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6 Unhealthy “Healthy” Foods to Avoid in Your Healthy New Year

6 Unhealthy “Healthy” Foods to Avoid in Your Healthy New Year

The beginning of the new year is the time most of us take resolutions to improve our health, avoid harmful food, start working out and so on, with dietary changes being by far the most popular symbolic change for the better. However, many foods that are commonly believed to be wholesome are, in fact, nothing of the kind. Here are five foods that pretend to be healthy but should be avoided.

1. Banana and Plantain Chips

We all know that fried potato chips, overflowing with fat and salt, are not exactly the healthiest food around. Those who cannot resist the temptation of their alluring crunchiness often resort to their more wholesome-looking banana or plantain analogues, believing that they make a big step towards healthy eating. Unfortunately, fried chips remain fried chips, irrespectively of what they are made of: they are still high on fat, sugar and salt content.

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2. Juices

People often believe that fruit juices they buy in supermarkets are a cheap and easy source of vitamins and nutrients, especially during cold winter months. In reality, they are worse than useless – for the simple reason that pre-packed liquids going under the name of juices have very little in common with the fruits they are supposed to be derived from. They don’t do you any good and may serve as one of the main reasons of weight gain, as their main ingredient is sugar. If you want to improve your health, you have to invest into a juicer and make your own juice from real fresh fruit.

3. Foods with “Fat-free” Label

“Fat-free” label is just yet another means of influencing healthy-conscious but not very savvy byers. “Fat-free” doesn’t mean calorie-free – what it means is that a food in question is often heavily processed and full of sugar (often in the form of notorious high fructose corn syrup) to compensate for the lack of taste caused by the elimination of fat content.

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4. Gluten-free Pastas and Snacks

Again, the gluten scare tactic is often used by food manufacturers to attract those who want to eat healthier food but don’t want to learn anything about what they are eating. In reality, unless you have a medical reason for avoiding gluten, you would do better to stick to normal pasta or, better yet, not eating pasta and snacks at all. Gluten-free products often contain less nutrient-dense flours and fat instead of gluten, which means that you pay more for less nutritious yet fattier food.

5. Granola

What can be more innocuous than this mix of rolled oats, nuts, and dried fruit? A lot of things, as it turns out. It is alright if you prepare it yourself; but pre-packaged granola suffers from the same ailments as most processed foods: it often contains high amount of sugar to improve its taste, and a single bowl of this stuff may contain up to 500 calories – even without milk.

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6. Dried Fruit

Another staple of all health-conscious foodies that turns out to be not all that beneficial under close scrutiny is dried fruit. Compared to fresh fruit they are made of, dried fruit such as apricots or plums contain a lot more sugar, tend to stick to the surfaces of teeth, get into spaces between them, and eventually may cause damage of tooth enamel and cavities. The general opinion among doctors is that you are much better off eating fresh fruit instead.

The best rule for those willing to improve their diet in the new year would be this: avoid pre-packaged and processed foods whenever possible, read nutrient labels carefully and pay attention to your health – every day!

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Hope this list was useful for you. Good luck with your healthy diet!

Featured photo credit: Suco de frutas – Fruit juices/Roberto Guglielmo via flickr.com

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Melissa Burns

Entrepreneur

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Last Updated on December 13, 2018

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

12 Practical Tips To Stay Fit For Christmas

Christmas is approaching fast, and lots of people not only tend to ruin their usual diets, but they also gain a few extra pounds. Based on studies, the majority of people tend to gain additional weight during the holiday season that starts at the Thanksgiving Day and ends with the New Year celebrations. Excessive eating is claimed to be the main cause for the additional weight gain, but it is also due to lack of physical activity and exercise.

A lot of individuals out there tend to set aside their fitness routines during the holidays since they believe that they do not have enough time to perform their workouts. And because they feel guilty after the holiday season, most of the gyms and fitness centers are packed with fresh members. Always bear in mind that you can still enjoy the holidays and stay fit at the same time. If you want to stay fit during the holiday season, especially during Christmas and the New Year’s Eve, here are some useful tips that might help you:

1. Eat Before Heading Out

First, it is best that you eat something before heading out to visits, trips or family dinners. By doing so, you will no longer be tempted to eat a lot or overindulge yourself since you have already eaten. Skipping on meals is not a good idea either, because you will only be forced to eat more later.

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2. Select The Treats

Make sure to select the treats that you eat in a wise manner. You should choose something that you can only enjoy during the holiday season and not something that is readily available all the time.

3. Avoid Skipping Meals

Don’t skip meals, especially breakfast! Even though it can be tempting to skip on certain meals, believing that it will make up for the treats you consumed in the previous day, don’t do it because it will only lead to counterproductive results.

4. Drink With Moderation

It is best to regulate your drinking since alcohol, coke or other juices will only add more calories to the ones you already eaten!

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5. Be Active

You should still perform your fitness routine whenever possible and if you can’t do that, simply walk more, park your car some distance away from the store or just use the stairs!

6. Get Out Of The House

Make the holidays a family affair and plan outdoor activities where everyone is involved. Even a snowball fight in the backyard will burn a lot of calories and will keep the children entertained.

7. Don’t Skip Your Strength Workouts

Always remember to perform your strength training in order to maintain that muscle mass you worked hard to get. You might be tempted to use lightweights and just do some cardio, but you can burn just as many calories by lifting weights. And with all of those extra stakes you had on the holiday meals, you might even gain some extra muscle. And this is much better than gaining some extra fat.

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8. Set Realistic Goals

You should set realistic exercise objectives. Aim for at least half an hour per day and you will be very happy when you will achieve that. If you plan one hour or more and not achieve it, you will only end up disappointed.

9. Enjoy Yourself

Also make sure to set realistic diet plans! Trying to restrain yourself totally from some foods will only make you eat more. Feel free to enjoy the treats that you really love, but in small portions.

10. Drink A Lot Of Water

This can satiate your appetite as well as keep you hydrated at all times. And it will also prevent a possible hangover if you overdo it with alcohol.

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11. Eat Less And More Often

Distribute your meals evenly throughout the day, and do not eat everything at once.  Instead of having 2 enormous meals, have 5 small ones.  Eat your dinner earlier and have a nice walk before going to bed.

12. Prioritize Your Workouts

Try to do them early in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping. This way you will also avoid remarks like “Oh, come on! It’s Christmas…”

So there you go! Twelve simple tips that will help you avoid gaining weight during the winter holidays, but will also allow you to enjoy yourself and have a great time with your loved ones.

Happy Holidays everyone!

Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com

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