Do you know what I hate? Food adverts.
You know the type: slim model dripping in sweat after a hard workout, shiny abs, poppin’ booty and clear skin.
…oh and coincidentally holding the ‘secret’ to their perfection. A yogurt. A bowl of cereal. I think I’ve even seen one with a BISCUIT!
I won’t lie I’ve become a victim of these adverts too many times to count, but have you thought about how many of these adverts are actually misleading you?
It’s so important that you take the time to check the ingredients and nutritional information before you purchase your ‘healthy’ snack – it might save you a LOT of wasted time and money.
So today, I might just be your knight in shining armour, as I present to you the top 10 foods that you might have been led to believe are healthy, but are actually not the best choices for those seeking a healthier lifestyle.
Be warned – some of these may come as a surprise!
Reduced fat peanut butter
Peanuts themselves are naturally full of healthy monounsaturated fats – so isn’t it expected to see a higher fat content on the label?
The word ‘fat’ may scare off a few of you but it’s actually an essential part of your diet!
Don’t be tricked, ‘reduced fat’ doesn’t always mean healthy! Remember, when fat is removed, other ingredients such as sugars and other fillers are almost always added in it’s place!
Alternative: It’s much better for you to go with the natural full fat peanut butter than anything described as ‘reduced’.
Baked beans are a cult favourite amongst the health community, and so they should be!
‘Beans beans are good for your heart’ isn’t a myth, beans are actually super high in fibre and protein.
However, the tinned aren’t as innocent as you think – the rich tomato sauce seriously racks up the sugar content!
Alternative: Avoid the tins – MAKE YOUR OWN!
While dries fruits contain necessary fibre, vitamins and minerals, the water is removed – which concentrates the sugar.
Half a cup of dried cranberries contains 37g (which is 9 teaspoons – yikes) of sugar! Compared to half a cup of fresh cranberries which only contains 2g.
Is it really worth it? you tend to eat a bigger portion of the dried stuff too!
Alternative: Eat fresh fruit! More filling and less sugar – what’s not to love?
Yeah they sound good don’t they? Well the slices of veggies are actually so thin and so processed that – despite whether baked or fried – most of the nutrition is gone!
Alternative: Eat ACTUAL veggies
DON’T BE FOOLED.
Putting the word ‘wheat’ on the packaging of your loaf is a common marketing technique used to pull in more customers.
However, unless it specifies as ‘100% whole wheat’ it’s more likely white bread with a little mixed in for show.
Alternative: Not exactly an alternative but make sure to check the nutritional label on your loaf, each slice should have 2g of fibre.
‘Light’ salad dressings
Although the ‘light’ claim may catch you off guard, these dressings are usually jam packed of preservatives, sugar and sodium!
Alternative: Use extra virgin olive oil or balsamic vinegar instead!
Fat free yogurt
Like mentioned above, when food companies take out the fat, they must put something else in its place to keep it palatable!
In this case it’s sugar.
A fat free vanilla yogurt from Activia, for example, contains 9.3g of sugar PER CUP! (Bare in mind that this is higher for the fruit flavoured ranges of course.)
Alternative: Buy plain Greek yogurt and sweeten it yourself with your own fruit or honey.
Gluten free food
For some reason, people think going gluten-free will miraculously make them healthier or even drop a few pounds. FALSE!
Regardless of whether a product is gluten free or not, it can still be full of nasties!
Alternative: If you really cannot have or don’t want gluten in your diet, stick to standard fruit, veg, meat, poultry and fish!
Of course this one is impossible to generalise as there are so many different kind of protein bars on the market.
However if your protein bar has more than 200 calories / 8g of sugar, it’s less of a health food and more of a candy bar with a little extra protein.
Always check the label!
Pre-portioned frozen diet meals
Despite the portion sizes being ridiculously small – leaving you to binge eat later – these portioned meals lack enough veggies and are super high in sodium.
Your sodium intake should not exceed 2,300mg a day so take that into consideration when checking the nutrition label