People all over the world can spend years trying to perfect their diet. Sometimes too much, sometimes not enough, and even when we realize that we’re eating just the right amount of the right foods, someone comes along and tells us there is a new superfood we simply have to try.
But sometimes, it is the typical, day to day food that sits in your cupboard and fridge that isn’t actually that great for you. So you can be better prepared for your next grocery shop, here are the five foods you probably didn’t realize were bad for you, and the five foods you will be overjoyed you can indulge in.
You should probably be avoiding:
1. Sports drinks.
Unless you are a professional athlete, sports drinks are not for you. They have been purposefully designed to enrich someone very quickly with a high amount of energy which means that all sports drinks are full of sugar in a wide variety of forms, as well as sodium, which just makes you more thirsty. The last thing that you want to do is finish a work out by packing your body with the same number of calories that you just burned off, so avoid the sports drinks, and gulp down on water.
2. Breakfast cereals.
The more a food is processed, the more harmful and strange toxins can be added to it, and you will struggle to find any food type more processed than breakfast cereals. Through these chemical changes, most of the nutrients that people purchase breakfast cereals for are destroyed anyway. Even the ones that say are fortified with vitamins are not great: the vitamins are synthetically created, and at such a low number that you may as well not bother.
3. Anything low-fat.
This may sound crazy, but hear us out. Food that is naturally low fat is brilliant, and you should never avoid them. But when you read a label that proclaims a food that is normally very fatty to be low-fat or fat free, do not be fooled. They may be low in fat, but that just means that the manufacturers have poured in a whole lot more sugar. The same goes for sugar-free items in reverse. Our bodies need a level of good saturated fats anyway, and without them your body will find it hard to run.
4. Whole wheat.
Another super ‘health food’ has been debunked. Many people have been munching down on whole wheat products for years because they have been told that it is so much better for you. The truth, however, is sadly different. Whole wheat fiber has a negative effect on our bodies’ capacity to retain vitamin D, an essential component of bone health. A study has shown that eating whole wheat frequently can also raise your cholesterol by up to 60%. Time to re-think.
5. Fruit juice.
Many parents of young toddlers have realized that fruit juices contain an incredible amount of sugar, but the exact amount is only now being studied. Fruit juices that you purchase from a shop will generally only be 20% actual fruit juice; the other 80% will be water, coloring’s, additives, and preservatives. All in all, not a great choice.
But feel free to gorge yourself on:
The ultimate snack, popcorn is a food that you can eat continuously for hours and hours without even realizing that you are. It is often seen as a trap at cinemas and movie theaters, and the go to food for people when they are feeling low. But what if popcorn wasn’t actually bad for you what if it had health benefits? If you are a popcorn lover, then you are in luck. Popcorn contain antioxidants. Yes, you read that right. So the next time you decide to go on a detox, make sure you stock up on popcorn.
Hands up who has avoided avocado up to now because they were told that the fruit was ridiculously fattening? So that’s all of then. But new research has demonstrated that what we all ‘knew’ about avocados may actually be completely wrong. It is now thought that although avocados do contain a high amount of fat, they are mono-saturated fats, the perfect fats for our bodies to digest and actually use, rather than store.
Who would have thought that the little red bottle of sauce could do you so much good! But it turns out that ketchup contains amazingly high quantities of a little known substance called lycopene, which does not appear in many other foods. Lycopene lowers the risk of heart disease, which means that your bacon sandwich is better in many ways with ketchup.
It’s hard to find someone that doesn’t love cheese, but avoids it because they think that it is too fatty. Admittedly, some soft cheeses are full of the nasty stuff, but there are some kinds of cheese that have an incredibly high protein content, whilst being low on calories. Cottage cheese has 30 calories in a one ounce serving, and 3 grams of protein, whilst mozzarella string cheese has 71 calories but 7 grams of protein better than some meats.
Another so-called “fatty” treat, but actually a possible life-saver. Loma Linda School of Public health claim that the risk of heart-attack is 50% lower when nuts like almonds are consumed five times per week. Not to mention they actually help weight loss and don’t cause it as commonly believe. People who ate nuts at least twice a week were 31% less likely to become overweight.
A couple of glasses a week is actually considered healthy because of the antioxidants found in wine. While that doesn’t mean drinking a bottle a night is the way to go, a bottle a week may just be what the doctor ordered. Wine drinkers enjoy lower risk of heart attack, stroke and even some types of cancer!
And to top it all off, congratulate yourself with a beer. It may sound crazy, but beer, the drink usually associated with large overweight men actually has some tangible health benefits. Studies have proven that people that drink one pint a day (not seven pints in one evening) can lower your chances of getting heart disease, a stroke, or an arrhythmia by about 30%. I think we can all drink to that!