When it comes to getting fit and healthy, what you eat is a big part of it. You need to make sure you are fueling your body with healthy foods that provide the body with all your key nutrient needs. When you eat healthy, whole foods, you feel great, have endless energy and you really do glow. My F.I.T. programs are based on this way of eating. When it comes to healthy eating the biggest mistake I see women do, is eat common foods they think are “healthy” when in fact they aren’t at all. Here are some of the most common “healthy” foods that could actually be damaging your waistline.
1. Nut Butters
Nuts are a great addition to any diet. They provide the body with good fats that are beneficial for both brain and heart health. Not to mention they taste really good. However, don’t assume that because nuts are a healthy snack, that this applies to your stock standard jar of nut butter. Most of these processed jars contain added vegetable oils, sugar, and salt, turning your healthy nuts into a not so healthy food. If you are eating nut butter, go for the organic, all natural kind you can find at most health food stores. Remember, a nut butter shouldn’t contain anything but the ground up nuts.
2. Sports drinks
Sports drinks are great for providing the body with electrolytes and energy when you are doing high endurance sports. The problem is people drink these like water on a standard day, just adding a lot of empty calories and added sugar to their diet. Unless you are about to run a marathon, you really don’t need to drink these. To keep the body hydrated, you are best to stick to good old fashioned H2O.
3. Low carb, high protein bars
You only need to read the ingredient list on these bars to realise that these packaged protein bars are not good for you. Yes, they may give you a good amount of protein to help with recovery, but most of the ingredient list is unrecognisable and should not be consumed. My rule is that if I don’t recognise the ingredient list, I shouldn’t be putting it in my body. If you need protein you are best to get it from whole food sources like eggs, lean meat, fish, legumes, nuts and seeds.
4. Gluten-free foods
Food marketers have picked up on the current health trend of gluten-free food. The problem is that people are now consuming these processed “gluten-free” foods assuming they are good for you. When, in fact, most of them are just as unhealthy as the gluten-filled counterparts. These pre-packaged gluten-free foods contain all sorts of processed ingredients and additives, including a lot of sugar. To eat gluten-free, eat natural whole foods.
5. “Healthy” breakfast cereal
Breakfast cereal has to be one of the most heavily marketed food groups out there. They all talk about being “fat-free”, filled with fiber, and high in antioxidants. Please don’t be fooled, by the marketing claims on these breakfast cereal packets. Most of them are highly processed and all have added sugars and chemicals that make them far from healthy. Most of them are simple carbs too which make you super hungry about an hour after eating them.
6. “Low-fat” or “Diet” packaged foods
Just because something is labelled as “low-fat” or “diet”, doesn’t mean it is healthy. So many of these food products contain sugar, processed carbs or other fillers to make them taste good. Whilst they might be lower in fat or calories, they are also very low on nutrients. Common culprits for these types of foods are your “low fat” breakfast cereals, yogurts, ice creams, pre-made smoothies and even your low-fat pre-made meals.
7. Vegan “healthy” processed foods
Veganism is very common these days, as more and more people experience amazing health benefits a vegan diet can give to the body. This has also seen the rise of vegan processed foods hit the supermarket shelves. A vegan diet can be healthy, if you are eating clean whole foods, and eat enough plant based protein. However, most packaged “healthy” meat substitutes contain processed soy and artificial ingredients, making them super unhealthy.
Don’t be fooled by the marketing on packets and TV ads. Remember just because something says it’s healthy doesn’t mean that it is. Learn to read ingredient labels and understand what is in your food and what you are eating.