Veggie chips, fat-free salad dressing and water with added vitamins and minerals- sounds healthy right? Well, they’re really not. These healthy-sounding foods may sound ideal to add to your healthy-eating plan, but actually, they’re just junk food in disguise and do more harm than good. Let’s have a look at 6 of these “healthy” foods and otherwise, cleaner options.
1. Flavoured Instant Oatmeal
Old-fashioned, regular oatmeal has 0-0.99g of sugar, at least 4g of fibre and 5g of protein per 100g serving. Flavoured instant oatmeal, on the other hand, can have as much as 13g of sugar per 50g serving and is packed with sodium and artificial flavourings.
Cleaner option: Cook your regular oats the night before, refrigerate and add fresh fruits, coconut, nuts or cinnamon for flavour.
2. Fat-free Salad Dressing
It may have less fat, but it’s high in sodium, carbohydrates, sugar and has zero vitamins. Not such good news for those on a weight-loss diet now is it? 1 tablespoon of fat-free salad dressing contains 12 calories.
Cleaner option: Whip up your own dressing. I usually make my own by blending together 1 avocado, various fresh herbs, 1 garlic clove, lime juice with some salt and black pepper.
3. Water with added Vitamins and Minerals
Crammed with artificial dyes, sugar and has no real fruit. These non-carbonated soft drinks contain 27-32g of sugar per serving (500ml) which amounts to 6-8 teaspoons of sugar.
Cleaner option: Stick to plain water. If you want some flavour, add fruit pieces like lemon slices, berries, watermelon, kiwi, peaches, etc.
Yes, they are low in fats and calories, but they are also low in protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. They are high in sodium, have no nutritional value and aren’t filling which often leads to over-eating.
Cleaner option: Go for snacks that are high in essential goods like nuts, fruits and veggies.
5. Veggie Chips
The sound of chips made from beetroot or butternut sounds extremely healthy, but they are filled with sodium, saturated and trans fats. Too much of these fats can raise your cholesterol and increase risks of heart disease. You might as well be eating regular potato chips.
Cleaner option: Bake your own from baby marrow, carrots or beetroot. Slice the vegetables into thin slices, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place onto a baking pan lined with baking paper. Bake for 10-20 minutes at 200 degrees celsius, watching them carefully, until crispy and slightly brown. Wait for them to cool for a few minutes before eating.
6. Sugary Yoghurt
Yoghurt is known to have good bacteria that benefit your gut and may boost your immune system, however, these sugary snacks have added sugar and artificial flavourings that make them more like junk food.
Cleaner option: Go for plain or Greek yoghurt instead. Stir in fresh fruit, nuts, some honey or healthy seeds like chia, flax or sunflower seeds. Greek yoghurt is a high-protein yoghurt, low calorie for a weight-loss diet and is filled with nutrients.
Don’t be fooled. Manufacturers trick you into thinking that you’re buying healthy food when you’re actually not. Don’t just read the front of the packaging, read both the ingredient list and the nutritional labels, and always opt for the cleaner option.
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