Many foods that you may consider to be healthy can sometimes be no better than their “unhealthy” alternative. Marketing a food in a certain way by emphasising it’s good bits can sometimes create a false image of a healthy food by keeping the harmful bits undercover.
Going beyond this portrayed image and really looking closely into the food’s nutritional value can surprise you. Here are 5 foods that you may have previously thought to be healthy but really aren’t that great:
1. Fruit Juice
Swapping out your glass of water or regular soft drinks for some fruit juice may initially seem like a great way to get some vitamins in your body and work up to that 5-a-day. However, there are several issues with fruit juice that may change your mind.
Juicing fruits breaks down the insoluble fibre in fruit but releases the sugar (mostly fructose in fruits). When eating fruits normally, fibre helps us to feel full and slow down the absorption of fructose but with fruit juice, the sugar is absorbed almost immediately. Fructose is also thought to making our brains think we are still hungry which can lead to overeating.
2. Low-Fat Peanut Butter
Regular peanut butter, widely considered as a healthy food deserves its reputation despite its’ high fat content due to the fact that these are all mono-saturated fats which are beneficial for the body. It can aid in reducing cholesterol and is helpful for cell health.
By choosing to swap this with low-fat peanut butter, you remove these beneficial fats from the food but are still left with the sugar.
3. Dried Fruit
Dried Fruit can be often seen as a healthy alternative to munching on potato chips or candy but it’s not as great as it sounds. Many companies use sulfites in order to maintain colour and add sweeteners to add flavour.
Although they can be a good nutritious food regardless, it is very easy to overeat simply due to the reduced size of the fruits and the portion sizes.
4. Sports Drinks
Even if you’re busting your ass in a heavy workout or sports game, there is no excuse to be drinking sports drinks at any point although they may seem like a good way to refuel your body.
Along with the harmful artificial colours, there is a high amount of sugar in sports drinks and the electrolytes that they provide can be easily regained by eating a banana or drinking some coconut water.
5. Vegetable Crisps
Swapping potato chips for Veg chips sounds like a good idea right? Although the concept itself would be healthy, the way that vegetable chips are cooked leads to them being high in fats and sugars.
The thin cuts of vegetables are hardly enough to provide a good amount of nutritional value to your diet that you’d expect from a green snack.
I hope this article has given you some insight into some foods that may not be as healthy as you think. There are an abundance of myths and claims when it comes to healthy foods but at the end of the day, your overall diet is far more important than one or two unhealthy foods that you may be eating. Even so, every little helps and being aware of the nutritional value of these foods may make a difference.