Let’s face it people, we are becoming lazy, or we are too busy to actually read what the nutritional information is on the products that we buy. The fact is, we are being misled by the media and are only sold half-truths about the foods that are advertised as ‘ healthy ’.
Companies leave a bit of room for interpretation for the ever-growing threat of being sued by an unhappy customer. So, let’s have a quick look at some of the foods that you always thought were healthy, but really aren’t.
1. Fruit Juice
Surely 100% fruit juice can’t be unhealthy. The juice comes from natural fruit, you just don’t have all the pulp or fruit skin to deal with once you’re done. Therein lies the problem.
Fruit by design is healthy for you and provide you with plenty of minerals and vitamins that your body really needs. But what fruit also has in abundance is sugar. In its natural form that is not a problem because the fruit has fiber that prevents the body from digesting the sugar too fast. Take away the fiber and you are left with masses of sugar that your body can’t really use that quickly and it turns into fat.
2. Prepared salad
I don’t even want to know how many people are fooled by the premade salad that they buy at the shops. These little packets of leafy deception can pack quite the number of calories. The problem is not in the salad itself, but rather in the dressing or added ingredients that restaurants and grocers add. They do it to give the salad a bit more flavor.
Some of these salads can have up to 600 calories and boast a fair amount of sugar. Rather stick to the homemade good stuff.
3. Low-fat or fat-free
For those of us with an extra bit of body, it really is tempting to go for the low or no-fat products. The question you have to ask yourself if how the food companies actually made the product to have less fat in the first place.
A recent UK study showed that these foods can have up to 10% more calories and 40% than the original. As soon as you need to add artificial flavoring and colorants, the red lights in your head should go off. This means that the flavor was removed with the fat and that other sugary flavorants need to be added.
4. Dried Fruits
Another fruity counterfeit is the dried fruit. These sweet treats are sweet for a very good reason. When your dry fruit out, it loses its water and a large amount of the flavor. To counter this, sugar is added to bring back the flavor.
But besides the sugar, dried fruits also need a number of preservatives. These are unnatural chemicals that actually harm your body more than what the fruit is good for you. Next time you are tempted to indulge, remember, fresh is best.
One might think that granola is the perfect companion to your yoghurt and healthy fruit salad in the morning. The truth is that one serving size which is a ¼ cup can be loaded with sugar, calories and carbs. You might not even get enough fiber. But not all granola brands are equal.
Some brands forsake the healthy part to add flavor while other brands actually produce a healthy (albeit less flavorsome) product. Make sure to check up on the ingredients the next time you go granola hunting, you’d be surprised to find out what they put in that stuff.
6. Microwave Popcorn
This movie night favourite is one that you are better off leaving on the shelf and going for the conventional stoved-pop or air-popped versions.
Sure, microwave popcorn is super tasty, but you have no control over how much salt, oil and butter is added to the snack. Convenience often comes at the expense of health and microwave popcorn is no different.
If you come to think about it, there is plenty wrong with certain types of sushi. Sure, it’s not all bad, but like many things, your favourite bit might just be the one that packs the calories. Those delectable California roles, packed with cream cheese, crab sticks and tempura fried shrimp, are not exactly healthy ingredients.
As I said, it’s not all bad. There are sushi rolls that are actually healthy. You just need to look carefully at the list of ingredients and determine what is healthy and what not.