10 “HEALTHY” Foods that AREN’T!
When it comes to building your best body, maybe you’re not eating as healthy as you think.
Here are 10 foods you may think are good for you, but in reality are anything but, and can be very detrimental in your efforts at building the body you desire.
1. Breakfast Cereals. Cereals are labelled low fat, healthy and recommended for weight loss. Most cereals however are extraordinarily high in sugar. Always check the label to see where sugar (or anything that ends in ‘ose’) is situated on the ingredient list. The closer it is to the top, the more sugar it contains.
Sue’s Tip: Traditional oatmeal, Rice Flakes, Weetbix or Vitabrits. See my Lean Body Gourmet Cookbook for some great oat-based breakfast options like Creamy Oats, and Pancakes with Maple Syrup.
2. Muesli (Granola) Bars. Muesli bars contain some healthy ingredients such as oats, nuts and seeds but they’re glued together with things like high fructose corn syrup, honey and just plain sugar, which impact negatively on blood sugar levels. Some bars also contain chocolate chips, making them not much better than a Mars Bar. Basically they are low in protein, high in fat and sugar – a fat loss debacle.
Sue’s Tip: Try homemade protein bars/cakes:
Mix 1 cup oats (dry) + 2 scoops of your favourite low carb vanilla protein powder + 1-1.5 cup water + vanilla, stevia (to taste) and cinnamon + shredded carrots and raisins OR -1 heaping cup of blueberries OR -1 cup cooked pumpkin Then pour into a small casserole dish and bake for around 45min at 180 C (350 F)
3. Low Fat Yogurt. Fat free doesn’t mean healthy. Low fat yoghurts usually contain a lot of sugar, approximately 7 teaspoons per 200g container! Add a piece of fruit and your blood sugar (and insulin) levels will skyrocket.
Sue’s Tip: eat natural yogurt or the high protein reduced fat Greek yogurts like Chobani (I use the green one).
4. Fat Free Muffins. Convenient and taste good, but not as healthy as we are led to believe. High in carbs, low in protein – and as we’ve already learned, fat free and low fat usually equates to high sugar!
Sue’s Tip: As for point #3, homemade protein bars/cakes
5. Sandwiches purchased from cafes. Have you seen the size of these things? Often enough to feed a small family, they also often contain sugar laden dressings, little veggies, not enough protein and way too much bread.
Sue’s Tip: make your own sandwiches using regular sized good quality grain bread
6. Fruit Juice. Even 100% fruit juice has added sugars. Fresh fruit juice, while better for you, is not a fat loss favourite. When you consider how many apples/oranges (or you choice of fruit is required to make a cup of juice you can probably understand where I am headed with this one. Too many calories and an overload of sugar (natural or not, it’s of no consequence) will not do your physique any favours.
Sue’s Tip: eat the whole fruit, fresh or frozen is fine, together with some form of protein
7. Cheese and crackers. This is a popular dieter’s snack, but are usually wheat based (many people have wheat intolerance and should reduce the amount of wheat they consume) and highly processed. The combination of highly processed carbohydrates (crackers) and fat (cheese) is a dangerous one for fat loss.
Sue’s Tip: Brown rice cakes and cottage cheese are a much better fat loss alternative.
8. Sports Drinks. These are supposed to help you replenish electrolytes and carbohydrates. It’s actually just sugar water, with up to 30g of sugar per serving. If you are looking for fat loss, the only time these would be indicated is as a post weight training shake to assist with recovery (provided you have trained your muscles intensely). And then, you should add a scoop of protein to the mix.
Sue’s Tip: Drink plain water during your workout, and protein + carbohydrates post workout
9. Fast Food Salads. Contain sugar-laden salad dressings, preservatives and generally loads of hidden fat.
Sue’s Tip: stick to a garden type tossed salad and add your own dressing – or better still, make your own salads.
10. Frozen Meals. Frozen fruits and vegetables are great for you, don’t get confused with this. I’m referring to the full TV dinner type meal. They’re processed, high in sugar and carbs, usually low in protein and have added sauces and lots of sodium. Avoid if possible.
Sue’s Tip: cook your own – if time is an issue, have a ‘cook up’ day or two each week and freeze your own home cooked meals ready to ‘grab and go.
Sue Heintze is Managing Director of online personal training and body transformation company Ideal Bodies Online. Since 2003, Sue and her passionate team have been helping women achieve extraordinary results via online training.
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PS In case you haven’t heard, I’m back working one on one with clients and I love it! If you’d like me to write your Body Makeover Program, please mention it in the comments section when purchasing your program.