You may not be aware yet, but some of the ‘healthy’ foods that you have been eating may not be as healthy as you thought. Food labels such as organic, low-fat, zero sugar, and all natural have taken over the food industry because they are intended to cater to the fitness madness that has taken over the world. These terms are marketing expressions created to seduce you into buying what you think you need for your health. However, in reality, these foods are not the signal of health and wellness that they are touted to be, regardless of what their labels say.
Most of the foods that are labeled as ‘healthy’ contain excessive amounts of chemicals such as sodium, sugar and a range of harmful preservatives and additives all of which are debilitating to your health. Although it can be hard to determine what is real and what is just marketing jargon, avoiding these foods can make a huge difference in a person’s weight loss journey. If you are unsure about what to eat, just look for REAL food; the type that is grown naturally. Here are some well marketed ‘healthy’ foods that you should actually avoid:
Granola has a reputation for being a health food, but it actually isn’t. Most of the granola bars available in the grocery store today are made with large quantities of white sugar, veggie oil and butter. So depending on your brand of choice, you may be consuming more calories than you expect.
Low-fat salad dressing
Low-fat foods were once thought to be the healthiest but as it turns out; they may actually be the unhealthiest of the batch. Low-fat salad dressing tastes nice because it is filled with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and preservatives to make it last longer. In any case, avoid anything that is labeled fat-free because 1. removing fat from food makes it taste terrible 2. Fats are a vital part of the human diet.
A diet soda and a regular soda are basically the same. As a matter of fact, diet soda might be worse for you compared to regular soda. Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners, which are much sweeter than regular sweeteners, which when burnt are converted into stored fat.
Contrary to popular belief, instant oatmeal does nothing for your diet. The flavored variety is particularly bad for you because it contains too much sugar. Try and stick with stick cut oats for the best nutritional value.
Dried fruit might seem like the ideal snack at first, however, dried fruit is coated with oil and sulphites so that the freshness can last. Some dried fruit even has extra sugar to make it sweeter and more appealing.
Sadly, most protein and energy bars are just chocolate bars disguised as healthy snacks. Although some bars are lower in calories than others, it is important to do your research to be informed about your favorite brand.
Sports drinks and vitamin waters
Sports drinks are the worst things to include in your diet if you are trying to live a healthier lifestyle. Sports drinks contain a list of unhealthy ingredients including artificial colors, flavorings and preservatives, veggie oils, high fructose syrup and crazy amounts of sugar. These artificial drinks are supposed to provide extra hydration and balance out the electrolytes. But if you are sitting at home or in the office all day, why would you need them? If you do indeed need your electrolytes balanced, healthy alternatives such as bananas and coconut water are available and they are much healthier for you.
Soup that is made at home naturally is great if you are trying to cut down on your calorie intake. However, the grocery store type is usually filled with sodium and sugar, not to mention the preservatives that go in to make sure that it stays fresh. As such, it may be responsible for your high sodium intake.
What do you think ? Do you agree with this list ? Lets get talking….
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Why Organic Food Is Going Mainstream
One of the latest phenomena blossoming in the food industry is the changing consumer preference and the odds seemingly favoring those who love safe and chemical-free foods. The ballooning consumer demand is impressive granted that the bright star in the grocery business is a win-win for both the consumers and the growers. But, of particular importance is the reason people are going for these organic foods instead of the traditional ones.
Organic foods are nutritious with no chemical substances
Fueling the organic habit is the need for a better food alternative that puts nutrition and better health first. From plants to organic meats, all of them are perfect for those who would love to stay healthy and far from the many lifestyle based ills. Plants like beans, lentils, grains, nuts and seeds offer wide-ranging perks that keep us healthier while organic meat, fish, and other animal-based organic foods are also sustainable.
Food production is largely an industrialized process that also employs a heavy use of chemicals for aroma and as preservatives. But with consumer awareness becoming an order of the day nowadays and animal welfare calls becoming more vocal via the mainstream media, use of chemicals in food production is dwindling. In fact, antibiotic-free meats, milk, and eggs as a result of better animal husbandry practices are not a new thing anymore.
