Standing in the dressing room of your favorite department store, you hurriedly take off a tight pair of jeans. Staring at yourself in the fitting room’s full-length mirror, you know you need to make some changes. Vowing to start eating healthier and working out at the gym more often, you drive to the supermarket in order to stock up on the latest trends in health foods. If you can relate to this scenario, you might be surprised at how unhealthy some perceived health foods really are. To successfully lose weight, avoiding the following unhealthy “healthy” foods is a good idea.
5 Secretly Unhealthy “Healthy” Foods to Avoid
1) Fruit Juices
If you’re dieting, you might feel you need to swap sodas for fruit juices. You might reason fruit juices must be healthy because they contain fruit. After all, your favorite brand of orange juice has a colorful picture of an orange on the front of the carton. Unfortunately, many of the fruit juices on the market today have little, if any, actual nutrients from fruit in them. While they are void of nutrients like fiber, fruit juices are typically loaded with waistline expanding sugar. So, rather than substituting fruit juice for sodas, drink water instead.
2) Processed, Fat-Free Foods
Supermarket shelves are filled with processed, fat-free foods. Sadly, while these foods have been stripped of saturated fat, they have often been sabotaged with sugar. When the fat is removed from foods such as cookies, potato chips, and ice cream, they usually don’t taste very good. To compensate for a lack of taste, food manufacturers add harmful sugar.
3) Vegetable Oil
When dieting, preparing more meals at home is always a good idea. However, be wary of cooking with processed, vegetable oils like canola oil, grapeseed oil, and soybean oil. Research suggests replacing natural fats such as olive oil, butter, and coconut oil with processed, vegetable oils can increase your probability of dying from both cancer and heart disease.
Since childhood, you may have been told that margarine is healthier than butter. Sadly, this myth began decades ago when butter was blacklisted from the American diet due to its high saturated fat content. While butter does contain saturated fat, margarine is packed with damaging processed, vegetable oils. Studies suggest swapping butter with margarine actually raises your likelihood of dying from heart disease. When seasoning your foods, always add a small amount of real butter instead of chemical laden margarine.
5) 100 Calorie Snack Packs
If you’re struggling to lose weight, stay away from unhealthy health foods like 100 calorie snack packs. While these packs allow you to control portion size and calories, they are typically void of nutrition. Even worse, they’re frequently loaded with damaging sugar and fat. Instead of buying these often expensive snacks, opt for healthy alternatives such as plain, greek yogurt, walnuts, apple slices with peanut butter, hard-boiled egg, or hummus with vegetables.
If you’ve failed miserably at dieting previously, you might feel like the secret to healthy eating is a mystery you can’t crack. Fortunately, you can likely solve your dieting dilemma by creating a meal plan packed with real foods such as lean meats, fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, nuts, and seeds. And, avoid the temptation to fill your pantry with the aforementioned unhealthy “healthy” foods.