Thanks to food industries‘ multi-billion advertising campaigns many of us have been fooled to eat food products that carry the “healthy” label. Unfortunately, some of these products are only healthy on the label, but in fact, they could be contributing to making us fat. Today, I would like to discuss some of these products and show you that what is believed or advertised as “healthy” is not always true.
If you’ve noticed that despite of your healthy diet you’re still gaining weight, you could be lured by those “healthy” labels and low fat products.
Before we start, I would like to point out one very common “crime” most of us commit. Whenever the label of a product states that it is “Fat free” or “Reduced fat”, most of us tend to eat 50% more of that product just because it seems healthy, and should logically have less calories. Well my friends, this is a dramatic misunderstanding and lack of knowledge. In fact, the amount of fat in a product doesn’t necessarily mean that the product has less calories. Food industries tend to compensate the fat in “Fat free” or “Reduced fat” products by adding sugar and other food enhancers that have the same amount of calories as the fat does. So, as a result, your “Reduced fat” yogurt or chips may have exactly the same amount of calories as the ones with a regular fat content. In order to avoid this mistake, always read the calorie content of the product and check the sugar and carbohydrate amount stated on the label instead.
As you’re more informed now, I would like to show you which products you should better avoid or eat in smaller amounts even though they carry the “healthy” or “organic” label.
#1: Muesli/Cruesli/Cereal – Muesli bars or muesli for breakfast have been always considered one of the healthiest things to eat. People tend to believe that if those goods are healthy, they can have more of them. A regular 40 gram portion of muesli has about 200 calories, plus you’re probably eating it with milk – so add another 50 to 60 calories to it. As a result, one portion of muesli has around 250 calories, and from my own experience I can tell that 40 grams is a rather decent portion. People tend to eat 70 – 90 grams of muesli with milk, which adds up to 500 calories per portion only for muesli.
#2: Yougurts – With fruit flavors, cereals, jam – there are hundreds of yogurt variations that claim to be super healthy. In fact, most of these yogurts have a huge amount of added sugar to them in order to make them taste better. A regular cup of fruit yogurt with cereal has the same amount of calories as a crispy doughnut. It’s all about our perception of those things – doughnuts are seen as unhealthy and fattening and yogurt must be good for you. Try to avoid sweet yogurts even if they have attractive fruit pieces in them. Buying a cup of plain Greek yogurt and adding freshly chopped fruit to it will be way healthier for you than eating the processed factory yogurt with God knows how many taste enhancers and sugar in it.
#3: Juices – I know that for some of you this is a reality check, but juices are not as diet friendly as they seem. One 150ml bottle of multivitamin juice bought in the “healthy” section of the supermarket has the same amount of calories as a serving of chocolate cream cake. Again, always look at the calorie amount and not at the attractive package that says “organic”, “fresh” or “healthy”. Juices have a lot of sugar in them – both fresh juices and factory juices. It will take you about 12 apples to make a 150ml bottle of apple juice, so by drinking it – you’re drinking the sugar content of 12 apples – Think about it! Instead of drinking the juice, I would suggest eating the fruit alone. The same applies to “beverages”. Supermarkets offer a wide range of fruit beverages, and they are called so, because they only contain a tiny-tiny amount of fresh juice in them – the rest is sugar, sugar and more sugar.
#4: Supermarket salads – These are my favorite topic of discussion, because people have no idea how fattening these salads can be. A regular supermarket “salad to go” can have the same amount of calories as a Big Mac from McDonald’s. Why is it so? Because of the sauces that go with it and because of the preparation method of that meat that goes with it. If you’re having a chicken Caesar salad, it will probably be accompanied by a Caesar dressing and fried pieces of chicken that have been stabilized with chemicals to make them taste good. The truth is, all together your salad will have about 500-550 calories, which is quite a lot for a salad. Be careful with “salads to go”, and the best way to avoid the redundant amount of calories is by NOT adding the sauce that goes with it.
I hope this has been a wake-up call for some of you. Always read the labels carefully instead of getting fooled by the catchy label! And don’t forget about exercise! If you know some more of such products, please feel free to share!