The topic of this post may be tempting but this is a serious topic as most people are confused in identifying healthy
and unhealthy food.
Today, I will be sharing with you some of the foods which you might have thought are healthy but in reality they are not.
I will also show you how to transform these foods to a healthier and delicious version that will benefit you.
There is still room for treats in a healthy diet.
Want to know how, just read on.
However junk food is simply junk, a synonym for unhealthy foods and it hаѕ gоnе glоbаl. Fоr better оr fоr wоrѕе (mostly wоrѕе), it iѕ nоw аvаilаblе аll оvеr thе wоrld and it is everywhere.
Wе find it at the grосеrу and convenience ѕtоrеѕ, fаѕt-fооd rеѕtаurаntѕ, we see it оn tеlеviѕiоn and many times it ends up in our body.
But juѕt whаt аrе thе fасtѕ аbоut junk fооd aka Unhealthy food?
“Junk fооd” gеnеrаllу rеfеrѕ tо fооdѕ thаt are high in саlоriеѕ, low in nutrients, usually comes in a package and is very convenient – none or minimal preparation needed.
But some junk food is not as evident.
For example pizza – add enough nutrient rich foods and it becomes a meal. Or chocolate – make it 80% dark chocolate and it becomes a powerful anti-inflammatory.
There are two main attributes I see with junk food:
They are lоw in ѕаtiаtiоn vаluе — thаt iѕ, реорlе dоn’t tеnd tо fееl full whеn thеу еаt thеm. If you like chips you know how hard it is to just have a few, before you know it the bag is gone!
They tеnd tо rерlасе оthеr, mоrе nutritiоuѕ foods. Whеn реорlе drink lоtѕ оf ѕоdа, fоr еxаmрlе, thеу аrе uѕuаllу nоt drinking enough water or other healthier alternatives like tea.
Whеn people are ѕnасking оn сhiрѕ аnd сооkiеѕ, thеу’rе uѕuаllу nоt lоаding uр оn fruitѕ аnd vegetables.
Mоѕt junk fооd fаllѕ intо thе саtеgоriеѕ of еithеr “ѕnасk food” оr “fаѕt fооd.” And thеn thеrе аrе thingѕ likе brеаkfаѕt сеrеаlѕ.
Thеу ѕееm innосеnt еnоugh, but ѕоmе оf them соuld dеfinitеlу bе соnѕidеrеd junk fооd, аѕ thеу mоѕtlу соntаin ѕugаr. Also some cereals claim to be high in whole grains when in reality they are just grains processed to a flour – grains processed in this way lose a lot of their wholeness and nutrition.
Nutrition is your key to weight loss and overall health.
Without nutrients your body is constantly hungry and due to the convenience of packaged foods that are often devoid of nutrients nourishment is often not what your body receives.
We have outsourced the responsibility of feeding ourselves and it’s not working. Due to this we are unable to identify the difference between healthy and unhealthy food.
Lets see how some “healthy” foods can actually become wrecking foods and how spending a little time in the kitchen transforms these foods into something deliciously healthy.
Healthy indeed unless you use iceberg lettuce which has zero nutrition and top it with fried foods, crackers, a bunch of croutons, bacon bits and tons of cheese.
Worst offender is dressing. Watch out! Stay away from creamy dressings and most important how much dressing.
Best is to make your own dressing using wholesome ingredients like extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, spices, salt and pepper.
I love smoothies for breakfast but these can be a sugar trap. Watch out for smoothies that use fruit juices instead of real fruit, sorbets and other sweeteners.
Best to make your own.
Here’s a simple and delicious recipe. 1 cup coconut water, 1 large handful of spinach, ½ cup of blueberries, ½ banana, dash of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon flax seeds, ground.
Place all ingredients in a high-speed blender. Blend until smooth. Enjoy!
So many choices and so many loaded with sugar. Some are nothing better than a candy bar.
Look for bars with about 200 calories, protein from real ingredients like nuts and seeds, fiber and no more than 7 grams of sugar.
Enhanced waters often have artificial ingredients like colors, flavors and sweeteners.
These chemicals do not belong in our bodies. Some also come with added sugars.
If you’re thirsty your best choice is plain water, coconut water, fresh lemon juice with water or green tea. When it comes to fruit juices, it’s best to eat your calories not drink them.
One exception is fresh green juices that are packed with nutrients. This is one of the juicing recipes for weight loss.
No Fat or Low Fat Foods and Drinks
Sounds like you could trim some calories here but not really.
These foods are often loaded with sugar and salt because once you take fat out you take the taste out.
Plus your body needs healthy fats to feel satisfied. A fatty brain is a happy brain and not a hungry brain.
A study at Cornell University looking at low fat granola vs full fat granola found that people ate 49% more granola when they thought they were eating low fat granola!
