The healthy food market has really exploded over the last decade with increasingly sophisticated and efficient substitutes. But have you ever wondered if all those foods we think are healthy are actually healthy? It’s time to lift the veil on some legendary healthy foods and find out what’s behind them.
Beware of “healthy” foods
Over the last decade, granola and granola bars have gradually become more popular as a healthy and balanced breakfast. But is this really the case? Although there are brands that focus on the truly healthy composition of their granolas, they are often full of sugars and other unhealthy additives. So pay attention to the label and the content of particular sugars. Make sure it is not too big and is limited to a few grams per serving. Note that usually, the daily value of sugar for a person who consumes around 2000 calories per day is 50 grams. So, consider limiting your consumption as much as possible, by identifying hidden sugars in foods considered “healthy”. Alternatively, consider making your own homemade granola, using oatmeal, nuts and assorted dried fruits.
Make your own homemade granola!
Yogurt is certainly a healthy food choice, except when it is flavored and sweetened. Yogurts with different flavors, from red fruits to chocolate, sometimes contain a surprising amount of sugar. For example, a pot of Danone strawberry yogurt (150 g) contains 15 grams of added sugars. And it’s even worse for yogurts that contain candy, chocolate chips or other additives. The solution, then? Instead of choosing a flavored yogurt, opt for a natural yogurt, which is garnished with fruit for a healthy and natural sweetness.
Prefer natural yogurts!
Protein bars and shakes
Many people believe that the higher the protein content of a product, the healthier it is. In fact, however, this is only true for foods naturally rich in protein, such as meat, fish, eggs and beans for example. On the other hand, protein bars and shakes aren’t as healthy as you think. What’s more, supplemental protein intake is usually only beneficial to physically active people, such as those following a vegetarian or vegan diet. And if this is also your case, focus instead on consuming natural protein products, as long as protein bars are usually very rich in artificial sweeteners and colors, as well as oils and thickeners.
Protein Bars That Aren’t Finally So Healthy
Similar to the “protein” label, many of us consider that the “gluten-free” label equals a healthy and balanced product. Except that’s almost never the case. It is not uncommon for labels on gluten-free cakes and snacks to contain even more calories and sugar than their gluten-free alternatives. There you need to check if you are indeed gluten intolerant or if you would just like to lose a few pounds. Because in this second case, you will not necessarily succeed by limiting your gluten consumption. In addition, there is a Canadian study from 2018 that showed that products marked gluten-free contain fewer vitamins, fiber, proteins and minerals. This, despite their generally higher price.
Gluten-free cakes, but often more caloric
Low fat products
The fact that a product is low in fat does not mean that it is healthy either. When you remove the fat from dairy products, this usually results in a loss of flavor which must be compensated for. Manufacturers of this type of product add sugars in order to restore the original flavor. What’s more, fats have the advantage of providing a feeling of satiety and this makes whole foods more nutritious. Let’s not forget that dietary fats are one of the three macronutrients essential to our diet and our health, so we should not avoid them completely.
Products low in fat, but high in sugar
Diet soda, zero coke, these kinds of products have overwhelmed the soft drink market to present a healthier alternative or have they? Although the idea seems to be quite noble, the effect is the opposite. Numerous studies show the development and worsening of certain diseases and conditions through excessive consumption of zero-sugar sodas. Among them, there is notably metabolic syndrome which is characterized by an increase in belly fat, as well as in blood sugar levels and blood pressure. Research further suggests that these kinds of drinks lead to increased desire for sugary and unhealthy foods.
Coca cola zero – there are worse things than sugar!
The dried fruit
Although we stock up on vitamins, minerals or fiber by consuming dried fruits, we still stock up on sugars in high concentrations in dehydrated foods. For example, a cup of plums contains approximately 400 calories and 45 grams of sugar, compared to a cup of fresh plums which contains 76 calories and 16 grams of sugar. In addition, when we consume dehydrated fruits, we deprive ourselves of their water content which is also satiating.
Dried fruits with a high sugar concentration