Did you know there is a plethora of food out there that you have been tricked into thinking is healthy, but that is in fact NOT healthy? Rude, I know! How dare people go around convincing us that a fast-food salad with extra dressing and diet coke is a meal that’s going to help us lose weight! The nerve!
Time to set the record straight: Here’s some sneaky unhealthy food posing as healthy food. Don’t let their disguise fool you.
1. Yoghurt with fruit
The fruit is only healthy if it’s fresh. Most yoghurts with fruit in it have been sweetened and therefore contain twice the amount of sugar as plain yoghurt. What starts out as a good attempt quickly turns to a not-so-healthy snack option.
TRY THIS INSTEAD: Plain yoghurt with fresh fruit added to it. If it’s too tart for you, try a natural sweetener like fruit that is naturally sweet or honey.
2. Fruit juice
Don’t be tricked by the gigantic apple on the carton and the huge banner that proclaims “100% Juice!” Even 100% juice most often contains sugars- usually fructose. Too much fructose leads to obesity and bad cholesterol. These juices also have added preservatives and thick sugar syrup to maintain the colour and consistency of the juice.
TRY THIS INSTEAD: Use your own fruit to make your juice in a juicer or a blender. (You can even add things like spinach and you’ll never taste it blended in with all that fruit.) It won’t be as sweet, but so much healthier.
3. Diet Carbonated Drinks
I myself am a diet coke addict, so I hate to admit that there is not one healthy thing about diet soda. The best word to describe diet drinks is artificial. Everything is artificial in these sodas- that includes sweeteners, colours and flavours. All in an attempt to make the diet drink taste like the original.
TRY THIS INSTEAD: My dad used to say that if you’re trying to lose weight never to “drink your calories”. Sorry folks, but the best replacement here is good old fashioned water. Water is the best option because it quenches your thirst without adding on the pounds. If you want a little flavour to add fruit to the water- a lemon or lime. Get crazy with the fruit- I even like putting berries in my water!
4. Low-fat dressing
Don’t be fooled by the “low fat” tag. In order to take out the fat in a product, they have to throw in something to make up for it- more often than not sugar. They also add their fair share of the same “artificial” products that thrive in diet sodas- artificial colours, artificial flavourings, artificial sweeteners. Don’t let them trick you! (And while we’re on the subject of salad dressings- stay away from salads sold at fast food joints. They’re packed with preservatives and are no good for you. Stick to your own fresh salads.)
TRY THIS INSTEAD: A dressing that contains olive oils or vinegar is going to be a much healthier option. Or consider making your own dressing. There is a myriad of salad dressing recipes online and that way you can know exactly what you are putting into the dressing. These are often healthier, fresher- and not to mention cheaper- than store-bought dressings.
5. Breakfast cereals and granola bars
While some cereal and granola are very healthy, much of it is packed full of sugars. Make sure you are paying attention to your cereal labels: It might make you sick when you realize how much sugar and salt is in it. And while it is true that granola has healthy grains and nuts, these are held together with sugary substances like corn syrup. Some granola bars even have chocolate chips, or marshmallows in them making them not much better than candy bars.
TRY THIS INSTEAD: Omelets are a great healthy breakfast food- eggs and vegetables galore! Cottage cheese is also a great option- good with nuts, fruit, or even tuna. (Did I just say tuna and cottage cheese together, oh my!) Or try a fresh fruit smoothie. (But be aware of what we talked about with fruit juice.)