When trying to lose weight or follow a healthy eating plan, advice is often thrown at your from every corner. Eat this, don’t eat that, the information and opinions can be ming boggling.
Things can get even more confusing when it comes to making healthy food choices.
While there will always be foods that we know we should be eating (fruit, vegetables, lean protein, complex carbs) and foods best avoided (fast food, deep fried options all spring to mind), there’s a whole middle ground of foods that wear the ‘healthy’ label but are really anything but.
These masqueraders often contain healthy and/or natural ingredients who’s properties are emblazoned all over the packaging, but the other ingredients or the way the food is prepared end up rendering the good bits almost useless.
The good news? Once you’ve identified these foods you can usually find a much healthier alternative or, if there isn’t one, pop them on your ‘to avoid’ list.
Top 5 ‘healthy’ foods that aren’t healthy after all
- Nut and/or trail mixes – We all know that nuts are a great source of protein, fibre and healthy fats but the ones you usually find as part of pre-packaged nut mixes are often roasted and salted and sometimes even sugar coated, stripping away the majority of the nutrients. Healthier option- Making your own nut or trail mix with raw, unsalted nuts and seeds.
- Pre-packaged bran or oat muffins – Muffins made from whole ingredients like oats and bran are popping up all over the place and marketing themselves as a healthy option. While low GI oats and bran are a much better base ingredient than white flour, the other ingredients are often the same in both the high GI, white flour and the oat/bran option and usually center around a lot of sugar. Healthier option – Bake your own! Making your own muffins mean you know exactly what goes in to them (and what stays out!) Try these yummy quinoa breakfast muffins for a sweet but healthy treat.
- Fat free foods – You’ll often see foods like yoghurt or dairy desserts sporting the ‘fat free’ label and while this seems a good thing, when you delve a little deeper, you start to wonder what is actually used to make these foods taste good. Artificial ingredients like sweeteners usually rank high and the fat free options usually have just as much sugar as their reduced fat or even full fat counterparts. Healthier option – Stick to reduced fat or a small portion of the full fat food to avoid artificial sweeteners and flavour enhancers.
- Fruit juice – While juice is always going to be the better option to fizzy drinks, the juice of many fruits contain just as much sugar as the soft drinks we try to avoid. We often tend to drink more juice than we would if we were eating the actual fruit, meaning that we ingest masses of sugar without realising it. Healthier option – Eating the whole fruit is always going to be better for you than it’s juice due to all the vitamins and the natural portion control that comes with eating a piece of fruit. If you’re craving a juice, stick to freshly squeezed and opt for a small size or better yet, try a mix of veggies and fruit to cut down the sugar content and up the nutrients.
- Veggie chips – While the title suggests a nutritious snack packed with the goodness of vegetables, the reality is more likely to be chip that’s been processed, baked or fried so that very little nutrition actually remains. Healthier option: Roast your own veggies for a filling snack or dipper or stick to raw veggie sticks for all the crunch without the calories.
If you are ready to lose weight then the Lose Baby Weight plans offer a healthy and safe exercise and diet routine.
And don’t forget to check out our current promotions and discounts page to see what specials we have on this week on our Healthy Mummy product range