Better for the environment
Much like animal welfare, environmental awareness issues surrounding food production isn’t a new idea today, although organic food growers are trying to make their efforts enough for their environment. The move is bolstered by the fact that sustainable methods of growing these foods and keeping animals also impact the environment positively. And, given that there’s no use of chemicals, it is indeed true.
Who buys organic foods?
Getting these foods is becoming even easier, and prices are becoming more reasonable, and much of it is due to the large stores and foods grocers having them, including Wal-Mart and Wild Oats organic foods. And since the number of consumers in on a gradually rising trend, it isn’t hard to tell for sure who leads the line.
Millennial parents are the most tech-savvy and indeed health-savvy given that they occupy a massive 50% and even more of those who buy the organic foods. Generation X parents and baby boomers are other organic food enthusiasts, although it is the increasing number of organic food stores that serve as a perfect testament to the growing movement.
And what is fueling the habit?
Besides each of the above reasons, other reasons to try organic foods include:
- The rise of the many groups that connect over the web with intentions of emancipating the masses.
- Mainstreaming of veganism, without a doubt, gives rise to the organic food movement too.
- Fast food stores are starting to include organic food menus.
Do you buy organic foods ? Why do you do so ? Lets get talking.
Beginner tips for transitioning into a vegan diet
There are many types of diets out there, however, plant-based diets are becoming increasingly popular in the UK. Their rise in popularity has been caused by a surge of awareness regarding what people are putting into their bodies and how their choices impact the environment and other living things. While a plant-based diet is not the best approach for everyone, nor should it be, it does have significant benefits for those that take it seriously.
So what exactly is a plant-based diet?
A plant-based diet is a diet that is a made up of plant-based foods such as vegetables, leafy greens, seeds, legumes, nuts and whole grains. Plant-based diets call for the elimination of processed foods, deep fried foods, and meals containing large sugar content because they tend to be low in nutritional value.
Some plant-based diets do allow the use of cultured dairy products such as organic eggs and wild fish while others do not. Because a plant-based diet contains all the necessary macronutrients in their raw form, this type of diet is considered much healthier by many. The benefits of the plant-based diet include increased energy levels, a healthier heart, as well as saving money on food.
Transitioning into a plant-based diet
Transitioning into a plant-based diet can be hard, particularly if you do not know what to do or what to expect. The process can be daunting and it can leave you overwhelmed at times owing to the whirlwind of information and questions that you may have. If you do not know where to start, here are tips that can make the process of transitioning easier for you:
Carry out your research
Most people tend to forget to carry out their research whenever starting anything new, which is quite unfortunate. The research will allow you to make your own decision as to what rules fit your lifestyle or your goals. For instance, some plant-based experts claim that you should not eat honey while others do. Educating yourself can help you assess the risks and benefits of eating some meals so that you can pick foods that are right for you.
Start off with a pace that works for your needs
Some people make the decision to transition right away, which means that they will never consume a morsel of meat again, while others choose to do it slowly. It is important to be realistic about your long-term goals to avoid disappointments later on in the transition. It might take a long time, but transitioning gradually will not only allow you to learn as the process continues, but it will also prevent you from having to deal with too many cravings. Unless your need for change has been signaled by a health crisis, it is better to start off slowly.
Plan and prepare your meals
If you are busy, you might not have time for prepping your meals during the week. The lack of time can cause you to slip back into old habits so meal prep is key. The best time to prepare your meals is Sunday or during those moments when you are free. When meal prepping, you should go through your list of meals for breakfast, lunch, and supper to pick which meals you will eat during the week. It might take some time before you can get a working rhythm and pattern, but when you do, it can save you time and the headache of having to decide which meal to eat on the spot.
Change can feel very lonely especially when it causes you to stand out from the crowd. Having the support of others that are going through the process can go a long way in enriching your experience and can make your transition into your new healthier lifestyle less stressful. Try and enlist the support of your family and friends if you can. If you can’t, then there are community forums online and support networks that can help you out and keep you motivated.
Have you yet transitioned into a vegan diet ? How difficult was it ? Tell me.
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