Certain foods have reputations for being “healthy” because they are either low in fat, low in sugar, low in calories or recently, “gluten-free”.
Here are 5 “Health Foods” that may be holding you back!
- Pre-made/store-bought smoothies! Most store-bought smoothies are loaded with excessive amounts of sugar (fruit juice, fruits, honey, agave etc), fat (dairy, frozen yogurt etc) and other additives to make them taste good, but they can really set you back if you don’t pay attention to what’s in them! I suggest making your own smoothie to ensure that it is actually benefiting you!
- Dried fruit. While dried fruit does contain fibre, vitamins, and minerals – it has the water removed, meaning the sugar is concentrated. If you were to have 1 cup of fresh apricot – it would contain roughly around 15g of sugar. If you were to have 1/2 of a cup of dried apricots, it would contain roughly 34g of sugar. On top of this, many companies add artificial colours, preservatives and sugar. Dried fruit isn’t bad for you, it is just not great to consume in excess!
- Gluten-free products. Just because something is labelled “gluten free”, it does not necessarily mean that it is healthy. It is just gluten free. The best gluten-free foods aren’t products at all – they are lean proteins, healthy fats, fresh fruits and vegetables!
- Fat-free foods. Same concept as “gluten-free”. Just because something is “fat-free” doesn’t make it healthy. Products labelled “fat-free” usually contain more sugar, flour and salt than the regular versions due to losing a lot of the flavour from the missing fat.
- Most protein bars. Not only are most filled with artificial colours, flavours and preservatives – many are just candy bars in disguise. If your protein bar has more 15 grams of sugar, it’s more like a candy bar with added protein vs a health food. Make sure to read the ingredient list!
I know nutrition can be confusing sometimes, and some of you may not know where to start. Remember that leading a healthier lifestyle is a never-ending journey, but it is important that you start!
Start with the basics!
Stay hydrated and start by eating foods that don’t contain an ingredient list!