You’ve been trying to eat healthier and lose weight by purchasing food that you think is good for you, but you’re not seeing any results on the scale and your clothes don’t seem any looser. Maybe you’re not eating as healthy as you thought. Marketers know that nutrition-conscious shoppers are interested in making healthier choices. Don’t be deceived into buying products that you think are healthy for you merely because the package is labeled Healthy.
Here are 5 foods you might think are healthy because they say they are on the label. But when you take a closer look, in reality they aren’t so healthy after all.
- Breakfast cereals are often times labeled Healthy and Nutritious and might even be “recommended” for weight loss. But when you read the labels they are high in sugar and salt. Instead, stick to steel cut oats or oatmeal.
- Yogurt is supposed to be good for you, right? Well, yogurt with fruit at the bottom, and fat-free yogurt doesn’t mean healthy. Some non-fat yogurts can contain 21 grams of sugar from ingredients like corn syrup. Look for low sugar varieties with less than 5 gm “per serving,” and add your own fresh fruit. Try a non-dairy yogurt.
- Bread is convenient, but is not always as healthy as you think. For it to be truly healthy, whole grain needs to be listed on the nutrition label as the first or second ingredient. Don’t be fooled and choose a whole wheat bread which has the words enriched flour. Enriched flour is just all-purpose flour that has iron and B-vitamins added. Whole grain is lower in fat, rich in fiber, selenium, potassium and magnesium because it has the entire kernel of the grain from the bran to the endosperm to the germ. Whole wheat has the bran and germ removed during the refining process and is left containing only the endosperm. Unfortunately, the majority of vitamins and fiber are contained in the wheat bran and wheat germ that is shed during the refining process. Try your hand at baking some simple recipes at home.
- Avoid frozen meals that are labeled “Healthy” or “Light” or “Lite. Yes, they can be convenient, but first, they are processed. They are also high in sugar and come with sauces high in sodium and contain ingredients you can’t even pronounce. Frozen veggies are great! A healthy alternative is to double your dinner recipe portions or cook up a big batch of soup or delicious three-bean chili and make your own frozen meals with the leftovers. Nothing is more convenient.
- Snack bars and granola bars might look healthy and be made with oats and nuts, but they are generally held together with corn syrup. Nutrition wise they are as bad as candy bars. Try your hand at making your own with almond butter, oats and chia seeds.
Remember if you want to eat healthy your diet must contain whole food, not processed food. That’s anything that doesn’t come from a box. Eat your veggies and fruits, nuts and seeds, whole grains, beans and legumes, etc. When you do, your body will naturally respond and the side effect? Your clothes will feel loser…you will lose the weight.