These items may be available at the 'health' food section in the supermarket, but they are nutritionally bad for you
Did you know that foods labelled as the healthiest and full of goodness at your grocery store are actually the biggest culprits in expanding waistlines and depleting immunity? With marketing and attractive packaging going into overdrive to ride the health food wave, it's hard not to fall for marketing gimmicks in the search for a better diet. We are here with an eye-opening list of the 'health foods' that have you fooled all along.
1. RICE CAKES:
Kids love snacking on rice cakes and parents don't seem to mind. After all, aren't they low-cal?
What's wrong with them? They may be low in calories but rank high on the glycaemic index (GI) which counts how fast blood sugar rises with food. Rice cakes are among the top contenders at 82 on a scale of 1-100. So, your energy levels will dip as quickly as they rose, and you will be hungry in an hour.
2. FRUIT JUICE:
Packaged fruit juices that promise to be 100% real fruit juice have taste bhi, health bhi. Right?
What's wrong with it? Most juices have loads of sugar or corn syrups which have more sugar than a can of cola. Most of the nutrients and fibre are lost while juicing the fruit. A better way to get your juice is to make it at home, and drink it pulp and all.
3. GRANOLA :
It's made of oats and advertised as a health food for busy people.
What's wrong with it? Granola averages 597 calories per cup, 28 grams of fat and 24 grams of sugar. Best alternative? Real slow-cooking oats.
4. LOW-FAT PEANUT BUTTER:
Regular peanut butter has heart-healthy MUFAs (monounsaturated fats) and vegetarian protein (good for the muscles).
What's wrong with it? The low-fat version of good ol' peanut butter has none of the good stuff. Since the fats are what lend the flavour, manufacturers replace it with different kinds of sugars. Our advice: Opt for the full-fat peanut butter or make natural peanut butter at home. All you need to do is grind raw peanuts in a mixie till smooth.
5. SOY MILK:
Chefs and vegans often substitute regular milk with soy milk in everything from coffee to smoothies, because it's low in calories and has zero fat.
What's wrong with it? Soyabean is continuously found to be high in pesticides. Most soybean contains GMOs and we all know the spiel abot genetically modified foods.
6. PROTEIN BARS:
Chocolate-covered protein bars are advertised as the safe alternative to fast food and fried snacks for people on the go. Besides, we all need protein in our daily diet.
What's wrong with them? Protein bars are glorified candy bars. They have just as much chocolate and sugar too. Most protein bars are high in carbs (check the nutrition label).
7. BAKED CHIPS:
They aren't deep fried in oil, so baked chips are the health conscious foodie's guilty pleasure.
What's wrong with them? While they may be low in fat, baked chips have a tonne of sodium and sugar added for processing and a longer shelf life.
8. READYMADE PROTEIN SHAKES & SMOOTHIES:
Workout enthusiasts are seen sipping on these readymade protein shakes and smoothies seen on the cold storage shelves of high-end supermarkets.
What's wrong with them? They may have added protein, but also contain a load of refined sugar and other synthetic ingredients and preservatives you don't want in your system. The best solution is to make your own protein shake using whey protein and water or almond milk.
9. ORGANIC CANDY:
Just because it's organic doesn't make those gummy bears and sweet treats nutritious.
What's wrong with it? Organic candy is made with sugary ingredients like fruit juice and honey so it isn't low in calories. It doesn't benefit you (or your child) by way of nutrients, vitamins or minerals.
10. FLAVOURED YOGHURT:
Probiotics in natural and Greek yoghurt are good for the gut, and it is rich in protein.
What's wrong with it? Flavoured yoghurt cancels out the health benefits you'd expect since every tiny cup has 20 gm or more of refined sugar. Look for low-sugar versions or simply add berries to a cup of plain yoghurt for an antioxidant-rich dessert.
11. LIGHT ICE CREAM:
You are feeling good about yourself for beating the heat with light, low-fat icecream instead of that cone of creamy icecream that would have piled on the kilos. You will be in for a surprise.
What's wrong with it? Light and low-fat ice creams have artificial sweeteners and chemicals used as substitutes for heavy cream to reduce the calorie count. This means your insulin levels would shoot up and go down faster.
12. DIET COLA:
Aerated drinks and colas are about the worst things to quench your thirst with. We've found something more dangerous – a can of diet soda.
What's wrong with it? An American study found that people who drank two or more cans of diet sodas a day saw their waistline increasing six times faster than regular cola drinkers. Diet cola may be zero-calorie, but the large quantities of chemicals and artificial sweeteners used produce unhealthy bacteria in the gut and make it harder to keep your weight in check.
13. WRAPS AND ROLLS:
On most days, office goers order a wrap, meaty roll or walk over to the friendly street stall for a Frankie. They are hot sellers around colleges and offices since they are filling and have eggs, vegetables and chicken.
What's wrong with them? The rotis have so little of green leafy vegetables and so much of carb-heavy potatoes and spices that it won't do you any good. These wraps are typically made with refined maida. The Frankies are usually fried in reused oil.
14. MICROWAVE POPCORN:
Movie theatre nostalgia aside, unsalted popcorn is one of the healthiest munchies thanks to its fibre and whole grain content. The same isn't the case with microwave popcorn.
What's wrong with it? That little sachet of microwave popcorn has a multitude of additives and chemicals. Most popular brands contain harmful transfats and diacetyl, an ingredient that's supposed to give you the flavour of butter but also harms the brain. The lining of the sachet has perfluorooctanoic acid, the toxic chemical on Teflon pans.
15. CANNED SOUPS:
Soup is incredibly healthy, but not when you buy it out of a can.
What's wrong with them? Canned soups are highly processed, so take it for granted that they will come with all the trappings of that label – lots of sodium, preservatives, added fat and sugar. No one warned you about the cans either. The plastic lining of popular soup cans contains BPA (Bisphenol A), which can impact children and women's reproductive system badly.
Instead of wasting your moolah on dangerous 'health foods', prepare these foods at home and eat moderately for a nutritionally-wealthy diet.