We live in a world of convenience, and nothing proves that more than looking at our food options at our local grocery stores. You’ll find claims in the isles of stores all over Mount Pleasant and Charleston that scream “LOW FAT” and “DIET”! The message that we’re getting is that if we eat these easy-to-eat packaged goodies, we will magically become healthy. Turns out though, that like with everything in life, easy is not always better!
The sad thing is that after all the hard work you put in working out at the gym, exercising to stay fit, you can sabotage all of that hard work by eating these HEALTHY IMPOSTERS! We are NOT about to let that happen to our DUFFNATICS! Read on to find out the top five “HEALTHY” foods to AVOID.
“HEALTHY” IMPOSTER #1: Canned…ANYTHING
According to Health Magazine, “Canned veggies are often stripped of fiber and other nutrients, and are often loaded with sodium. If canned veggies are your go-to, you’ll experience decreased nutritional quality or, worse, unknowingly consume them with sugar, additives, sodium, or flavorings that detract from good nutrition and make it harmful.” The article recommends that if you’re buying canned for convenience, go for frozen veggies instead. They also note that you should be sure to be buying plain vegetables, not those loaded with any type of sauce.
“HEALTHY” IMPOSTER #2: GRANOLA
Eat This breaks this writer’s heart (I happen to LOVE Granola). However: “Granola’s reputation as a health food isn’t exactly well-earned. Many of the granolas at your local supermarket are made using butter, vegetable oil, and white sugar. Just a cup of Nature Valley’s Oats ‘N Honey Protein Granola packs 6 grams of fat from canola oil, as well as 13 grams of white sugar, honey, and molasses. Depending on the brand you buy, you may be consuming far more calories than you’d expect; many granolas have upwards of 400 calories per cup before adding milk.” Tear.
“HEALTHY” IMPOSTER #3: “LIGHT” SALAD DRESSINGS
Save your post-workout salad from sabotage. Shape reminds us that simple is better: “Have you ever looked at the ingredient list on light salad dressings? They’re about a mile long! Filled with preservatives and other additives you can’t pronounce—not to mention sodium and sugar—you’re much better off drizzling your veggies with a little extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.”
“HEALTHY” IMPOSTER #4: REDUCED FAT PEANUT BUTTER
LiveScience explains that reducing fat isn’t always the best plan. “The oil is the healthiest part of a peanut or a tree nut, containing most of the nutrients, so there’s no advantage to taking it out. (Peanuts are technically a legume, but dietitians call them nuts because their nutritional characteristics and health benefits closely match those of tree nuts.) In fact, removing the oil makes things worse because it robs the peanut butter of its health benefits. ‘Reduced-fat peanut butter has as many calories and more sugar than the regular’ variety, said Bonnie Liebman, Nutrition Director for the Center for Science in the Public Interest.” The article continues: “Instead: Buy regular peanut butter and eat real nuts. Eating one or two ounces of nuts daily is associated with reductions in heart disease and lower cancer risk. A recent Harvard study showed that eating nuts is associated with lower body weight, too.” We love eating nuts as a healthy snack before or after working out at the gym.
“HEALTHY” IMPOSTER #5: “DIET” FOODS
Contrary to popular belief, Cosmo reminds us that just because the label says “Diet”, it doesn’t mean healthy: “Unfortunately, “diet” or “low-fat” doesn’t mean low-calorie. Diet bars and low-fat foods like yogurts usually have more sugar, salt, and unhealthy fillers to make them taste okay. Even worse, we typically eat double the serving we should because we’re not satisfied or think that it’s okay to eat more because it’s ‘healthy.’” So simply killing it in a group fitness session doesn’t mean that we’ve earned two Cliff Bars worth of snacking. Instead go for substance and real protein found in things like eggs, white fish, salmon or tuna. Plus rewarding yourself with a solid, healthy meal after a workout is FAR more satisfying than choking down a PowerBar in the car on the way home!