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Health Foods That Aren't Healthy

health foods that aren't healthy

Let’s get straight to it. In this post we’re going to cut through some of the marketing crap many of us have become all to prone to. It’s time to get serious about foods that are promoted as healthy options, but in reality are anything but.

Here we go – in no particular order of offenders, these are health foods that aren’t healthy. This list isn’t exhaustive of the little buggers either!

FRUIT JUICE

What I hear you say? Surely fruit is good for you!? Yes. Fruit is good for you. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Unfortunately fruit juice isn’t!

When you eat an orange or an apple you get a whole load of fiber, which slows down the absorption of the sugar. Fruit is sweet for a reason remember – it’s full of sugar! When you drink a glass of fruit juice you can easily down four or five pieces of fruit worth. That sugar will hit your blood quicker than you cancelling your session on leg day.

The last thing you want your blood sugar to do is spike. What goes up must come down, and that’s when the tiredness and cravings kick in.

On top of this, the sugar found in fruit comes from fructose – one of the easiest sugars for your body to store as fat.

ADVICE: Never drink calories, just eat them!

GLUTEN FREE

Oh dear – this old chestnut again!

I agree gluten is hard for most people to digest and eliminating it from your diet is a good idea. But I don’t agree with the idea that by removing gluten from a triple chocolate fudge cake automatically makes said cake a ‘healthy’ option!

It maybe ‘healthier’ than a gluten filled version but there’s still plenty wrong with it, like ridiculous amounts of fat and sugar!

1kg of sugar is gluten free, but you wouldn’t eat that thinking it was healthy now would you?

ADVICE: Avoid gluten but gluten free treats are still treats!

LOW FAT

Whenever you see ‘low fat’ just think ‘chemical shit storm’ and avoid it – minus a few exceptions.

Fat is delicious full stop. When you remove it from food the food becomes bland. To fix this food manufacturers usually replace the missing fat with sugar, or worse!

For added sugar look at Muller Light. For added chemicals look at low fat mayonnaise. These are just a couple of examples.

Fat is good for you – fat made by nature anyway. It’s a great source of energy and will keep those all important hormones in check too.

The few exceptions for low fat would be some dairy products. Low fat greek yogurt is made with skimmed milk so nothing extra there. And obviously skimmed and semi-skimmed milk.

ADVICE: Just remember that fat is not the enemy.

CEREAL

‘High in fiber, made from wholegrain, with added vitamins’

This is probably the hardest on the list for people to bin as it’s a massive part their daily routine.

A bowl of cereal with milk has been the staple breakfast for the majority of people for the past 20 or 30 years. But, break it down and you basically have a bowl full of wheat and dairy – the two things most people have issues with! Top that with a load of highly processed carbs and you’ve got a bowl full of trouble.

Cereal has a long shelf life, which is your first warning sign. If something can last for two years without rotting, how easy do you think it’ll be for your digestive system to break it down?

Added vitamins would be the next red light. Real food doesn’t have added vitamins because it doesn’t need them. With cereal these have been lost during processing and need to be re-added to make what’s in the box slightly more nutritious than the box itself.

ADVICE: Try a breakfast that is high in protein and good fats – it’ll keep you fuller for longer and keep blood sugars stable.

SPORTS DRINKS

Absolute marketing dream!

‘It’ll make you go for 33% longer…’ Longer at what exactly?

Sports drinks are designed for sports people, not your average gym member looking to lean up. These little bottles of multi-coloured joy contain similar amounts of sugar as – and often more than – a can of coke. If you saw someone chugging that down on a treadmill you’d surely question their logic, yet put the word sport or power in the name and ding ding ding we have a sale.

Unless you’re performing hours of high intensity exercise – triathlons, marathons, etc – then there really is no need for these liquid calories, just stick to good old water.

The last thing you want to do is drink more calories than you burn in a session.

ADVICE: Try to pre-hydrate rather than rehydrate. Aim to drink 1 litre of water per 50lbs of body weight per day.

If all else fails try to stick with these three rules:

  • If it wasn’t around 10,000 years ago – DON’T EAT IT!
  • If it is advertised on TV – DON’T EAT IT!
  • If it has a list of ingredients – DON’T EAT IT!


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