Shopping for healthy foods can be a nightmare because while every brand will tout up the nutrition quotient in its product, customers have to navigate the aisles like a pro to get the stuff that’s actually healthy for you. At a time, when more and more people are becoming aware of health foods, and exposure to specialised foods has increased, any brand can use buzzwords to get your attention. But be careful and you will find that many are simply masquerading as healthy. Here are some of those not-so-healthy ‘health’ foods that you would do well to steer clear of.
Everyone loves flavoured yogurt, but not many like the plain version, even though that’s the healthier choice. Buy plain instead of flavoured yogurt and add a moderate amount of natural sweeteners such as fruits, dry fruits or nuts to enhance the taste. Flavored yogurts are loaded with sugar and some of these can rival a candy bar in sugar contents, so avoid them at all costs.
They are marketed as ‘gluten free,’ ‘organic,’ ‘dairy free,’ ‘low fat,’ and ‘natural,’ but they are making you a scapegoat for your decision to eat healthier. Avoid any and all store-bought protein bars as they are usually packed full of sugar and devoid of nutrition. Make your own; it’s super simple and a great recipe is right here.
Powdered Peanut Butter
We pity the people who think a powdered peanut butter is better for your body. Firstly, it’s devoid of all the natural healthy fats that make peanut butter great for you in the first place. It’s also likely to contain extra additives that won’t exactly help you in terms of nutrition, but do enhance the taste of the product. Be wary of any powdered alternative to peanut butter even if it advertises fewer calories and less fat than the real deal.
Yes, it’s true that most sports drinks contain electrolytes (potassium and sodium, for example) that are necessary for intense workouts or endurance training, but they have a high sugar content as well, like most drinks in the market. Many sports drinks contain up to 125 calories for a 400ml bottle. So you will have to work extra hard to burn them off. The simple truth is that plain water or a calorie-free beverage is enough to keep you hydrated. Try a shot of coffee (just one, mind you) before your workout.
The controversy around carcinogens in Indian bread is raging on, but even so called Whole Wheat Bread is full of additives and is often just a coloured plain white bread. The glycemic index of wheat bread is 69, which causes extreme blood sugar elevations, and high insulin response. It aids inflammation of the muscles and fat accumulation. So stick to gluten-free varieties or bake your own at home with a good batch of flour. Some studies suggest that sourdough bread made with a long fermentation time produced fewer symptoms such as bloating and gas than conventional bread.
Packaged Cold-Pressed Juices
The holy grail of health food junkies. Yes, the cold-pressed juice is great, but packaged ones often have extremely high amounts of sugar. There’s just not telling whether the juice is actually cold-pressed. Sometimes, even a cold-press can end up destroying the beneficial fiber, vitamins and minerals. Choose whole fruits over juice as they give you a lot more than just hydration through their pulp and fibers, and even the odd pith.