When walking down the supermarkets aisles it’s easy to get sucked in by 'low sugar' and 'low fat labels'. Different brands and food labels claim they have half the fat and less calories, but realistically they are replacing these ingredients with something else.
When choosing your food for the week, always make sure you read the ingredient and nutritional information, which should be easily found on the packaging. Keep an eye out for higher sugar or fat levels, especially those claiming no sugar, as they replace the sugar content with sweeteners, which can be even more harmful to your body.
We’ve listed some of the so called healthy foods to avoid:
1. Reduced Fat Peanut Butter
Although claiming to have a lower fat intake compared to other brands, reduced fat peanut butter actually includes the same calories as any other brand. However, if you do want to replace your original peanut butter for something healthier, try swapping it for an all-natural peanut butter.
2. Rice Milk
Whilst claiming to be a great alternative to cow's milk, rice milk is quite high in carbohydrates, but lacks hardly any protein or calcium. If you suffer from lactose intolerance then try swapping for either almond or soy milk instead. However, as long as you have no allergies, why not try fat free organic cow's milk.
Although having a fish filled replacement for lunch may seem like a healthier option, sushi can actually be full of sugar and have very little protein. The white rice in sushi is a high-glycemic food, which can increase blood sugar and an increase in insulin, leading to you feeling hungry a lot quicker after eating.
Granola is usually chosen as a healthy snack or breakfast, instead of sugary and fried treats. However, granola is usually prepared with a large volume of sugar and oil and can be extremely high in calories.
Why not swap granola for whole grain cereal instead? It’s a great source of healthy fats, protein and fibre.
5. Diet Fizzy Drinks
Although diet fizzy drinks claim to have no calories and no sugar, they are in fact full of artificial sweeteners, which can cause more harm than drinking the full sugar version. Studies have actually found that the more diet drinks a person drank, the greater risk they had at becoming over weight. Try swapping diet fizzy drinks for water with a slice of lemon for flavour, or unsweetened tea or coffee.
6. Energy Bars
Most supermarket shelves are filled with various energy bars, claiming to provide high volumes of protein and long lasting energy. In actual fact, the bars are usually full of sugar and aren't necessary, unless you’re exercising at high intensity for long periods of time.
Try eating an apple with peanut butter instead, to provide your body with the protein and carbs to help fuel you for the day.
Although piling in a load of fruit and green veggies into a blender may seem like a healthy option, you’re probably getting more sugar than any other nutrients.
Why not try flavoured lemon water in the morning with breakfast, which can help to boost your metabolism.
So there you go, just some of the foods we’ve been using to give us a healthy edge, that don’t necessarily do what they claim. Keep this is mind next time you’re loading your shopping basket, and opt for something else, rather than these so-called healthy alternatives.
Nutrition is an important aspect of our Personal Training Courses; check them out here.