If you’re trying to lose or maintain your weight, you’ve most likely read plenty of diet tips endorsing different kinds of “healthy food”. Sadly, many of these can be misleading, influenced by the myths and wrong ideas that proliferate in the field of nutrition.
Check your sources to make sure you’re getting the right information about healthy diets. Better yet, consult our nutrition experts who can help you come up with a menu plan that’s best suited to your personal needs and condition.
Meantime, it pays to be aware of various foods that are passed off as healthy, but can actually make you gain weight. Here are some of them.
Breakfast cereals are made from fiber-rich grains, so it’s easy to believe they’re healthy food. If you read the labels, however, you will find that their main ingredients are refined grains and sugar.
“Refined grains” means the product has undergone extensive processing, which depletes it of much of its natural nutrients. And too much sugar can cause your blood sugar level to soar then crash, making you feel sluggish and crave for more carbs.
If you must have cereals for breakfast, choose the sugar-free variety and one that’s not made from highly-refined grains. Be wary of cereals that are advertised as “whole grain”. They may contain small amounts of whole grain, but these are not enough to make up for their sugar and processed food content. Check the ingredients on the label – the first ones on the list are those with the highest amounts.
Whole wheat bread
While generally healthier than white bread, which has gone through more processing, whole wheat bread will not keep off the carbs as you might have expected.
The loaf you get from a store is most likely made from grains that have been ground to powder fine flour, which is just as easily digestible as the flour in white bread. This can cause your blood sugar levels to rise and crash at a fast rate, making you crave for more carbs.
The nutrients you get from wheat are also present in many other food products, sometimes in even greater amounts. Wheat may also cause health problems to people who are sensitive to gluten.
Low-fat flavored yogurt
As with any other processed food, low fat yogurt has been stripped of much of its essential components – like harmless unsaturated fat – and added with an array of unhealthy, fattening ingredients to give it flavor, including artificial sweetener, sugar or sugar substitute. Dr. Ann prefers goat and sheep variety, or other non-dairy yogurt.
The ingredients in granola, such as oats and nuts, are healthy. But commercially made granola bars contain large amounts of sugar, sodium and oil. They have also been packaged to be highly appetizing, thus encouraging overconsumption. To satisfy your craving for something sweet, try a combination of fruits and dark chocolate instead.
This is the perfect food when you’re on a trail, but not when you’re trying to lose weight. Trail mix contains dried fruits, which are loaded with sugar, and nuts, which are high in fat content. Often, it also includes sugar coated raisins and chocolate. Unless you’re hiking and need plenty of carbs to burn, trail mix is not a good choice for a healthy snack.