So you’ve made the decision to get your health in check. Good for you! You might be trying to lose weight, want to increase your energy levels, or perhaps you’ve had a wake-up call in the form of a health scare. Whatever your reasons, making lasting, positive changes to your health can only result in better quality of life.
While exercise, lifestyle and mindset are crucial when making health improvements, one of the biggest changes you will likely be looking to make is to your diet. One way to make this process easy and less confusing is by using technology like ph360 and ShaeTM, which will be able to provide you with diet and lifestyle advice that’s specific to you as an individual.
Regardless of how you choose to approach your new path to health, there are a few ‘healthy’ foods you should be aware of. Just when you have made a commitment to eat healthier, these deceptive foods could be hindering your progress and are best avoided.
1. Energy Bars – Energy, protein, snack, muesli and any other variety of bars are not as healthy as they seem. They may be convenient but are often packed with sugar and artificial flavorings, so read the label carefully or avoid altogether.
2. Almond Milk – Many people turn to nut milks as an alternative to dairy but don’t assume that the only things in that carton are almonds and water. Nut milks can be very high in sugar (especially the flavored ones). But they can be a fantastic healthy alternative to dairy so make sure you find one with as little added sweetener as possible.
3. Gluten-Free Foods – Avoiding gluten is becoming more and more popular but if you don’t have coeliac disease then just concentrate on eating more whole foods and don’t obsess over the gluten content. GF foods often contain artificial additives (to replace the gluten) as well as added fats, sugars and flavorings and can be just as unhealthy as their gluten-rich counterparts.
4. ‘Lite’ or ‘fat-free’ Foods – When you remove the fat from a food which naturally contains some fat you also remove much of the flavor. Often, the way to put that flavor back is by adding sugar or artificial flavorings. It is a myth that fat is bad for you and should be avoided like the plague. You may be better of with the regular product with fewer ingredients.
5. Salads – Now hear me out! Yes, salads made at home by you with fresh produce are fantastic. But the store bought ones are often swimming in less-than-desirable dressing and may even have processed meats added. Best to just make these yourself – just how you like them!
6. Turkey/Chicken Breast (packaged) – Speaking of processed meats, anything that comes wrapped in plastic and includes anything other than ‘chicken’ or ‘turkey’ on the list of ingredients should be avoided. Prepackaged and processed meats (including ham, salami and other meats) often contain too much salt and other preservatives. You’re much better off buying and cooking your own.
7. Green Tea (bottled) – Green tea has been shown to be packed with antioxidants and can even aid with weight loss. But the bottled stuff is pretty much sugar water and does not have these same health benefits. Brewing your own using loose-leaf or tea bags is a much better way to go – and cheaper!
8. Fruit Juice – It comes from fruit so it’s healthy right? Well, much of the storebought stuff falls into that sugar-water ballpark so, unfortunately, no. Even if you juice your own fruit at home, you are leaving behind all the fiber in the flesh of the fruit and consuming a high amount of the naturally occurring sugar found in fruit. Fruit juice is OK as an occasional treat but it is not a substitute for eating fruit.