Furthermore, the difference in calories between the two granolas was only 20 calories (210 full fat vs 190 low fat) but the fat was 6 grams vs 2.5 grams, goes to show that carbs without fat means you eat more.
Sugar in Fruit Juice
When my children were toddlers my pediatrician recommended I give them fruit juice, what a mistake! Fruit juice is nothing but liquid sugar.
Although the word apple in apple juice makes it sound like a healthy option the truth is that there is not much apple in the commercial apple juice once it’s in juice form. Lets look at the process most manufacturers use to make apple juice, or any other fruit juice:
- Apple is pressed removing all it’s good fiber.
- The “apple” juice is then pasteurization at 280 degrees killing any enzymes left in the juice.
- Then it’s dried and turned into a concentrate,
- Then some manufacturers add even more sugar and chemicals that don’t belong in our bodies like food coloring and flavorings.
- Don’t be fooled fruit juices are not good for you.
The only juice I recommend is green juice with mostly veggies and a small quantity of fruit like green apples, a little pineapple, Kiwi or berries.
Coconut water is full of electrolytes and nature’s goodness.
Homemade lemon juice in which you’ll probably use 2 teaspoons of sugar for an 8 ounce glass as opposed to the 6+ teaspoons in the same size glass that most manufacturers use.
Sugar is NOT the problem; it’s the quantity of sugar. Too much sugar turns into fat.
Many potential problems with grains. Some grains contain gluten. Many people are sensitive to gluten and don’t even know it.
Symptoms of gluten intolerance include bloating, abdominal cramps, vomiting, heartburn, constipation, gas, diarrhea, fatigue, headaches or migraines, skin rashes, mood swings and joint pain.
Grain contains phytic acid, which blocks the body’s absorption of magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and calcium.
If your body is not receiving nutrients it is very hard to control cravings.
Grains are carbohydrates and carbs cause insulin production. Carbs turn into glucose, the energy of life, and excess glucose is turned into fat and that is basically the problems with carbs, we eat too much of them!
Particularly in processed form like in bagels, breads, pastas, crackers, cereals, etc.
Prolamins are a group of proteins found in all grains like wheat, rye and barley.
They are thought to be irritating to the immune system contributing to conditions like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis. Inflammation makes you hold onto your weight.
Replace grains with vegetables and fruits.
If you must have processed foods that contains grains like crackers, breads or tortillas consume them ONLY occasionally and make the gluten free.
Look for coconut flour which has a good amount of fiber and healthy MCT oil that your body uses as fuel.
Vegetables oils are processed to death, they cause inflammation and disrupt your metabolism and mess with your hormones.
Most are also GMO.
When you cook with the wrong oil the molecular structure changes and they become carcinogens.
For cooking, coconut oil or red palm oil. For dressings and anything not exposed to heat Extra Virgin Olive oil.
Many people are susceptible to dairy. For them dairy creates inflammation that manifests itself in infectious conditions like sinuses or digestive conditions like bloating, diarrhea, etc.
Inflammation is your worst enemy when it comes to weight loss.
Today’s dairy is full of antibiotics, growth hormones even pesticides from the feed used to feed the cattle. Toxins that disrupt your weight loss efforts!
When dairy is stripped of all it’s fat (or even part of it) our bodies cannot absorb the vitamins and minerals found in milk. Nature is very smart and has a way of bundling things in order for us to reap all of its
benefits. When you eat anything make it whole, make it real. In the case of dairy, which often comes with not the best fat, eat small quantities, if you are not sensitive to dairy.
There are many out there but I haven’t really found any that I particularly care for. I used to LOVE cheese and it was in everything I made. When I gave up dairy I just gave it up.
To add zing to my meals that used to contain dairy I add either more tomato sauce (i.e. quinoa lasagna) occasionally nutritional yeast (it really tastes like cheese) or grated macadamia nuts in place of Parmesan cheese.
Zero calories with consequences! You find yourself consuming diet sodas, etc. and the next thing you know you are
reaching for high carb foods.
Artificial sweeteners create food cravings. Your body uses glucose for energy, it loves carbohydrates, when you deliver to it something that has all the signs of being a carbohydrate.
But in fact is nothing and provide zero in terms of energy or nutrients it is left unsatisfied and you will end up eating the wrong food later on.
Artificial Sweetener SWAPS
Initially stevia and if you don’t like the taste of Stevia try Monk Fruit.
In the long run, once you’re more in control of your cravings, limit your sweeteners of any kind and use honey and dates sparingly.
While some of the above foods are seen as healthy foods but in reality they can increase your weight. So how do you avoid putting on more calories, do you keep a close eye on what you consume, were you aware about these foods.
Please feel free to share your experience with us. Also, if you think this can benefit anyone you know then kindly share it.