Imagine going to a supermarket, overflowing your basket with foods you’d otherwise avoid (all in the name of health), to get charged £20 more than if you stuck to the usual white bread, Coco Pops & Birdseye special offers. Then imagine endlessly scrolling through social media only to stumble across this blog post to tell you that what you thought was healthy is far from it. I hate to be the bearer of bad news.
According to the Internet there is a “super food” to combat anything. I recently read somewhere that eating Blueberries will lower your chance of developing Cancer and Cardiovascular issues in the future- but do we take this as gospel? In 2012 the Daily Mail (yes, I agree this isn’t the most reliable of sources- however somehow remains very popular to this day) published an article online called “Dark chocolate isn’t so healthy for you after all”, yet only last year magazines and other newspapers wrote stories about the health benefits of eating dark chocolate daily due to its anti-oxidant properties and ability to lower blood pressure. The media dramatises health and diet because it is something we care about. Many of us want to be invincible & will follow any bizarre or expensive recommendation- despite deep down knowing this is a ploy for the media to grab our attention & for businesses to raid our wallets. Today I’m not able to tell you what to eat to overcome an illness & I’m not able to grant you immortality. What I can do, is explain why some of the foods you thought were healthy may be detrimental to your health (in large qualities). It’s important to note that everything is just fine in moderation- although you may think twice about piling these “healthy” foods in to your fridge as part of your health kick.
No.1 Frozen Yoghurt
It feels so much healthier eating yoghurt than ice cream- right? Yes, it is lower in fat content and yes, it contains probiotics which aid digestion but really it is the ultimate wolf in sheep’s clothing of the “health” industry. The high sugar content makes up for the lack of fat and then some. After comparing calorie count of these food’s I found that on average ½ cup of Vanilla Frozen Yoghurt has approximately 124 calories and ½ cup of Vanilla Ice Cream has near to 153 calories. Should we sacrifice taste for only 29 calories difference? I’d personally rather do a few extra squats.
No.2 “Health Drinks”
So-called “health drinks” are one of the biggest money-making schemes to date. They won’t damage your health but why consume high-calorie sugar-loaded drinks for a few extra vitamins & minerals you could get elsewhere? OK so some of you are thinking, “but I always choose the low-calorie drinks”. If this is the case, enjoy synthetic chemical sweeteners that will play havoc with your digestive system instead. Why not try a good-old traditional multi-vitamin?
Here comes the sugar curse (again). People always tell us that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We need to eat to get energy to prepare us for the day ahead & kick start our metabolism- but do you really want the first thing that enters your body to be 11g of sugar? The 2 cereals with highest sugar content are Kellogg’s Frosties and Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut, closely followed by Morrisons Honey & Nut Corn Flakes. We are led to believe that “sugar tax” will make our foods healthier- however, Morrison’s cereal has increased in sugar content by 8% since 2012.
No.4 Salad Dressings
Look, I don’t blame you. I don’t enjoy eating salad either- it’s like someone’s plonked your back garden on your plate & bon appetite. For those of you who force yourself to eat salads on the regular, or god forbid actually enjoy it, I bet you use a dressing for a little bit of added flavour. Sorry to rain on your parade, but those are full of sugar, trans fats, artificial ingredients & preservatives. Not so healthy.
No.5 Granola Bars
I guess you’ve got the hang of this now & can probably predict what I’m about to say next. Granola bars usually have lots of added sugar & other ingredients you never want to consume too much of. Fear not, this article from ‘The Insider’ tells you 32 of the most- and least- healthy Granola bars you can buy. Basically, search the shelves for RXBar’s and avoid Nature Valley.
Other than the fact they taste disgusting & get stuck in your teeth, raisins and other dried fruit can be problematic due to the drying process concentrating their natural sugars. This causes extreme sugar spikes when they are ingested which in turn raises your insulin levels leading you to store fat. Uh-oh. The opposite of the desired effect.
No.7 Baked Beans
Full of fibre and protein goodness, however unfortunately for us the sauce is also full of sugar and insulin increasing nasties. Oh, & they make you fart.
No.8 Soy Sauce
It may surprise you to know that one tablespoon of soy sauce contains a massive 1000mg of sodium. It can cause gastrointestinal disturbance & consumption often leads to bloating & abdominal discomfort. Some studies have even found this to be a cause of weight gain. Earlier I said everything in moderation, but I’d just avoid this one.
No.9 Skimmed Milk
OK so this one is a little bit of a cop out. Milk isn’t bad for you, but does have high saturated fat content which can contribute to obesity when consumed in excess. For this reason, the NHS live-well website suggests drinking skimmed milk to ensure you’re getting all of the benefits with less fat content. My only argument here is that the nutrients lost when processing skimmed milk are then replaced with artificial vitamins in a lot of cases. But hey, they’re still vitamins right?
No.10 Canned Fruit
And last, but by no means least, the convenient tinned fruit. Other than the inevitable high sugar syrup it is stored in to maintain sweetness, remember that most of this canned fruit has been peeled which significantly reduces their fibre content. Also, Vitamin C is often destroyed in the canning process. Always try to choose fruits canned in its own juice or water. You will still benefit from vitamin A, B and Potassium that are not easily destroyed & can be maintained in a tin for optimum life span.
Did any of these unhealthy “healthy” foods shock you? Can you bust any other food myths? Let me know!
Until next time,
Love, Kayleigh Rose x