We all have some perception of what’s healthy and what’s not. However, because of our surroundings and what’s been taught to us for so long, we may have had the wrong idea about certain ‘health’ foods. Let’s take a look at some common ones.
1. Low-fat Yogurt
When people think about eating healthier, one of the first things they do is throw some low-fat yogurt into their lunch. They forget that these options can contain more sugar than full-fat yogurt, simply to make it taste better and make you forget about the runny texture. And if you think sugar-free yogurt is the way to go, forget it. Artificial sweeteners are usually derived from chemicals. Your best option is to eat a small amount of full-fat yogurt. The higher fat content will make you feel fuller for longer. Check out websites like Biome if you’d like more healthy lunch ideas.
This rather dated diet option should be a thing of the past by now. Eating half a grapefruit for breakfast with sugar sprinkled on top isn’t a wise breakfast option. You’ll just feel hungry sooner. The ideal breakfast contains complex carbs, fibre and protein, which means you’ll be satisfied and less likely to crave unhealthy foods to fill the void. Moreover, grapefruits react with certain medications and the results have been fatal in some instances. It’s just not worth the risk.
3.Diet Soft Drinks
‘Diet’ doesn’t always mean ‘healthy’. Especially if being ‘diet’ means there are artificial sweeteners present. A lot of sweeteners aren’t naturally but synthetically manufactured, and along with being sometimes more harmful than real cane sugar, they have a strange flavour too. Nowadays, major soft drink companies are switching to stevia, which is plant-derived and tastes better, so try products that contain this instead.
4. Canola Oil
While canola oil isn’t exactly unhealthy, it’s just not your healthiest oil option. It depends on the manufacturer. Some mix unhealthy oils like palm, with slightly better oils. It’s best to go with pure oils that consist of healthy unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – Omega 3 or 6 for instance, are good for your brain and waistline. Sunflower, peanut, olive, avocado and grapeseed oils are great because you know they’re not derived from a mixture of different oils.
5. Gluten-free Foods
It’s a common mistake to think that gluten-free is healthy. If you don’t have coeliac disease, you shouldn’t depend on gluten-free products. There are certain properties, like complex carbohydrates from wheat that humans rely on. These aren’t present in gluten-free foods, so you’re basically missing out on key benefits for nothing. Also, some gluten-free foods contain more sugar to compensate for the different flavours and textures. Remember, if you’re not gluten-intolerant, avoid eating gluten-free!
Don’t go beating yourself up if you had the wrong idea about certain ‘health’ foods. It’s the fault of the manufacturers, advertisers or media who go out of their way to market some products as healthy. Bear in mind that natural foods, like some fruits, may be high in sugar but aren’t terribly unhealthy, simply because they do have some health benefits. With so much research conducted over the past several years, you should now be equipped to make the right choices!