Trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle while constantly busy is difficult when there are so many food options to choose from. For many years, we were told that many foods were good for sustaining health and stability, but in many instances, we were misinformed.
The nutrition industry has updated new research studies that have found that the same foods we all thought were great for us, are the same ones relating to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and gaining weight. Also, some foods have also been linked to diabetes, cancer in various forms and high blood pressure.
The issue with misinformation is many people who want to lose weight are beginning to notice that nothing seems to work. Large food companies spend millions of dollars a year to persuade buyers into thinking their products are what’s necessary for healthy living. Many foods we’re consuming are processed, filled with GMO’s and can even be linked to detrimental illnesses. It is crucial to realize what goes into all the foods you consume. Healthy foods are beneficial to a happy, healthy life.
Choosing healthier foods have numerous benefits that your body, mind, and soul will love you for.
“Healthy foods” that aren’t healthy
Many yogurts are extremely high in sugar or high fructose corn syrup. A lot of people ponder whether yogurt is healthy because they are marketed as being full of probiotics. The problem with this is the manufacturing process takes away most, if not all of the active cultures in yogurt before it can reach any grocery store. Many think frozen yogurt is a healthier substitute to ice cream, but the sugar content is nonetheless. The healthiest way to eat yogurt is to make sure you’re buying yogurt that is full-fat, Greek yogurt that contains milk from grass-fed cows.
2 Fat-Free/ Low-Fat Foods
You might think that substituting your usual food options with low-fat or fat-free alternatives is more beneficial for you, but these foods result in the exact opposite. To get fat-free products, manufacturers have to increase the amount of sugar, so consumers will continue to enjoy their products. Typical low-fat, fat-free foods contain more carbs and will contain trans-fat that will result in having a lower nutritional value than the original full-fat option. The body needs fat to function for maintaining a healthy nervous system, so unsaturated fats from nuts, fish, and seeds will give you the nutrients you need.
3 Red Meat
Although some red meats have benefits, it should be eaten in moderation. Red meat has the capability of increasing the risk of pancreatic, bowel, and stomach cancer. Many red meats have been advertised as a great way to obtain protein and iron, but several are processed. Red meat contains a red pigment called haem, which can potentially impair cells and create dangerous chemicals leading to cancer. Eating excessive amounts of meat can also increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, due to the iron levels in the brain. A healthier option would be consuming less processed meats and purchasing leaner cut styles of top-choice sirloin. Vitamins can also be used as an alternate to eating red meat.
4 Granola/ Granola bars
Most consider granola as the healthy cereal because granola has been marketed as healthy for many years. Oddly, most granola bars contain as much sugar as a candy bar. The grains used to make granola bars are highly processed, so don’t let the advertisements fool you. Granola alone is high in fat because oil is added into the mix, which serves as a hidden fat. This is why many companies list their serving sizes very low so you don’t realize how much you’re eating. A healthy option would be to try and make your own granola. This way, you know exactly what’s going into the final product. Also, instead of eating granola alone, you can use it in moderation as a topping to yogurt.
5 Whole grains/ Wheat
Even though whole grains and wheat substitutes are a healthier option to white bread, they’re still carbohydrates, which break down glucose in the body. Glucose initiates the release of insulin, which is the main hormone in the body that makes people gain weight. People who eat high amounts of carbohydrates, are at a higher risk of obesity, heart disease, and diabetes. The same goes for whole grain and wheat pastas. A healthier option could be using organic vegetables in pastas, using a spiralizer (spins vegetables to make them look like pasta).
Salads are very deceptive when trying to eat healthy and lose weight. Yes, if made right, salads have very nutritional components but they also can have many unhealthy factors. When people go out for dinner, many order a salad thinking they are going to consume less calories. Many restaurants use Iceberg or shredded lettuce, which contain absolutely no nutritional value. Options like Caesar salads contain mostly cheese and are soaked in dressing that can be high in calories. To be precautious when going out, make sure you choose a lighter salad dressing, grilled meat, fresh vegetables, and avoid salads with lots of components. Salads that contain different foods can add up in calories. Also, when making a salad at home, make sure you’re using fresh lettuce such as spinach or arugula, avoid cheese, and don’t use croutons.
7 Canned vegetables
Vegetables, how could they be bad, right? Well, most canned vegetables have added sodium to enhance texture, taste, and acts as a preservative. Canned vegetables are processed foods that make up three quarters of our sodium intake. Canned veggies can be packed with nutrients but instead of getting regular canned vegetables, you should look for healthier options such as low-sodium. Also, to avoid the heavy intake of salt, make sure to rinse these vegetables before you consume them. This can lower the salt content by 40 percent.
From now on, realizing what you’re essentially eating is extremely important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Researching the foods you consume is very valuable because many times, advertisements can be ambiguous. Carefully select foods at the grocery store by reading the nutrition facts on the product. Serving sizes and the ingredients are essential to look at because you want to validate what you’re eating and how much you eat. Overall, fresh and whole foods are the foods that are going to fuel your body.