As we get older, most of us like to pay attention to what we eat, in a bid to stay healthy and keep the much dreaded mid section spread at bay for as long as we can.
However, sometimes our well meaning choices are all for nothing as some of the foods that we choose are deceivingly unhealthy.
Retailers have become increasingly clever at either being economic with the truth or bamboozling us with terms we’re not familiar with, in a bid to get us to buy products that are meant to be healthy.
But are they?
How many times have you opted for orange juice over fizzy drinks? How often have you opted for a cereal bar over a chocolate bar?
Even the most health conscious of us fall prey to some of the hidden calories found in such foods as bread, baked beans, salad dressings, ready-made food and readily made soup, all of which deceptively appear healthy enough.
For instance, those who buy into weight loss products and theories need to be aware that manufacturers tend to pile hideous amounts of sugars into diet meals.
Sugar contains fewer calories than fat, so the manufacturers are able to keep the calories down, while improving the taste. Most people are more focused on working out the amount of calories, fat and maybe salt, mistakenly taking their eye off the sugar content.
Too much sugar in your diet leads to your body storing excess fat, thereby putting your overall health at risk. Experts believe that sugar can wreak as much havoc and damage to your heart as fat in the long term.
Below are examples of some of the popular “healthy” food choices that are in fact not so good for our health in large quantities.
Over the past decade, health stores have become more and more popular as more people have become more health conscious.
Like most people, I have previously walked into a health store and bought food products in a health store, with the belief that they are perfectly healthy. Sadly, that’s not always the case.
Health bars, for instance, have been widely touted as a healthy alternative to chocolate. This is very misleading as most health bars are just like sweets, heavily leaden with additives, sugar, salt and artificial ingredients, the names of which you can’t even pronounce.
It’s not rocket science; these types of food are not something anybody should have on a daily basis.
Sure, they’ll give you a sugar rush, but then you’ll have consumed a lot of empty calories and what’s more, you’ll feel hungry again not long after, leaving you craving more.And of course, the more you eat, the more calories you consume.
I must admit, this one had me fooled for a very long time. Wherever you go, you always find dried fruit in the health section! But I have learned over the years and through extensive research that this is very misleading!
Dried fruit is in fact, packed full of sugar to retain the taste and quite often a whole host of other preservatives to keep them fresh.
Dried fruit is not entirely bad for you, but it’s not the healthiest of choices. If you must have a snack, you’re best off grabbing just a couple of pieces, or better still, fresh fruit.
Who doesn’t like fruit juice? Most of us mistakenly believe fruit juice is perfectly healthy to drink in copious amount.
It came as a shock to me to learn that most juice drinks contain more high fructose corn syrup, which is just a fancy word for another form of sugar. What’s even more worrying is that high fructose corn syrup has been linked to high cholesterol levels, blood clots and impaired immunity.
The best thing to do is to keep shop bought juice to a minimum and make a habit of opting instead for freshly squeezed juice.
I knew there was a reason it’s so much more delicious that healthier breakfast cereal! Most granola is very high in carbohydrates, starch and fat.
Because it’s marketed as being very healthy, it’s easy to blindly overload on calories and subsequently pile on the weight, all the time thinking you’re being healthy.
Healthier breakfast options include oatmeal with a sprinkling of cinnamon, shredded wheat, yogurt, eggs or wholegrain toast with peanut butter.
Restaurant/shop bought salad
Most people think that all salads are healthy, but if you have not made it yourself, chances are it’s far from good for your body!
Some of the salads offered in restaurants and supermarkets may even be worse for you than fast food! They are often packed with a lot of saturated fats, salt and sugars to improve the taste.
The biggest offender is the salad dressing, which only serves to significantly increase the amount of calories. When out eating, you are best sticking with raw vegetables, grilled chicken and Balsamic vinaigrette. You’ll do well to avoid salad dressing and croutons.