Sticking to a healthy eating habit should be easy if we steer clear of junk food and unhealthy food. Or so we think. The truth, however, is a bit different.
If you take a look at some of the most common foods that surprisingly work against you, you will soon realize that all that glitters is not gold or, in other words, not everything that is considered healthy is necessarily good for you.
For most people, cereals are among the things that come to mind when thinking about a healthy meal to kick-start the day. If you are one of them, then it might come as a shock to find out that they are actually one of the worsts.
Cereals contain high amounts of sugar which is the epitome of fattening ingredients and hikes up your blood sugar and insulin level. Add the refined carbs with zero nutritional value to that and you will feel hungry all day long.
If you really are a fan of cereals in the morning, you should at least make sure that you select whole grain products which contain minimum 3 g of fibers and less than 10 grams of sugar per serving.
Whole Wheat Bread
This is another type of food marketed as healthy and weight- friendly. The fact is most whole wheat bread is not entirely made of whole grains and because of that it has a high glycemic index.
It is usually made of grains processed into a fine, pulverized flour that reaches your system and increases your blood sugar as quickly as refined grains from white bread.
Also, wheat can cause problems to people with gluten sensitivity, therefore it is not recommended for every type of diet. If you’re not sensitive to that, best thing to do is look for 100% whole wheat or whole grains.
Yogurt is known to provide calcium and is considered a good option for a healthy diet. The problem, however, is mostly with low-fat yogurt, which is nowhere close to being the ally against gaining weight, as the name suggests.
To compensate the lack of saturated fat whose removal alters the taste, yogurt is spiked with sugar, fructose or other artificial sweeteners. On top of that, they are highly processed and, therefore, high in calories, a definite no go for a healthy diet.
To make sure you eat the right thing, try plain, fat-free yogurt, such as Greek yogurt, and add your own combination of fresh fruits and honey for a better taste.
Commercial Salad Dressings
Usually, any combination of vegetables is healthy and full of nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins. However, when the taste of leafy greens is not enough and you start to add dressings, things take a wrong turn.
Most such products contain soybean oil or corn syrup and can be high in calories.
A healthier option would be to make your own dressing using extra virgin olive oil, vinegar and spices of your choice to make it tastier.
Diet Soft Drinks
Diet drinks seem to be a good replacement for sugar-sweetened drinks in the attempt to reduce the sugar and calories intake. However, this switch does not necessarily mean any weight loss but on the contrary.
Because diet soft drinks include artificial sweeteners, although they have no calories, they can make you feel hungrier and prone to eating more, thus gaining weight.
Ideally, if you’ve taken this step and resorted to drinking diet soft drinks, you should be careful and also keep an eye out for what you eat in support of a healthy diet.
Many people think organic foods are a healthier alternative to conventional foods. And they usually are unless we are talking about processed organic food.
Processed organic foods are still high in calories and added fats just like inorganic foods. Sugar has the same adverse effect and your body won’t tell the difference between the sources sugar is coming from.
The idea is to try and consume one-ingredient foods and avoid everything that is processed, even if it is labeled as organic.
Gluten-Free Junk Foods
Gluten-free is the craze nowadays. More and more people are trying to exclude gluten from their diets and resort to all kinds of gluten-free products which are said to promote weight loss, boost energy and improve overall health.
However, even if it is gluten free, this type of food can still contain carbohydrates and sugar which is not exactly the best combination when trying to stay healthy or lose weight. Also, it is low in nutrients, therefore, stimulates your appetite more.
If you want to reduce or eliminate the amount of gluten in your diet, opt for naturally gluten-free substitutes like fruits and vegetables, eggs, unprocessed seeds and meats.