Here is a curative list of 10 worst foods, that you must stay clear of:
1. BREAKFAST CEREAL
Most of the people start their day with a bowl of cereal with milk. But little do they know that these not so healthy and low-fat claiming cereals contain as much sugar as the Fruit Loops. This added sugar increases the number of empty calories and provides no nutritional benefit from vitamins or minerals. They have added synthetic ingredients to bulwark the cereal, despite of which they aren’t as healthy as whole foods.
2. LOW FAT OR SKIM MILK
Hate to break it to you but you should always choose whole milk over the low-fat options. It has more saturated and monounsaturated fats which make you feel full, improve your body composition and support metabolism. Also, the low-fat/ skim milks have less fat-soluble Vitamins like A, D, E, and K, than the whole milk. In fact, the skim milk is infused with powdered milk to improve its consistency, which can damage your arteries.
3. VEGETABLE OILS
The oils like corn, grape seed, etc. are injected with chemicals to improve their colour and odour, after they have been extracted from the seeds. This process mutates the vegetable oil into an unsaturated fat called PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acid) which doesn’t get digested by your body. Also, they have high amounts of Omega 6 to Omega 3, which inflate within the body and increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and obesity.
4. WHEAT/ WHOLE-GRAIN BREAD
Don’t rely on the labels, not all wheat breads contain pure, whole grains. In fact, many contain partially hydrogenated oils and other things to improve their shelf life. Search for nutrition facts and make sure that the first ingredient is either ‘whole grains’ or ‘whole wheat’ to be safe.
Egg whites do have protein, but they lack nutrients like choline (which helps with brain development and has a wide range of other health benefits), and other vitamins and minerals, that are found in the yolk. Egg yolks won’t hurt as part of your healthy and balanced diet. Your liver produces more cholesterol per day than you ingest and the cholesterol produces muscle-building testosterone, avoid the yolk and you will just shortchange yourself.
6. FRUIT JUICES
While fruit juices have a few vitamins, they also have too many calories and sugar. Even the ‘all-natural’ ones may contain high-fructose corn syrup and additives. For example, one glass of grape juice has about 170 calories, 42 grams of carbs and 40 grams of sugar, which is more calories and sugar than a can of Coke. Trust me; you can’t build lean muscle with this fructose and empty calories. Fresh fruits, when eaten, give you enough fiber to slow down the rate of fructose absorption into your system as it is released slowly. But there is no fiber in fruit juices, so all that fructose goes straight to your liver to be absorbed and get converted into fat, which contribute to weight gain.
7. SPORTS DRINKS
With their claims of being the ultimate thirst quenchers, there is a striking lack of evidence to support that. A glance at the nutrition facts also reveals a lot of sugar along with their electrolytes, and a lot of calories too.
8. FAT-FREE FOODS
When you strip the fat from foods you lose all of their natural flavour, and hidden sugars are added by companies to make them taste good. They are also often added with trans- fats and artificial sweeteners, to make them fat-free, which contribute to various health problems like arthritis, obesity and hormone imbalances, etc.
9. FAT-FREE/LOW FAT YOGURT
Yogurt’s got a lot of things going on, like vitamins, minerals, protein, etc. but if your yogurt tastes like your favourite cake flavour, something isn’t right and probably not that good for you. Many have as much sugar as a candy bar, starch, and others use artificial sweeteners, which may spike your insulin. Avoid the ones with fruit inside as the fruit is either soaked with sugar or from some concentrate. Instead, buy plain or Greek yogurt (the winner in this department) and add your own fruit.
10. DRIED FRUITS
If I could give them another name, it would be calorie-dense sugar bombs. Just because they come from nature doesn’t mean these sweet treats are healthy. You should ignore its yumminess and imagine dried fruit as a candy with fiber, which is infused with sugar to enhance its taste and is packed with chemicals like sulphur to improve its shelf life, which can be toxic even of consumed in small quantities and can affect people with asthma and allergies. Swap it for fresh fruits; choose organic ones to avoid pesticides.
Stick to healthier, wholesome meals to get closer to your goals. You can even go for a meal replacement option, if you don’t feel like eating regular meals at times.