We have all heard so much conflicting information in the news lately about what is healthy and what isn’t. I’m here to help you so that you don’t get duped by false advertising and marketing tricks.
Misleading Dieting Foods
With North Americans at all-time high levels of obesity millions of dollars are going into advertising unhealthy foods as healthy. It’s easy for the average person to get misled by marketing schemes and certain keywords when they’re at the grocery store trying to make healthier choices.
They’re still chips! They are still chalk full of additives, salt, chemicals and saturated fat. Rather than snacking on chips try snacking on a few walnuts or almonds which actually provide you with good fats or air-popped popcorn. Even if you add a little butter or margarine to your popcorn it’s still a far better choice than store-bought chips.
We have all gotten it into our heads that granola is great for breakfast and in bar form is a great snack. Wrong! Granola bars are high in fat, sugar and carbohydrates and do nothing to decrease your waist line (especially for inactive people). Instead try making your own snack bars using natural peanut butter or almond butter, protein powder, chopped nuts and a bit of water. With these bars you’re getting protein, carbohydrates and, again, good fats.
Trans Fat Free Foods
We are all so afraid of trans fats now that if we see the words, “TRANS FAT FREE” on the side of a bag of potato chips, a bag of cookies or at a fast food restaurant we think it must be good for us. Although trans fats are the enemy, they are one of many. Use your common sense – cookies, chips and french fries are not healthy snacks and they definitely should not be a part of someone’s diet who is trying to lose weight!
Whole Grain Products
Just because a bagel or cracker is made from whole grains doesn’t mean it is the right food choice for someone who is trying to drop a few pounds. Bagels, bread, crackers and pasta are primarily made up of carbohydrates and a lot of them. Rather than having two pieces of toast for breakfast, a bagel for lunch and pasta with sauce for dinner try these options instead:
Breakfast: 1 – 2 eggs with 1 piece of toast; oatmeal with protein powder
Lunch: Sandwich with lean turkey/chicken and vegetables; homemade chili
Dinner: Wild salmon, quinoa and grilled vegetables; Chicken and vegetables; Whole wheat pasta with lean ground turkey and vegetables.
Reduced Fat / Low Fat
Products that are known to have an extremely high fat content will slightly reduce the amount of fat and suddenly call themselves low fat or reduced fat. Mayonnaise and cream cheese are just two of many foods that use this kind of marketing. Instead of using mayonnaise try using a little bit of mustard or homemade hummus or guacamole on your sandwich. Make sure that you are still reading the nutrition information listed on labels and judging for yourself whether this food is really healthy or if their low fat claim still makes it a high fat food that should be avoided.
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