We are all short of time and we often choose convenience over health when it comes to food choices, however we are still drawn towards foods that are labelled as ‘healthy’. However, many foods and drinks that are marketed as being “healthy” are actually very bad for us. Here’s a look at 5 examples of foods and drinks that are supposed to be healthy, when in reality they are anything but.
Wholemeal bread – When people purchase brown or wholemeal bread from supermarkets and convenience stores, they think that it is a healthy alternative to white bread, when in reality this is not the case. White bread is unhealthy because it is made from white flour which has a very high glycaemic index. Brown bread however, is nothing more than white bread that hasn’t been bleached white. The amount of fibre it has, compared to white bread, is insignificant and has a similar glycaemic index. Almost all breads are like this and one should not treat them as ‘health foods’ or diet foods.
Fruit juice – When we think of a healthy juice to start our morning with, one of the first beverages that instantly comes to mind is fresh orange juice. Whilst fresh fruit juices do indeed contain large quantities of vitamin C, as well as amounts of other vitamins, one of the biggest downsides to fresh fruit juice, is the fact that it is full of naturally occurring fructose sugars from the fruits. Too much sugar can spike insulin levels which can lead to weight gain, and put you at risk of diabetes if you drink too much. Fruit juice from concentrate is even worse, because excess liquid containing much of the nutrients from the fruits are removed at first, before the concentrated liquid is frozen and transported to factories, where water is then re-added just before the juice is sold.
Breakfast cereals – Marked as being a “healthy alternative” to cooked breakfast foods such as bacon, eggs, sausage, muffins, and pancakes etc, breakfast cereal is actually nowhere near as healthy as the manufacturers make it out to be. many breakfast cereals are absolutely loaded full of sugars, which enhance the taste, but also ramp up the calorie content, the glycemic index, and of course, the overall sugar content. Rather than a sugar-laden breakfast cereal, stick to breakfasts high in healthy fats and protein like avocado or eggs.
Fruit yoghurt – Fruit yoghurts are another common breakfast food that are considered to be healthy, when in reality they can do more harm than good. The yoghurt is often overly processed and enriched with artificial flavourings and preservatives, plus the fruits and fruit flavourings that are added will contain fructose sugars from the fruits, as well as added syrup for an even sweeter taste. Too much sugar, as mentioned, can cause hormonal imbalances, it can lead to weight gain, it can increase your risk of type-2 diabetes. A far healthier alternative is to stick with natural greek yoghurt, which is low in sugar and high in protein, and bulk it out with unprocessed berries or nuts.
Energy bars – Before going to the gym, or when they don’t have time to eat breakfast in a morning, people often find themselves reaching for energy bars, which they believe will nourish their bodies with nutrients, and will wake them up, energize them, and increase their mental alertness levels in the process, thus providing them with the energy required to get through the next few hours. In reality however, energy bars are nothing more than glorified candy bars with healthy-looking packaging. Most energy bars contain sugar processed cereals and grains, as well as dried fruit pieces, nuts, and even chocolate chips. When you total up the total amounts of calories from fats and sugars contained in an energy bar, you would be far better off having a healthy and balanced meal instead. What’s more, although some of the ingredients may be healthy, the amounts contained in each bar are nowhere near large enough to provide any real substantial benefit for your body at all.