With the growing health awareness, and at the same times the increasing rates of people suffering from obesity, and a number of other health conditions caused by junk foods, the food manufacturers have been competing to offer healthier foods to consumers.
The problem with some of these so-called “healthier” foods is that they are not as healthy as many people tend to think they are.
For example, as it was just recently discovered, the decades-long war on butter and high saturated fat foods was not a justified step towards battling obesity and risk of cardiovascular disease.
The belief that all high fat food causes the rise of bad cholesterol levels in the bloodstream and increased the risk of suffering from a stroke, heart attack or other heart disease caused nearly every food producer to start offering foods with removed fat and lowered fat percentages. The problem with this is that when the fat is removed from a food product, the taste is so bad that manufacturers needed to add extra sugar and other quite unhealthy additives to improve it. In actuality, the consumption of excess sugar is much worse than the consumption of more saturated fat, which is why, the foods which are labeled with the “low fat” and “fat free” labels, is in the majority of cases a quite unhealthy, processed alternative to those foods with the natural amounts of fat.
When the battle with butter started, margarine was promoted as a much healthier version. The truth, as it turns out is that margarine is not really a food, but rather a product made of chemicals, refined vegetable oils and in some cases is quite high in trans fats.
Although there are some healthy margarines available on the market, the latest recommendations by heart disease experts is that you choose butter from grass fed cows to use for spreading on your morning toast instead.
Another common mistake which people who are intending to eat “right” and healthy are the salads they make, and actually it is the ready salad dressing they choose to buy and use on their perfectly good vegetables. It is a fact, that the majority of the salad dressings which you can buy from your store are actually packed with sugar, artificial additives, salt, trans fats and unhealthy vegetable oils. This is why, nutritional and health experts advise people to take the time and prepare their own salad dressings with “good” ingredients, such as olive oil, avocado or other healthy products.
Since we were young we have been told that drinking orange and other fruit juices is a healthy start of the day, which is completely true for juices which have been freshly squeezed from real, fresh fruits. Unfortunately, many people choose the easier option and buy readymade fruit juices, which in the majority of the cases are full with everything else but actual fruits. It can be quite frightening to find out that you are feeding yourself and your kids chemicals, and packs of sugar and additives, which are added to the product to make it look great and to taste delicious, rather than what you really think you are getting.
So, if you really want to have a healthy cup of juice, take the time to make it yourself, this will allow for all the great vitamins and fibers to be consumed.
Low carb snacks
People who choose to live and eat healthy are often tempted to buy one of those low carb snacks and sweats which are being sold in every store. The truth about this low carb junk food is that it still is junk food, heavily processed and made of chemicals and additives, which you shouldn’t be consuming if you want to stay healthy and fit. As an alternative, choose some good quality dark chocolate, preferably with 70% or more cocoa added as a healthy and sweet snack instead.
Wheat bread is another food which you may think is a healthier alternative to regular white bread, but in actuality it is not quite like that. Unless it is 100% whole wheat bread, you can be certain that it has enriched flour which causes the same sugar level spike and crash as regular bread. Choose 100% whole wheat breads or multigrain breads which are fiber rich and truly healthy instead.
Many people who are watching what they eat choose to snack on dried fruit when they are craving something sweet. Well, sure it probably is better than eating a candy bar, but the truth is that dried fruits have added sugar as well as sulfur to help preserve them for longer periods of time. Dried fruit has three times more calories than fresh fruit, so next time you reach for those banana chips, go for the fresh banana instead!
Flavored soy milk
Flavored soy milk is another product which health conscious people choose to buy, but the added flavor adds extra sugar and calories as well, so it is better to stick to regular soy milk instead, or choose the almond and hemp alternative instead.
Reduced fat peanut butter
Peanut butter with reduced fat is another one of those “healthy” alternatives which are actually worse than the real thing. Peanuts and the good fats they contain are actually healthy when consumed in moderation. With the reduced fat alternative, the good fats are removed, and are replaced with added sugar and salt for a better taste. So, if you enjoy your peanut butter, choose the real thing, just eat lesser quantities of it.
Flavored fat free yogurt and frozen yogurt
Flavored fat free yogurt and frozen yogurt are the other two products to stay away from if you want to eat a healthy diet. The flavored fat-free yogurt has more added sugar than you are guessing, and the frozen yogurt is an absolutely unhealthy alternative to ice-cream. The solution is to make your own delicious flavored yogurt by adding cut fresh fruit and honey to plain Greek yogurt at home.
Processed organic foods and organic snacks
Other health products to stay away from are organic processed foods and organic snack foods which are becoming ever so popular. The processed foods are processed foods even though they are labeled “organic”, and the organic snacks are still snacks, and this doesn’t make them the healthiest food choice at all.
Sport drinks are great for people who are actually athletes, as they have the necessary added salts and sugars for that extra energy needed while training, during a game or other sports event. But for people who are just looking for a healthier version of a sugary drink, it is better to choose water than to drink a sports drink which has sufficient amounts of added sugar as well.
The majority of the processed breakfast cereals today are created to be liked and wanted by children, and the manufacturers are doing almost anything to put their own processed cereals ahead of the competition.
The truth is that unfortunately, even though most cereals claim to be healthy, wholegrain and low-fat, they are actually packed with sugar, additives to make them look and taste better, and to be picked by more consumers in this tough multi-billion market competition.
More articles on Men’s Health Herbal Pharmacy.com:
- Top 11 biggest myths about nutrition
- Why low-carb is better than a low-fat diet?
- Do microwave ovens actually affect our health and our food?
- Is vegetarianism or veganism healthier than the western diet? Or it is a pseudoscience?
- Symptoms that you may be addicted to junk food
- Is sugar a drug? The truth about sugar addiction
- Are there really mad scientists manipulating our foods, in order to make us addicted and overeat?
- Is fructose really that harmful?
- Is bread actually bad for your health?
- How truthful is the modern nutritional policy, and how objective is the science it is based on?