Trying to stay healthy is something that’s always on our minds, and for someone who is trying to lose weight or improve their health, it can be really tough to figure out what’s okay for you to eat and what isn’t. Sometimes figuring this out can be easy (for example, we know that while they’re delicious, most desserts are actually bad for you), but other times there are foods who seem healthy (and are lauded as such to boot) but are actually not as much as they appear to be at first glance.
1. Salad Dressings
You wouldn’t be blamed for thinking Salad Dressing is healthier than it seems as they’re treated as a good companion to salads and helps give it more taste. Unfortunately, the amount of ingredients that go into actually making salad dressing isn’t very inspiring, plus it’s also high in calories and essentially ruins all the benefits that come from eating that bowl of salad. If you want to add it in, just add a little bit, otherwise you’d probably be better just eating the salad raw or adding something that works just as well (vinaigrette is really good as a salad dressing).
2. Fruit Juice
Now, don’t go throwing all your juice cartons down the drain. While it’s true that 100% fruit juices do come with a lot of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and they are a better option than drinking soda or coffee for breakfast, but the truth of the matter is that a lot of fruit juices don’t even contain 100% fruit, some are even just water with fruit flavour added to them.
Even natural fruit juices have a lot of sugar put into them, which increases the calorie intake. That being said, there are a lot of juices (like pomegranate and blueberry juice) that, even with the added sugar, still offer a lot of health benefits. You also have to remember that even if they’re not as healthy as they seem, they are still the better option so don’t just give up on juice…just be mindful of the amounts that you drink.
3. Whole Wheat
Right of the bat, we can say that white bread is made with practically very refined and bleached wheat (which is why it’s white) which is why it’s not that good for you, but even whole wheat bread isn’t perfect.
While whole wheat bread contains more fibre than white bread, it’s glycemic index (a marker of how fast the food elevate blood sugars) is the same as white bread. This is due to the fact that whole wheat still contains gluten, which is what spikes up your blood sugar levels quickly. Whatever goes up, must come down. And that means that the sharp spike in sugar will cause you to then have a rapid drop and this sugar roller coaster will cause you to get hungry fast and want to pick up that snack.
Thus, if you’re going to consume that whole wheat bread, do remember to pair it off with items that are high on the glycemic index so that you will still feel full for at least four hours and not want to reach out for that piece of chocolate.
4. Sports Drinks
Sports Drinks were made with athletes in mind and therefore, they contain a lot of electrolytes (salts) and sugar, which can be useful for athletes in many cases (as they help keep your energy high). But if you’re a normal person that just wants to have a sports drink then you’d probably do better with just drinking soda as the levels of sugar that sports drinks have isn’t that much lower than normal sodas.
Problem is that there aren’t that many athletes in the world who would repeatedly buy these sport drinks, therefore the companies market them to the everyday person who then thinks that they need to consume these drinks after a workout in the gym to ‘rehydrate’. Not true. You’re probably better off drinking plain water so as to ensure that your workout was not in vain.
5. Granola Bars
It’s true that granola bars bring a lot of benefits and have a lot of healthy ingredients (a variety of nuts, fruits and even a little bit of chocolate) plus they help increase your fibre and gives you more energy. Unfortunately, much like sports drinks, they are also packed with a lot of sugar that’s better consumed if you’re going to be burning it really quickly. If you’re just going out for a walk or want to pick up a quick snack, we’d recommend you just eat an apple or nuts as you’ll probably be getting the same full feeling in your stomach but with less calories.
Much like fruit juices, please don’t give up on smoothies. Smoothies are indeed a healthy and tasty drink that anybody can enjoy or an effective meal replacement for busy folks. The problem is that a lot of places add a lot of extra sugar to their smoothies; some even fill it up to the brim with ice cream or add chocolate syrup, which in turn makes it unhealthy. Make sure to check what goes into your smoothies if you’re buying from somewhere outside of home, but even then it’s recommended that you make your own (plus homemade smoothies can be really tasty).
Sushi can be pretty healthy and it is indeed a better choice compared to any other fast food meal you could have. That being said, a lot of sushi rolls have added ingredients like mayonnaise or are fried, which isn’t bad in and of itself but it does make it unhealthier so you shouldn’t eat a lot of it. Another reason not to eat too much sushi, is that a lot of fish (like tuna or sea bass) that are used in sushi are high in mercury, so eating too much of it can be bad for you. We suggest that you pay attention to what each roll is made with and even recommend using this guide, to see what rolls have fish that are high in mercury.
Eating healthy shouldn’t be stressful and tough, but sometimes we have to thank the marketing machines of all these companies to sell us an idea. After all, if we don’t buy into the idea that their products are healthy, we wouldn’t be buying them, right? Nonetheless, all the items on this list are genuinely healthy after all, it’s just a matter of knowing where you’re getting it from and consuming them in moderation.
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