Today the word ‘healthy’ is thrown at us from everywhere we look.
They are all supposedly ‘healthy’.
But the worst one is food...
We see ‘healthy’ foods everywhere we go.
Yet are they actually any good for us? Or even worse, are they bad for us?
There are easily confused health foods, which the advertisers tell us are great.
They’ll help us lose weight, stay full, taste amazing which is obviously ‘healthy’.
They sound too good to be true… because they are.
The world is getting fatter and sicker all the time, a huge part of it down to how easy it is to eat unhealthy food.
Who wouldn’t rather have biscuits for breakfast? But they aren’t going to be doing you as much good as having porridge.
We all get tempted in with these foods which, if we looked at properly, are obviously not going to be that great for us.
But we are told and convinced that they are ‘healthy’, so why should we think otherwise?
Luckily I am going to show you 3 easily confused health foods, in which ‘healthy’ is actually bad.
Fruit juices sound healthy straight away because they are made of fruit.
Yet what you may not realise is that they are full of sugar and don’t actually contain a lot of the good stuff that we get from fruit.
Since they are made from just from the juice of the fruit, they don’t contain any of the fibre which helps fill us up.
So you could easily drink five apples worth of apple juice, but it won’t fill you up.
You are just drinking a whole load of sugar, without the fibre and nutrients of a real apple.
The NHS recommends limiting your intake of fruit juice to 150ml per day, due to the amount of sugar contained in them.
Store-bought smoothies can be just as bad too.
They sweeten them up with extra sugar and again get rid of the fibre we should get from fruit.
So why not try making your own smoothie, filled with plenty of vegetables and just a small amount of fruit for some flavour.
Get rid of the sugar and keep the good stuff (fibre), so it will fill you up and not have a negative effect on your health.
Looking for a quick snack which we think should be good for us since they are usually made of oats and are advertised as ‘all-natural’.
Well guess what, cereal bars aren’t all that great.
They often boast they have high levels of protein and fibre yet usually contain as many calories as your favourite chocolate treats.
These bars are quick and easy to eat and therefore even easier to overeat.
If you keep a box of them in your drawer at work, I bet it doesn’t take long for you to chomp your way through all of them (maybe even in one day).
There are much smarter ways to snack than eating sugar loaded cereal bars.
A piece of fruit would be just as sweet or why not try cutting up some veggies to nibble on.
How can I knock porridge?
We all know that oats are a great way to start the day.
But if you’re buying the pre-packaged flavoured oats that are ready in 2-minutes, you need to think again.
These are usually highly processed and can contain more than 14 times as much sugar as regular plain oats.
So instead of buying 2 minute microwave oats, choose to buy plain oats which are much healthier (and will help us stay fuller for longer).
And you still don’t have to spend longer than 2 minutes preparing them either.
Just soak them in milk and add some fruit or seeds for flavour and cinnamon to top it off.
Just as tasty and include more nutrients but without the added sugar.
Is it all about sugar?
I realise that everything I’ve said seems to be targeting sugar as some kind of evil food which we should never eat again.
Well this isn’t true. Sugar is OK in small amounts.
But a lot of foods seem to be containing more and more sugar and it is having a negative effect on our health.
Fat-free products usually contain a lot more sugar than their full-fat counterparts.
When we want to treat ourselves, a sugary snack is usually what we turn to.
And that is fine! We all need to enjoy ourselves.
But having your regular, day-day diet filled with sugar is not going to do us, or our waistlines, any good.
So start making simple swaps – like the ones shown above – to start making a positive change to your health.
Start reading labels and seeing how much sugar these ‘healthy’ products actually contain.
It may take some getting used to but you can make simple changes in your diet to improve your food choices, lose some weight and make a positive change to your health.