Here’s a secret in the food industry: many healthy foods are no better than their alternatives. Some have little nutritional value, some actually contain harmful chemicals, and some even pose as “healthy” when they’re downright bad for you.
Go beyond the labels and scrutinize the ingredients. Breads labeled as “whole wheat” or “whole grain,” for example, can pack as much as 70-percent refined flour. But because it includes some whole grains, it can advertise itself as the real deal.
And challenge the myths. You don’t need many fat-free or cholesterol-free options because, in its unprocessed form, fat doesn’t make you fat and cholesterol doesn’t clog your arteries.
In this article, we list twelve of the worst health foods; stay clear and stay healthy.
For Americans who eat breakfast, 31% start their morning the same way: a bowl, cereal, and milk. Yet many cereals aren’t nutritious – even the self-proclaimed “healthy” ones. Cereals like Honey Nut Cheerios and Raisin Brain, for example, contain as much sugar as Fruity Pebbles.
To produce those cute flakes of corn, manufacturers inadvertently destroy many of the original vitamins and minerals; to compensate, companies add synthetic ingredients to fortify the cereal.
But even with fortification, cereals aren’t as healthy as whole foods.
2. Skim or Low-Fat Milk
Avoid the low-fat options and choose whole milk instead.
While skim and low-fat milks have fewer calories, whole milk has more saturated and monounsaturated fats to keep you feeling full, support metabolism, and improve your body composition. Without the fat, skim and low-fat milks also have less fat-soluble vitamins like A, D, E, and K than whole milk.
Even worse, producers add powdered milk into skim milk to improve its consistency because skim milk damages your arteries worse than regular cholesterol.doesn’t resemble real milk when it’s harvested; that process introduces oxidized cholesterol, which
Nor does research support the health claims of low/non-fat milk versus whole. In 2012, researchers correlated low-fat and non-fat milk with higher obesity levels among children than whole milk.
3. Protein Bars
Many protein bars are candy bars in disguise. They’re filled with sugar and high-fructose corn syrup and include trans fats and artificial sweeteners. While the protein content is commendable, there’s just too much extra.
4. Sports Drinks
They claim they’re the ultimate thirst quenchers and even better than water – research says otherwise. A study from the University of Oxford found:
There is a striking lack of evidence to support the vast majority of sports-related products that make claims related to enhanced performance or recovery, including drinks… Half of all websites for these products provided no evidence for their claims, and of those that do, half of the evidence is not suitable for critical appraisal. No systematic reviews were found, and overall, the evidence base was judged to be at high risk of bias.
A glance at the nutrition facts also reveals a lot of sugar along with their electrolytes, and a lot of calories too.
5. Wheat Bread
Not all wheat breads contain pure, whole grains. For example, even those with labels of “multi-grain” or “seven-grain” may still use refined flour; “whole wheat” or “100% natural” breads may have few real, whole grains.
Worse, many contain partially hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives to improve shelf life, and even food coloring.
Don’t rely on the labels – search the nutrition facts and make sure the first ingredient is either “whole grains” or “whole wheat.”
6. Fruit Juices
While fruit juices have some vitamins, it has too many calories and sugar. One 8 ounce of grape juice, for example, has about 170 calories, 42 grams of carbs, and 40 grams of sugar. (That’s more calories and sugar than a 12-ounce can of Coke.) You can’t build lean muscle with that many empty calories and sugars.
Even the “all-natural” ones may contain high-fructose corn syrup and additives.
7. “Fat-Free” Anything
This also spawns from the “fat will make you fat” myth. Fat doesn’t make you fat, a bad diet and a lack of exercise do.
Fats support everything from brain and metabolic function to quicker fat loss. If you avoid fats, you’ll struggle to get the right ratio of macronutrients (carbs vs. proteins vs. fats) because more calories will have to come from carbs; that will skew your macronutrient ratio and cause more fat gain.
Also, to make foods fat-free, companies often add trans fats and artificial sweeteners, which cause can health problems.
8. Most Yogurts
Many low-fat and fat-free yogurts have high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, and starch. Some have as much sugar as a candy bar, and others use artificial sweeteners, which may spike your insulin.
Also, avoid the ones with fruit inside – the fruit is either soaked with sugar or from concentrate. Instead, buy plain yogurt and add your own fruit.
9. Dried Fruit
Ignore its deliciousness and imagine dried fruit as candy with fiber. It contains a lot of sugar and chemicals to improve shelf life, and because it’s dried, packs more calories per bite than a piece of fruit.
10. Frozen “Healthy Choice” Dinners
STAY AWAY from this so called healthy frozen dinners. The industry is so good with tricking society into thinking these quick healthy frozen meals are an alternative that will help you lose weight.
While it is possible that you may lose a few pounds by eating these healthy frozen dinners over the unhealthy ones because they are lower in calories, fat, etc. but they are still packed with artificial ingredients, preservatives, chemicals, etc. Plus they are still very high in sodium.
Best advice… Cook/prepare your own healthy food ahead of time and freeze into proper portion sizes for meals throughout the week. So that way you can have yourself a TRUE a quick and healthy meal
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