There are a lot of products and foods being sold nowadays that come with the claim that they are ‘healthy’. It might even say all over the packaging. However, just because it says it is healthy, does not mean it is the best for you and your goals.
Marketing companies and manufacturers have been working for years and years to find the ways of making us buy their foods by playing to our weaknesses. However, I have here a list of foods and products that might just not be the healthy food choice that they claim to be.
1. Cereal Bars
Cereal bar brands try their absolute best to make you believe that their cereal bars are a healthy snacking option. Unfortunately they are heavily reliant on carbohydrates as a nutrient source, which can cause problems in a diet all too often already top heavy on simple sugars
For example, a typical Kelloggs Nutri-grain bar contains 12g of sugar.
Consider snacking more on nuts, seeds, and vegetable sources.
2. Fruit Smoothies
This may not go down too well with some of you – but fruit smoothies just aren’t that healthy. Especially if you are trying to lose weight. The issue I have with fruit smoothies, especially those from coffee shops, or delis, is the huge serving sizes. Some chains serve smoothies that can contain up to 500 CALORIES!
And while it’s not all about cutting calories you still cannot lose weight if you are consuming far too many.
Did you know that a medium Mango & Passionfruit Cooler from Costa Coffee contains 60.1 grams of sugar. HOLY CRAP!
3. Fat Free Yoghurts
Low fat varieties of yoghurt are not good, especially if weight loss is your goal. Low-fat yoghurts would be very tasteless without the manufacturers pumping loads of SUGAR in to them. So, it is essential that you see through the bullshit that marketing companies use and realise that these are not necessarily healthy.
One Muller light cherry flavoured yoghurt contains 12.4g of sugar in the form of fructose. It also contains artificial sweeteners like aspartame which is found in the likes of diet soft drinks like Diet Coke. Consider an alternative like full fat Greek yoghurt (my favourite brand is Fage Total).
Granola is one of the most common ones I see people saying is a really healthy breakfast option. Unfortunately, most pre-packaged granola, even a teeny tiny portion size, will give you a huge shot of sugar and sometimes trans fats. Although this doesn’t go for all granola varieties, it does apply to most. Granola also has the “vicious cereal cycle” addictive thing going on, where one bowl just isn’t enough to satisfy. As a result, you will see yourself maybe having more than one serving per day and thus finding yourself eating too much of the wrong stuff.
5. Weight Loss club Branded Stuff
Anything that comes in a ready to eat package, is usually full of garbage. They are jam-packed with preservatives, added sugar and salt, trans fats and other ‘secret’ingredients as part of your weight loss journey. It is imperative for you guys to learn kitchen and preparation skills that mean you never have to resort to that kind of ready meal again.
6. Whole Grain / Whole Wheat Bread
Similar to granola, people of ten think that just because this bread is labelled as wholegrain, or whole wheat they think it is healthy. Unfortunately, this is not the truth. Up to 70% of the flour used in these types of breads are actually refined flours. However, just because a small percentage of the flour is whole grain – companies can brand the whole loaf as being such. The protein gluten in most breads can make most of us feel bloated and tired – so it’s probably a good idea to look for alternatives, and consider reducing the quantity of bread you eat.
7. Margarine / Reduced Fat Butter Alternatives
Margarine is NOT FOOD. In fact, margarine is plastic. It’s like eating a foreign body. Our bodies do not recognise it , and thus don’t know what to do with it. The same goes for reduced fat butter alternatives. All being marketed to you as being the HEALTHIER option to butter. RUBBISH. Unfortunately, companies hydrogenate the fats in these oils to make their shelf life longer. Hydrogenated fats or trans fats can actually increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Stop buying this crap and get some REAL BUTTER in your life. Kerrygold is my favourite because it’s softer and easier to spread. It also comes from grass fed cows.
8. Dried fruit
Don’t be fooled by these lovely little packages of dried fruit that are widely available in most supermarkets. You’ll be hard pushed to find any that are not soaked in sugar syrups or have added sugars and sweeteners. It contains a lot of sugar and chemicals to improve shelf life and packs in more calories per mouthful than a piece of whole, fresh fruit. Stick to fresh fruit, or look for varieties that do not have added sugar and preservatives.
9. Fat-Free ANYTHING
If you see fat-free on a label – think “chemical shit storm”. When the fat is removed from a food – so is the flavour. So manufacturers must replace the flavour with something else – usually sugar or artificial flavours. Always go for the full fat version of products like Greek yoghurts, mayonnaise (providing it is fresh mayo without additives), dressings.
Hopefully this list of unhealthy health foods has provided you with some insight into the bullshit marketing that we are surrounded by as a nation. We have to start taking responsibility for the food that we eat.