Eating healthily can be incredibly confusing. Everywhere you turn there are brands exclaiming to be natural, healthy and clean, but some of these foods are diet devils in disguise. I know it can be tough to understand it all and make the right choices. The only way around this is to learn about the foods you regularly eat and ask yourself; Are they healthy? What are they doing for and to my body? How can I take responsibility for my body and ensure I am making the real healthy choice?
Here are some of the regular offenders. Reducing or removing these foods from your life can really help to make you healthier.
1. Breakfast Cereals
Jam packed with sugars, some of these breakfast cereals are like having a large Mars bar for breakfast. There is very little nutrition in most breakfast cereals which means they won’t fill you, leaving you craving an actual Mars before the morning is out.
2. Diet Low Fat Yoghurt
Unfortunately diet and low-fat yoghurts have removed the fat – which actually isn’t bad for you – and replaced it with sugar, salt and unhealthy, toxic substances to make them taste good. They are far from healthy, yet the “diet” industry have led us to believe that these foods are good for our waistlines, and typically we eat more of them for that reason.
3. Tinned Soups
Soup is a super healthy choice and really handy. However many tinned soups are packed with excess salt, sometimes more than half our daily allowance! Many have added sugars too, so it’s really important to look at the sugar content of these and any pre-packed foods. If the sugar content is 5kg or less per 100g, it is considered low sugar and a healthier choice.
4. Granola Bars
Even if these bars contain fruit, nuts and fibre, most of these seemly healthy bars are very high in sugar and low in nutritional value. You’re better off having a piece of fruit and some nuts if you need a snack on the run or make your own bars using dried fruit, oats, nuts and seeds.
5. White Wraps / Bagels / Breads
These foods are also known as simple carbohydrates because they are made up of simple-to-digest basic sugars with little nutritional value for your body. Your stomach absorbs these foods very quickly into the bloodstream giving you a sugar high that is usually followed by a huge crash and your brain crying out for more sugar – and so the cycle begins. A good tip is if white flour is on the list of ingredients avoid it. Replace white breads with darker ones e.g. wholemeal, rye or dark seeded bread.
6. Microwaved / Ready Meals
While it might be the easiest option some days, it is one of the unhealthiest so avoid as much as possible. Ready meals are usually full of salt – which can cause a huge number of health problems. They are also packed with additives and preservatives to make them more appealing to our taste buds. The low-calorie versions that are marketed to be great for us are quite the opposite – the fat is usually is replaced with sugars and other toxic chemicals, and there is no nutritional value in these meals leaving you unsatisfied, unnourished and unhealthy.
7. Juices & Vitamin Drinks
Fruit and vegetables are great for you and should be part of your healthy lifestyle. Just be careful when choosing these seemingly healthy drinks. If you are buying a carton of juice make sure its 100%, not from concentrate. Otherwise you’ll be getting a good dose of added sugar in there too. I love to juice, and when I do I either make the juices myself or buy them fresh from one of the many juices bars / companies around. Watch out for vitamin drinks, they usually tend to be fizzy drinks with sugar and low-quality vitamins added. If you feel you need a vit hit eat real foods or juice real fruit and vegetables.