We are constantly bombarded with ads about healthy weight loss showing pictures of ‘healthy diets.’ But how healthy are these items in reality? It is easy to get confused about the health status of store-bought products. Let’s discuss some of the most popular foods that are advertised as healthy, but are not as beneficial as you may think.
Whole wheat products
If you turn the packaging and read the ingredients, you may find that most of these products are not whole wheat. These grains have been pulverized into very fine flour; thus, they have the same effect on your blood sugar levels as their refined counterparts. Whole wheat bread can have the same glycemic index as white bread.
Another thing about wheat is that it is very different than the wheat our grandparents consumed. Today’s wheat is deprived of a lot of nutrients like zinc, iron, copper, and magnesium. Modern wheat is genetically made, so that is high-yielding, but the concentration of minerals in the ground has remained the same.
Fruit juices and vitamin water
Put the word ‘vitamin’ together with ‘water,’ the two crucial ingredients for our health, and you can bet that this product is filled with only benefits for your health. But this cannot be further from the truth. Just like fruit juices, vitamin waters are loaded with added sugars. Although fruit juices are perceived as superior to soft drinks, they both contain a similar amount of sugars per cup (20 – 26 grams). The items advertised as ‘100% fruit barely have any fruit at all’.
When it comes to vitamin water, it contains about 32 grams of sugar per 20 ounces, which is around 50% less than the above mentioned sugary drinks. But if we examine the sweetener that is put in these drinks, we may find that in the US, Vitaminwater is sweetened with crystalline fructose and sucrose, also called cane sugar. Crystalline fructose is pure fructose, which is even worse for your health. This closer look at ingredients leads us to the answer that a bottle of Vitaminwater in the US may harbor the same amount of fructose as a bottle of regular Coke.
There is one alternative to this: Eat a piece of fruit. Not only is it beneficial to your health, but it is also beneficial to the Planet’s health.
Granola, energy bars, and instant oats
All of these ‘health and energy’ foods are nothing but refined sugars, grains, artificial chemicals, even those marketed towards children. Some granola bars can contain even 15 grams of sugar per serving, which means around four tablespoons of sugar. Dietary guidelines recommend ten percent of total calories to come from added sugars for someone following a 2, 000-calorie diet.
Low-fat peanut butter
This applies to almost anything that is ‘low fat.’ The truth is that when a company takes out a vital ingredient, that means that they have to add something else as a substitute so that the product will keep its original flavor. This substitute is usually sugar. The thing is that a lot of weight loss companies are trying to sell their products by making people believe that fat is harmful to your body and to lose weight, you must cut out all the fats. Although this is true for processed fats, some healthy sources of fat can improve your health and help with weight loss. Peanuts are a good source of these healthy fats. Healthy fats are not harmful. They are the source of fuel for your body. Opting for natural, full-fat peanut butter is much better than its low-fat counterpart.
We have all seen the salads sold as a healthy option at a fast-food restaurant. Sometimes they can be healthy, but in some fast-food joints, that is certainly not the case. The unhealthy truth about these salads does not concern the vegetables in it, but the dressings. Let’s take one of the most popular fast-food restaurants out there: McDonald’s. They have a line of salads that are being advertised as very healthy, but they contain a shocking amount of calories (730), 53 grams of fat, and 1400 milligrams of sodium. That means that the McDonald’s salad is unhealthier than their big mac.
Guest Contributor Bio: Nemanja Marinkoff is editor-in-chief at BornCute.com and WalkJogRun.net. He’s a marketing expert, and he’s interested in all things related to basketball. He also loves marzipan, although his wife hates it. You can find him on Twitter.