Thought you were playing it safe with “healthier” food options? No way, Jose. All you’ve been doing is deceiving yourself into thinking ‘it’s all beneficial binging’. Meal time just got serious – no gimmicks - the healthy halo is finally busted.
Read on to know if food you think healthy, are really healthy:
‘Work hard, snack harder’ is the perfect tagline for this high-energy nutrition bar chockfull of dried nuts and rolled oats. Your handbag’s (or work desk’s) BFF, how often has this humble cereal nibble saved the day? Mid-day snack attacks, post-workout hunger pangs…But on the flipside, have you ever read the label? Processed sugars in every form: chocolate, honey, maple syrup, rice sugar, glucose, corn syrup, and bleached white sugar. To put things in perspective – just one ‘’dressed-up candy bar’’ contains anywhere between 4-5 teaspoons of sugar, whereas a two-finger Kit Kat bar contains half!
You’re better off with a handful of roasted nuts.
Before you pour, you should know – ready-made salad dressings are your waist’s worst enemy! Why you ask? Packed with sodium, the highest calorie counts, preservatives, artificial flavors, saturated fats and added sugar, so-called diet-friendly dressings are far from fat-forgiving. In fact, don’t be fooled by the “fat-free” versions either, they’re equally unhealthy because they’re loaded with sugar and salt (but not oil) to add flavor. Unless you’re limiting your raw veggie bowl to only two dollops of Mayo, Ranch or Caesar, you’re consuming as many calories as a medium sized pizza. Got enough reason to skip the bottled-grease and consume a home-made version for a fraction of the cost?
A drizzle of Olive Oil and Apple Cider Vinegar is your golden ticket.
Touted by nutritionists and right up there on the pedestal with brown rice and quinoa, Couscous (on the surface) seems to be on the list of healthy carb-alternatives. But dig a little deeper and you’ll be displeased 'cause it isn’t a grain afterall - just refined wheat. Yes, you read that right. Often mistaken for an ancient grain, Couscous is basically small balls of Semolina aka white pasta. What’s worse is the fact that it’s so processed that much of its fibre, vitamins and nutrients are lost. Another common myth, people think of it as gluten-free. But it loses on that count too, for, this carbohydrate is prepared from wheat, so gluten-intolerant fitness friends beware.
Stash up on Quinoa or the scores of indigenous Indian millets to do the trick.
Step away from the juice bar; scientists have finally proved that fruit juice is just a marketing gizmo. So, the next time you feel like sipping on OJ for brekkie, you may as well crack open a can of diet soda; it’s that low in nutrients. To make things simple, here’s a quick science lesson: juicing splits fruit pulp from juice, destroying all the antioxidants and good-for-you vitamins. The result: no fibre, just sugar. Sans the skin on an apple, the seeds in strawberries and white membranes that separate orange segments, you’re just spiking insulin levels which could very well lead to Type 2 Diabetes. Henceforth, give the glass a miss.
Trade in OJ to binge on a whole orange instead.
Most health-conscious women give ice-cream a miss. But you know the drill: if one dessert is relegated to the no-eat list, another one takes its place. Enter: Fro-Yo, a probiotic delight that claims to beat the traditionally creamy cone (with lower calories). These sugary-sweet scoops boast of ‘cultured milk’ i.e. yogurt as the main ingredient. But what’s worthwhile to know is that most probiotics CAN'T withstand cool temperatures. So basically, you’re stuck with a cup of sweet stuff that’s equal in calories to ice-cream, and if you go ham with toppings, you’re jacking up the fat content even more. Too sneaky, don’t you think.
Snack on regular yogurt with fresh fruit to put that sweet-tooth to rest.