar added into them, sometimes as much as 50 grams of it. So, it might be a bit harder to get yourself to get up and do it but it’ll be better for you if you juice your own vegetables. You’d get the added benefit of knowing what goes in there plus you can also be assured of the maximum amount of vitamins in there as you consume the juice fresh.
We hope we didn’t crush your hopes and dreams too much. Now, it has to be stated that not all of the items in this list are as bad as others; fruit and green juices are still healthy drink choices and, together with veggie chips, can easily be made at home without much problem. Regardless, it all just works to reinforce the fact that when you’re trying to eat healthy you also have to make an effort to check everything you might consume.
Photo Credits: Sun Vending, Tablet Magazine, Prevention, RealDose Nutrition, Men’s Journal