What are not so healthy foods?
Most people are looking to eat right and make changes that can be easily be adopted. The Internet is full of eat this, not that articles backed up by professionals who argue that their diet or definition of “healthy” is correct. Paleo dieters swear by the benefits of eating more protein, while vegetarians argue that a meat-free diet leads to a healthier lifestyle. All this can be very confusing on what to do so we are hear to offer some basic information on foods that are not as healthy as they look.
Protein Bars – Before you grab that protein bar, keep in mind that many protein bars have a nutritional profile similar to a candy bar. While their packaging makes them look healthy with lofty claims about whole grain content, organic certifications, and high levels of pure protein, many protein bars are packed sugar. Some bars have an ingredient list of over 50 ingredients and upwards of 30 grams of sugar. Read the label and choose bars that have low sugar content and minimal ingredients for a more healthier option.
Instant Oatmeal – You may be trying your best to be healthy by grabbing a packet of cinnamon apple oatmeal rather than skipping breakfast or giving into the temptation of a coffee shop drive thu. While instant oatmeal may beat the alternatives, keep in mind that those packets of flavored oats aren’t doing you any favors either. Instant oatmeal is low in fiber and protein, which means you’ll be starving by mid morning. The flavored varieties have their fair share of added sugar. A better choice is to eat steel cut oatmeal or look for instant oatmeal where steel cut oats, whole oats, or whole groats are the first ingredient.
Flavored Yogurt – Yogurt is harmless, right….Not so fast. Because of yogurts naturally tart taste, companies throw in fruit, honey, sugar, and other flavor boosters to balance it out and make it more appealing. Turns out those delicious fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt cups are one of the worst routes you can go with some containing as much sugar as a candy bar. Bypass the brightly packaged fruit filled yogurts and reach for plain, unsweetened yogurt. For a good source of protein, healthy fat, and stomach pleasing probiotics, try out a plain Greek yogurt. If it’s too tart for your taste, stir in a sliced banana or a handful of blueberries.
All in all, read your labels and don’t be seduced by packaging or organic/whole grain claims. Look at your fiber (more is good), your protein, sugar, salt and especially the serving size. Little steps to help get you moving in the right direction.
The Organic Chef