Eating healthy isn’t always as easy as it seems. Here are 4 foods that you probably thought were totally innocent, but that could actually be keeping you from losing those extra pounds.
Fruit is healthy and yogurt is healthy, so that should make fruit yogurt healthy too, right? Think again. In fact, most fruit flavored yogurts are just that – flavored. They don’t contain any fruit, just artificial flavoring, chemical coloring and a whole lot of sugar. Yikes. Instead opt for unflavored greek yogurt which is loaded with vitamins, protein and probiotics, or one of the dairy-free yogurts made from coconut or almond milk.
Salad dressing is one of those sneaky little bastards that you don’t think can do much harm. After all, you’re eating a salad! But most commercial dressings are very high in sugar and fat, and a single serving of only two tablespoons can be as much as 200 calories. That’s probably more than your whole salad! So make sure to check the ingredients and to keep the amount to a minimum. And, if you have a few extra minutes to throw a homemade dressing together, even better!
While those soft fluffy slices of white bread may be delicious, they have very little substance. White bread consists or refined grains; finely chopped whole grains stripped of their bran and germ – which is where all the nutrition is. Because refined grains are rapidly absorbed during digestion, white bread also has a high glycemic index. This causes sharp spikes in your blood sugar and insulin levels, which means that you’ll soon be back to feeling hungry again. Whole grain bread is a much better choice since it’s richer in fiber, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. It also has a lower glycemic index which provides you with a steadier more sustained source of energy that keeps you full longer.
Just because fruit juice is natural and has the word “fruit” in it, doesn’t make it healthy. In fact, a recent study showed that most fruit juices contain just as much sugar and calories as a sugary soft drink!
When fruit is made into fruit juice almost all of the fiber is lost, and the small amounts of vitamins and antioxidants don’t make up for the high sugar levels. Even fruit juice labelled as “100% pure” and “not from concentrate” might not be as clean and natural as it seems. The juice is typically stored in big tanks for as long as up to a year before it’s actually packaged and sold. During this process the juice loses most of its flavor, which means that it needs to be artificially added back in there. So moral of the story: skip the fruit juice and get your daily fruit intake by eating it whole instead. While whole fruit is still high in sugar, it’s bound within fibrous structures that break down slowly during digestion. Because of this your liver is able to metabolize the sugar without being overloaded, so that the sugar is used as immediate fuel instead of being stored as fat.