Are all healthy foods healthy?
Nowadays all we hear about is eating healthy; not to eat fast foods and how to avoid eating foods that are high in carbohydrates and fat. There is so much media hype on eating the right foods that sometimes you may feel uncomfortable eating some of foods you like. First of all it is important to know that all foods are not bad for you and to understand your body requires a certain amount of carbohydrates, fats, fruits, and vegetables.
Most of the problem with dieting is that people don’t understand how their body functions and what their body requires to maintain a healthy balance. Diets that focus on low calories, low carbohydrates, and low fats are usually not the healthiest way to lose weight. These diets may take the weight off of you fast, but this kind of weight loss is not permanent. Yes, it would be nice to lose weight overnight. However, whether you realize it or not, gaining weight (in most cases) didn’t happen overnight. So if gaining weight was a gradual process; slow and steady wouldn’t it make sense for losing weight to be a slow and steady process also?
Today staying healthy is all about eating so-called healthy foods. So when you hear and/or see foods that are labeled healthy, the first thing that comes to mind is that those foods must be the better choice for you, right? Not so fast! There are actually some foods that have been labeled healthy that are not.
Which healthy foods are not so healthy?
- Fruit juice (so much sugar): You may feel this is the way to meet your daily fruit requirement needs but you are missing out on the fiber contained in real juice. Because even though these juices will say that they are 100% real juice, in reality a lot of them have at the most 10% real juice.
- Granola bar (sugar, sugar, and sugar): These food fool the world in thinking it is healthy with words such as whole-grain, and nut mixes but fail to mention they are quite high in calories, fat and sugar.
- Bran muffin (extra fat): Muffins bought from the store or a restaurant appear to be healthy because of their ingredients. However, these ingredients get shifted because of an over-size portion of sugar, sodium and fat in these muffins. This is another diet trap.
- Caesar salad (calorie explosive): Over the years the portions of Caesar salads have doubled in size; containing more calories, more egg yolks and cholesterol from the salad dressing. This is not too healthy.
- Protein bars and shakes (non-filling): These bars fool you because of they use attractive words such as organic, gluten free, dairy free, and low fat, but these bars and shakes are a scapegoat for healthy eating. Some of these bars and shakes are between 300-400 calories and if you eat two just look at how many calories you are taking in.
- Dried fruits (concentrated sugars): These are great sources of concentrated vitamins, minerals & fiber but you need to limit your intake because you’re also getting a very concentrated amount of calories and sugar.
- Sushi rolls (increased carbohydrates): These rolls are a good source of protein. However, the added soy sauce contains excessive sodium and white rice has enough carbohydrates in it to cause blood sugar spikes; worsening diabetes.
- Fish sandwich (high calorie): Fish is a low-calorie food super food that is actually recommended to be eaten twice a week by the American Heart Association. But slapped with high-calories tartar sauce, a double buttered bun, and if deep fried there is no health benefit here. Baked fish or an open-faced fish sandwich would be much better.
- Margarine (hidden trans-fat): Not all margarine is good. Many have hidden trans-fat which is damaging to your arteries and heart.
- Nutrition vitamin waters (needless): These drinks seem nutritional and healthy because they are providing you both hydration and vitamins in a single drink. Be careful. Some of these waters contain sugar and calories and many are not even aware. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that we get our water hydration and vitamins from separate choices like a mixed salad with homemade dressing and regular tap water.
- Turkey burgers (diet-not): These burgers have the name healthy attached to them because they are not considered the “red meat”. They may not be the “red meat” but they are full of fat and calories.
Are so called healthy foods another fad diet?
Healthy foods are not necessarily another fad diet but they certainly could be. It all depends on the foods you choose to include as part of your diet. The foods mentioned above are only a few of the so called healthy foods that are not so healthy. There are many others that are not listed. The only thing I can suggest is that you need to do your research on the healthy foods that you are considering. It’s not about just reading labels. I would even take it a step further and research the foods before choosing them. Try to have an open mind and remember that just because you have been taught certain foods are healthy, doesn’t necessarily mean that they are. Look at all of the information and then decide on your choice. Also remember that there is no rapid weight loss that is healthy and is permanent. Both a diet and exercise plan need to be designed to meet your needs; a plan that must include your work and family life routines.
Recommended healthy food choices
Healthy diets contain a balanced meal and even while dieting your food choices should include all of the food groups: Vegetables, Fruits, Lean meats (poultry, fish), Grains (cereals), and Milk products (Yogurt, cheese &/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat). Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. Therefore, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the best healthy food choices are the foods that are heart-healthy. Therefore, they have suggested the following foods (this list is not inclusive of all healthy food choices): Oatmeal, a good source of Beta Glucan; a form of soluble fiber that helps regulate blood sugar levels and carry excess cholesterol out of the body, soy is known to reduce LDL cholesterol levels, spinach is rich in potassium, which help lower blood pressure, salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids that lower triglyceride levels and reduce the risk of developing blood clots, and walnuts that are known to reduce cholesterol levels as well. Remember to be careful with eating nuts because they are high in calories.
The weight loss industry would not be near as much as a money making business; selling various diet fads if society didn’t allow it. Now it’s no secret that obesity is linked to major medical problems, including early death. This puts society in the panic mode. And the weight-loss industry relies on society’s reaction to obesity. Therefore, it’s time for our culture to stand up to this money making industry and fight back by becoming proactive to obesity. All it takes is making significant life style changes to live healthier lives; increasing our longevity. And I can’t think of any healthier tip than knowing how to live longer.