It’s not easy to come to the conclusion that you need to change up your diet. We get used to eating a certain way and to cut some of those foods out can be a challenge. So to find healthier options of some of your favourite foods can feel like a dream come true. Go to the grocery store and there seems to be “healthy” options for just about any junk food out there. However, for some of these options, healthy is a rather relative term. Is a Diet Pepsi healthier than regular Pepsi? Yes, technically. Is it good for you? Absolutely not.
Unfortunately, in some of the cases with the so-called health conscious foods and beverages, seeming too good to be true means it’s not true. Companies have exploited the calorie obsessed society, advertising the low-calorie option but failing to mention all the other ways it is bad for you. Thankfully, there are plenty of smart and delicious snack choices out there, but when looking for them, try to stay informed about just how good these things are for your diet.
Here are some of the main offenders that have many people fooled.
Eggs with a side of bacon is a breakfast few of us would turn down — but if you’re trying to be healthier, bacon is probably one of the first things to go from the diet. Still, some people think they have found a loophole by enjoying that traditional breakfast with turkey bacon instead. Turkey is often used as a substitute for more fatty meats, for example, turkey burgers are a popular choice for health focused barbecue-lovers. However, health experts caution that when it comes to turkey bacon, just as with the pork version, a little goes a very long way. While the turkey is a healthier meat, there is often so much salt added to make up for the bland taste that it is hardly a better alternative.
Fruit juice seems like a safe bet, what with it being it being made of fruits and all. Lots of people start their day with a glass of orange juice. We’re told it’s chalked full of vitamins and plenty of good stuff. That’s true to a degree, unfortunately the typical store-bought orange juices contain about as much sugar as most colas. Freshly squeezed OJ is a different story (and delicious) but many options cannot honestly be considered a healthy choice.
White rice is a quick and easy side dish or something to serve your stir fry on. And it’s not so much that this is even bad for you, it’s just that white rice offers pretty much zero nutritional values and it basically empty calories. That might not seem so bad, but going for some brown rice or other healthier options can really kick your dinner up a notch.
The go-to breakfast for many early-risers. It’s an easy meal to put together. Most of us have matured past the stage where we eat the cereals with cartoon characters on the box which are loaded with sugar, so we assume we’ve made the healthy choice. But the levels of sugar in even the most ‘adult’ cereals might surprise you and, like white rice, you’re not really getting anything your body needs by eating this stuff. However, there are healthy and beneficial cereals out there if you know what to look for.
A bowl of chips is probably my favourite snack in the world, and yet there is no way I can convince myself that it is anything but terrible for my body. Some people think they can continue to indulge with veggie chips, or the baked version of this classic snack. While they have a lot less oil and fats than most potatoes chips, but that’s pretty much where the benefits end. The sodium in these things is through the roof. I suppose something has to make them actually taste good.
In moderation, most nut butters are good for you and can add a helping of fat/protein that you need to your day. However, there are many butters that contain lots of sugars or trans fats. Even if you stick to additive-free nut butters, a tablespoon typically contains around 100 calories…so, pace yourself!
On the run and need a quick, healthy bite to eat? Most people feel pretty good about reaching for a protein bar. Next time you think about buying some of these bars, take a look at the long list of ingredients. It’s true, they do provide you with quite a bit protein or fibre, but apart from that they’re pretty much your basic candy bars.
Hopefully this list of bad foods disguised as good ones hasn’t ruined your day or your diet, but remember you can remain healthy and still eat good food. Just stay informed and make the right choices.
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