Thanks to media and advertising platforms, one’s exposure to false information has quadrupled over the last few decades. Not to mention how many depend solely on media to find solutions to their problems, including health and fitness problems. Quite often, the so called ‘healthy’ and ‘fat free’ food products that are promoted rigorously will turn out to be more harmful. Let’s take a look at 10 such foods that are not as healthy as they seem.
1. Flavored Soy Milk
If you are sticking to soy milk to cut down calories, then stay away from the flavored one. The strawberry, chocolate and butterscotch flavors taste yummy but contain high amounts of sugar and calories. It is best if you chose the unflavored kind as that is healthier and lighter any day.
2. Salad Dressing
Usually promoted with adjectives like ‘light’ and ‘green’, these salad dressings are anything but those. Take a look at the ingredient list of these dressings and you will surprised, if not a bit perplexed regarding the number of preservatives and flavors that will fit nowhere under the ‘light’ or ‘green’ labels. Try some fresh vegetables with a dash of olive oil instead- they are much safer and tastier.
3. Dry Fruits
Dry fruits have a lot of beneficial qualities. Or they used to; ages ago, before manufacturers started using sulfur and sugar to increase their shelf lives. You can choose to buy the unsweetened kind that has no preservatives from specific shops. Or it would be best if you just stuck to eating fresh fruit as they are more healthy and contain less calories.
Unless you make a smoothie at home with whole-food ingredients and fruits, the drinks that are labelled ‘smoothie’ are mostly going to be just sugar and fat. The smoothies that you get from shops will most certainly contain various fats and trans fats in the form of nuts, ice cream bases and flavors.
5. Gluten-Free Products
Gluten-free products are consumed with full conviction by raging health-freaks out there. But have you ever paused to ponder upon how healthy these products actually are? The very fact that they are termed ‘products’ means that they will contain preservatives and calories. It is best to opt for fresh fruits and veggies if you actually want to tread the gluten-free road.
6. Wheat Bread
Yes. Even your beloved wheat bread is on the list. Check if the packaging says “100 percent whole wheat”; if not the chances are that the bread is mostly white, with a bit of wheat added to it for namesake. Another feature that you need to note is whether every slice consists at least two grams of fiber; if so, your bread is actually healthy.
7. Diet Soda
Don’t let the name fool you as diet sodas have nothing to do with healthy diets. Brimming with artificial flavors and ingredients, they contain an alarmingly large amount of sodium. Another harmful side effect includes how people tend to consume more calories after drinking diet sodas. So next time you feel like having a soda, just go for the normal one or water (to be on the safer side).
8. Packaged Fruit Juices
Even though companies claim that their products contain 100 percent natural fruit juice, the mile-long ingredient list on the back of tetra packs will tell you otherwise. Unless you make fruit juices with fruits and water and water alone, chances are that they are not healthy. Even the fresh fruit juices that are sold in juice bars will contain plenty of sugar and flavors added to them. Your best bet will be to make your juices at home.
9. Protein Bars
True, that there are protein bars that are healthy. But most of them contain numerous preservatives, nuts and even chocolate added to them. Flip the package and skim through the ingredient list to see how healthy your protein bar actually is. Does it contain more than 8 grams of sugar or 200 calories? Then your protein bar is just a slightly healthier version of a candy bar.
10. Frozen Yogurt
The idea behind frozen yogurt is based on taking up ice-cream and ruining it slightly so that you can have more and more of it without feeling guilty. True, that it is much lighter than full-fat ice creams, but that does not give you a guilt-free pass to consume it whenever you want. It is still full of sugar and preservatives, not to mention the different toppings you get to choose each time. So you may want to cut down on your frozen yogurt intake for now.
The time has come for you to take a reality check. Truth is that too much of anything is not good for you, especially if they come in packages or are the byproducts of something else. Always make it a point to check the ingredient list of the the foods that you purchase and opt for organic foods instead of canned or processed ones. Being cautious pays off big time, if not sooner then later.