It’s easy to let yourself be fooled into thinking the things you eat are healthy. Foods dressed in crafty packaging lead you to believe they will help you lose weight.
But do they?
The truth is that most of the time the only thing special about the so-called healthy food product is the clever marketing. Have you been fooled by the following foods?
So-Called Healthy Food #1: SALAD
Who doesn’t get a self-righteous feeling when ordering a salad, right? Salads are healthy, and salads equal weight loss. Unfortunately, not anymore.
Salad in and of itself is a wonderful, healthy food. It is filled with nutrients and untouched by artificial additives. If only we left it at that.
Most salads on the menu today are loaded with fat laden extras. Croutons, tortilla strips, nuts, and even fried chicken (not the best source of protein). And let’s not forget the salad dressing.
While you know that salad dressing isn’t very healthy, you may not be aware of the staggering number of fat calorie packed in these dressings. Most people add between a quarter to a half a cup of dressing to their salad, and with the average creamy salad dressing weighing in at 8-12 grams of fat per tablespoon, you can see how an innocent collection of greens can quickly turn into a spare tire.
So-Called Healthy Food #2: 100 CALORIE PACKS
In the snack section of your local grocery store you’ve probably seen the attractively packaged “100 Calorie Packs.” These light and airy snack packs send a subtle message that they are healthy and in line with your desire to drop the fat. I mean, how harmful can they be? Let’s take a look at the snacks within the package. Here are the most popular:
- Oreo cookies
- Ritz snack mix
- Planter’s peanut butter cookies
- Cheese Nips crackers
- Chips Ahoy cookies
- Shortbread cookie
Hmmm, that list sounds like junk food-doesn’t it? These items are high in sugar, salt and fat, and they don’t contain a grain of nutritional value. And let’s be honest, most people don’t eat just one pack…
So-Called Healthy Food #3: CEREAL
Can a box of cereal help you lose weight? That’s the message being sent out by a handful of cereal brands, namely Special K. This cereal manufacturer has gone so far as to create the Special K Challenge, a program which claims to help drop 6 pounds in 2 weeks. The message that most consumers take away from the cereal commercials is “If I eat this brand of cereal then I will lose weight.”
Wait, don’t grab a bowl of your favorite cereal along with your skinny jeans just yet.
It’s dangerous to think that any food item will promote weight loss, especially a food item that is high in simple carbohydrates. In the fine print you will see that the cereal claims to help lose weight when incorporated with a very low calorie diet, and that the cereal itself has no weight loss inducing power.
Making the Healthy Choice
As a rule of thumb ignore the bold claims on food packaging-the information you really need is listed on the nutrition label. Finding healthy food is simple when you use the following guidelines.
Eat Fresh: The healthiest food in the world is fresh, unprocessed whole foods. This includes fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grains and legumes, and raw seeds and nuts. These fresh foods supply your body with vitamins, minerals and enzymes that are priceless to your health. When it comes to meat, poultry and dairy choose products that are grass fed and hormone and antibiotic free.
Set Limits: Let’s be honest. Just because something is edible doesn’t mean you should eat it. A key to healthy eating is to identify which items to limit or even eliminate from your diet.
- Cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends that you limit your intake of cholesterol from food to less than 300 milligrams per day.
- Saturated Fat. Your intake of saturated fat should be less than 7% of your total daily calories.
- Trans Fat. It is recommended that you either eliminate trans fat from your diet or keep it under 1% of your total daily calories.
- Sugar. Most of us consume way more sugar than we should. Make a habit of checking the ingredient list of the foods you eat. If sugar is the first listed ingredient then you know that item is packed with sugar.
Look at the whole picture: A healthy diet consists of taking in a combination of fats, carbohydrates, fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals each day. Remember that eating too much of even healthy foods can lead to weight gain. All of the foods that you eat should fit together to form a well-balanced, calorie controlled diet.
The bottom line is that you should eat to live not live to eat. Your body will thank you for it.
Want more ideas on how to get the body of your dreams without starving yourself or doing boring exercise routines?