If you are joining the masses of people committed to healthier eating as a new year’s resolution, then I’m sure you have seen the labels on health foods such as ‘gluten free’, ‘fat free’ and ‘low fat’. But do these labels mean that the food is actually healthy enough to include in your diet? We explore a few healthy foods which might not be as healthy as they seem when you take a closer look.
- Smoothies: Smoothies have become the go to health drink, but are they as healthy as we are led to believe? Many fruit smoothies are made with a lot of added sugar, often using a base of full fat ice cream as a base. Clearly not so healthy at second glance. But let’s not knock the smoothie entirely. Making your own smoothies at home give you the advantage of controlling what you put in. Rather use water or crushed as a base and cut down on the calories while still enjoy the fruit content.
- Protein bars: Almost everyone reaches for protein bars as a healthy alternative to candy bars, but how healthy are they really? Many protein bars contain artificial ingredients as well as preservatives and may even contain the same amount of sugar, in the form of corn syrup, agave syrup and evaporated cane juice. Be sure to read the labels carefully as all are not created equal.
- Vegan products: While choosing to go vegan might be a very strong environmental and ethical choice, it isn’t necessarily a healthy choice. Processed foods like vegan bacon are factory made products, and the levels of sodium, preservatives and additives are significantly higher and not good for you.
- Fat Free products: The process of making foods fat free involves adding trans fats and artificial sweeteners which can be very misleading. Many people are under the impression that fat free food gives them a free pass when it could be doing more harm than good. A healthy amount of fat is needed for brain and metabolic function, so it is not wise to cut out fats entirely.
There is a lot of conflicting information regarding fats and sugar, be sure to get your information from a reputable source, someone that provides sound health advice. Most of all use your own discretion, monitor your body, visit your doctor and read the labels on your food. One good tip to avoid labels is to eat food with little to no label ie fresh fruit and vegetables.