A lot of food that we snack on or consume as a part of our daily meals is not always as healthy as they claim or seem to be. You might be surprised to know that these are some of the most common foods we come across on our daily supermarket runs. Avoiding such food completely or replacing them with better variants could be the key to eating healthy and taking care of your overall well-being. Hence, on this World Health Day, we are here to help you choose better and eat smarter.
Here’s a list of five food items that seem to be healthy but really aren’t.
For those already aware, yogurt has always been a healthy choice, however, one should opt for unsweetened yogurt whenever possible. Flavoured yogurts can contain a surprising amount of sugar in just a small serving.
For instance, a 150-gram container of such flavoured, sweetened yogurt contains a hefty 15 grams of added sugar. These yogurts might even have toppings such as candies. Hence, we should choose unsweetened yogurt which contains fresh fruit and thus has natural sweetness. Yogurt can also be made at home without sugar and eaten with fresh fruit, which is a healthier option than what is available at stores.
A lot of people tend to choose multigrain or seven-grain breads because they think they contain more nutrients than normal bread. In reality, however, things are a bit tricky. Most of these breads still list unbleached enriched wheat flour as their first ingredient. These breads might also contain whole grains, but it is better if you can read between the lines on the packaging. As per food experts, it is better to avoid breads that have the word “enriched” at the top of the ingredient list. The word enriched here would mean they stripped the grains of its nutrients during processing and then added them back to make up for the deficit. Hence, one could choose breads that list whole grains, like whole wheat, as their first ingredient.
Breakfast cereals have been hailed as a smart way to start your day for decades now. However, it might not always be the case. In fact, several breakfast cereals are made with refined grains, which aren’t rich in nutrients like protein and fibre, and can be very high in added sugar. A lot of cereals marketed toward adults these days for weight loss or as a healthy alternative can be packed with added sugar. Studies over the years have linked high sugar diets to an increased risk of heart disease and other factors, including high blood pressure and triglyceride levels.
It’s not uncommon for athletes or a regular marathon runner to resort to a sports drink to replace lost electrolytes. For the average human body, though, sports drinks aren’t necessary and they are a source of a massive amount of sugar which is not good for us.
The best bet is to hydrate with water and not these amped-up beverages. Not only will this help you quench your thirst but it will also prevent you from spending unnecessarily.
This one might be a bit trickier than the others. The smoothies made at stores rarely contain real fruit and are packed with sugar and calories. However, if you make those same smoothies at home, they will be much healthier. Instead of using fruit juice as the liquid base, try using water, coconut water or even almond milk to prevent a huge sugar rush.
Finally, what you should understand is that the most important thing to keep in mind when you are on the hunt for healthy foods is that a couple of healthy-looking words or ingredients on the label does not always give you the entire picture. It is also important to look not just at individual foods but at your whole diet.
Can you think of other healthy alternatives? Tell us in the comments below.
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