10 So called ‘healthy’ foods you should watch out for
It’s very easy to get fooled by food labels and believe that something is healthy, when it is not as healthy as you might think. Who wouldn’t think that something that says “contains real fruit” or “low fat” is going to be good for you? What the food manufacturers don’t give you, though, is the full story on their labels. They don’t say, for example “contains real fruit, but very little, when you compare it to all the added sugar” or “low fat, so we had to load it with extra salt and/or sugar to give it some flavour”. Most people don’t have the time to check all the ingredients in the food that they buy, so read on, and find ten so called ‘healthy’ food products that might NOT be quite as healthy as you had thought.
1. Trail Mix
You’d have thought that trail mix is one of the healthiest snacks that you can buy, but, more often than not, that is not the case. Yes, they contain nuts, but most trail mixes you buy at a store also contain candy pieces or deep fried banana bits. Eat two handfuls of the wrong type of trail mix and you get over 500 calories, refined carbohydrates and a dose of trans-fats too.
2. Fruit Juice
If you think that all that fruit juice that you drink every day is doing you good, you could be very wrong. Firstly, most store-bought fruit juice has been pasteurised, so much of the natural goodness has been removed and drinking too much fruit juice will lead to spikes in your blood sugar levels, which could lead to obesity. If you think about it, when you drink one glass of orange juice, you are drinking the equivalent of four-six oranges. Drink several glasses a day and that’s a lot of oranges!
3. Reduced fat peanut butter
As with a lot of food labelling, the words “reduced fat” can be very misleading. Reduced fat it may be, but it’s not been reduced by very much to allow the manufacturer to be able to use that wording. Reduced fat peanut butter usually has almost the same amount of fat as regular peanut butter, and it has extra sugar and salt to make up for the reduction in fat.
4. Frozen yoghurt
Frozen yoghurt would appear to be a far better option than ice-cream, but is it really? There is no doubt that frozen yoghurt contains less saturated fat than ice-cream, but, once you have added your favourite toppings, when you look at the sugar content and calories, they are not that different at all.
5. Vegetable chips
What could be wrong with carrots, parsnips and beetroot for a snack? Don’t let the word vegetable make you think that vegetable chips are any healthier than regular chips. Just like potato chips, store-bought vegetable chips are loaded with fat and salt. The only way to absolutely be sure that you are getting a healthy snack, is to make them yourself at home and then you can decide how much salt to put on them.
6. High fibre breakfast cereal
Many breakfast cereals can fool you into thinking that they are super-healthy by the words “high fibre” that are usually emblazoned across the packaging in big letters. What they don’t tell you is that most brands of breakfast cereal also have about a teaspoon of added sugar per serving too. Even those with no added sugar could be adding to your sugar intake with the added dried fruit that some contain.
7. Turkey meat
Going for the turkey burger, at a burger joint, isn’t always the healthy option that you think it is either. Natural turkey meat is indeed low in fat, but it’s also pretty low in flavour too. Burgers, sausages and sliced cuts of re-formed turkey meat, usually have added salt, sugar and even fat, to give them more flavour.
Most nuts come packed with goodness like minerals, fibre and vitamins, but packaged peanuts can be very misleading. Most commercial brands of peanuts are roasted and roasted with unhealthy fats and they also have a lot of salt added to them. Peanuts also contain a lot of omega-6 fatty acids, which, when eaten in excess can cause diabetes and have been linked to Alzheimer’s.
9. Diet soda
Far from helping you lose weight, diet soda can actually make you put weight on. In a study conducted by the Texas Health Science Centre, it was found that the more diet soda you drink, the more likely you are to gain weight. The artificial sweetness of diet soda can upset the body’s natural ability to regulate food intake and cause you to eat more sugary foods and put on weight.
10. Dried fruit
You think that eating a handful of dried fruit would be a healthy option too, but dried fruit is the fruit with the water taken out, so all the sugar of the fruit has been concentrated and you are probably eating more sugar than you think. Dried fruit often has sugar added to it as well, so you would be far better off eating some fresh grapes instead.
Stay happy and healthy!