We are regularly told which foods are ‘healthy’ and which ones are ‘unhealthy’, however while we are inundated with health food professionals, nutritionists, PT’s and doctors telling us to eat these ‘healthy’ foods, we should still understand what we’re putting into our bodies. Some packaged and branded products are dark horses in the ‘healthy’ category and you shouldn’t just assume they are healthy.
Here are my top seven healthy foods to be wary of…
Granola and yoghurt may be marketed as a healthy breakfast or on-the-go snack, but many don’t have a lot of nutritional value and can be packed with sugar, have low vitamin and mineral counts and just be a calorific nightmare. Granola is also attributed to bloating and gas. Not very pretty! Looking for low sugar versions such as Lizi’s granola is your best bet when it comes to granola.
Flavoured yoghurt (fat-free)
Here we get sucked into believing that the words ‘fat free’ are our best friend when in actual fact that doesn’t mean it’s healthy! Flavoured yoghurts tend to have tonnes of sugar in them and could include not only sugar but fructose, corn syrup and other sweeteners and not as many of them contain real fruit. I personally love Fage yoghurt with fruit. Thick, creamy and high in protein.Gluten-free products
Gluten-free means healthy, right? WRONG. Just because something advocates that it’s gluten-free doesn’t mean that it can’t be processed and contain other naughty ingredients. Be careful not to fall into the trap, and always check labels carefully as you could be subject to high fat and sugar contents, among other things.
While they may be made from vegetables, most of the time they are so over processed that they lose what made them good in the first place, regardless of whether they are fried or baked, meaning you’ve lost the nutritional value. Some vegetable crisps also contain more sugar that regular crisps and the same amount of fat. It would be best to just avoid crisps – I know! – but eating veggies instead would be much better for you.
We are lead to believe that protein bars and health food bars are a great on-the-go source of energy, the pick-me-up that’s good for you mentality. Erm… sadly not. Many protein bars contain artificial ingredients, and have been processed to the point where they aren’t as beneficial as you may think. Check the sugar content as well, as these bad boys can be victims of high sugar – I think that’s to sometime mask the nasty flavours of some the healthier ingredients which taste like ass. No joke.
People have been lead to believe that agave is good for you and that it is a raw and organic delight that you can eat without sin, however the reality is very different. Agave has 70 per cent fructose (or more dependent on who you ask), and that is a higher concentrate than sugar, which can be around the 50 per cent mark. Fructose can cause sever metabolic problems and basically makes sugar the lesser of two evils in this fight. It is typically bottled and packaged to promote that it is an all natural sweetener but you’d be better off going for other alternatives such as stevia to sweeten your dishes.
Fruit juices can be a great way of getting your five a day, as well as being easy to get hold of and found in all supermarkets and even most corner shops, they are relatively cheap and generally tasty, but they are generally bursting with sugar and sweeteners. Best to go for no added sugar versions, or even better go for juices that are from concentrate – however this is only a benefit in smaller bottles usually, as cartons can say concentrate but can have lots of sugar! Don’t be deceived! I’d say invest in a juicer and freshly squeeze your own Sunday morning juice as you’ll get more from it, and a sense of achievement at the same time.
Do you know of any misleading ‘healthy’ foods? I’d love to hear what should be on this list!