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10 Healthy Foods That Are Actually Not Healthy

10 Healthy Foods That Are Actually Not Healthy

Do you think you’re eating healthy foods just because you’re choosing the salad option over the burger? Well, as healthy as those leafy greens are, the dressing and additives in it could be sabotaging your attempts toward a healthier diet.

With as hectic as life is these days, the last thing you need to be doing is sifting through long lists of ingredients trying to figure out what is good for you and what isn’t. By sticking to simple healthy choices and avoiding the so called healthy foods below, you’ll find yourself feeling healthier and happier in no time.

1. Juice

food juice

    It comes from a fruit so it must be healthy, right? Wrong. By the time juice is processed and filled with sugar, additives, and artificial coloring, there is very often little actual fruit left. While fancy advertising of people picking fresh fruit off of trees leads you to believe that you’re putting the same fruit into your body, you’re not. Imagine mixing a cup of water with half a cup of sugar, some food coloring, and a few drops of juice from a fruit. This is what you are actually drinking.

    To get the benefits of fruit without downing glasses of sugar, eat the whole fruit instead. Craving a glass of OJ? Eat an orange. Have apple juice on the mind? Eat an apple. It’s that simple. The fruit in its original form is not only healthier, it will also leave you feeling satisfied much longer than a liquid cup of sugar.

    2. Salad

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    food salad 1

      If you’re whipping up a big bowl of salad at home, you can monitor exactly what’s going into the bowl and ensure it’s full of only the freshest good-for-you ingredients. Salad gets tricky; however, when you order it from a restaurant. The nutrient rich lettuce and vegetables are often covered in high fat and sugar dressings, not to mention the sugar coated nuts, fruits, and croutons that are sprinkled on top.

      For a salad your body will thank you for, stick to the basics. Throw together a big bowl of your favorite lettuce and top it with fresh veggies of your choice.  Sprinkle on a low sugar balsamic dressing and enjoy.

      3. Wheat Bread

      food white bread

        With labels like “Whole Grain” and “Harvest Wheat”, this popular food item can be seen getting consumed in almost every restaurant and house across the country. We’re easily led into believing that wheat bread is good for us because it has beneficial ingredients like fiber; however, added wheat can have a host of negative effects on the body. Most wheat bread is made with refined ingredients, which means they have been stripped of most of their nutritional value. Therefor, instead of consuming heart healthy whole grains, you’re actually filling yourself with unnecessary sugar and processed down ingredients.

        4. Cereal

        food cereal

          Packed with sugar, artificial ingredients, enhanced flavors, and grains that have been refined and processed, cereal is not (despite what marketing wants you to believe) healthy. Not only does it fill you will less than beneficial ingredients, cereal also often leaves you feeling hungry just an hour after you have consumed it. When your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs, it will beg for more, regardless of the calories you have already consumed

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          To set yourself up right for the day, whip up some protein rich eggs or fill a bowl with heart healthy oatmeal. Your stomach will be full and your body will be energized from the nutrient rich meal.

          5. Granola Bars

          food granola

            Whether eating for breakfast or grabbing as a snack on the go, granola bars have often been America’s go-to “healthy” food in the form of a bar. The problem is that the good-for-you granola has been stripped of most of its nutrients during processing and in the good stuff’s place, sugar has been added instead. Low in fiber and high in trans fats, granola bars should be viewed more like a sugar-laden dessert than a beneficial breakfast or snack.

            If you’re a granola lover and don’t want to cut it out of your diet completely, buy plain granola with no additives and enjoy it over oatmeal or mixed in with a bowl of fresh fruit.

            6. Sports Drinks

            food drink sport drink

              Runners drink it and so should you, right? Not necessarily. While these drinks are marketed as healthy, many of them are filled to the brim with sugar, corn syrup, and artificial food coloring. Some of the ingredients (such as brominated vegetable oil) are so questionable that they are prohibited in other countries. The citric acid in sports drinks has been shown not only to stain teeth, but to also cause unnecessary wear on their enamel.

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              If you’re looking for a drink that will offer more nutrients than water, whip up a mug of warm water and add a tablespoon of honey, lemon juice, and a pinch of Himalayan Sea Salt. Packed with nutrients, it will replenish any lost electrolytes without negatively impacting your health.

              7. Low-Fat Yogurt

              food-healthy-meal-grain-large

                It’s low in calories and fat, so it can seem pretty appealing, but low-fat yogurt actually contains a dirty little secret (or two). While plain and Greek yogurts boast amazing benefits due to their high calcium and probiotic content, their low calorie counterparts sabotage the nutrients found within. To replace the flavor lost by removing the product’s fat, additives such as corn starch and artificial sweeteners are put into the yogurt.

                These things, in addition to all the preservatives and artificial coloring, can have a detrimental  impact on one’s attempt at staying healthy. Stick with full fat yogurt that contains few simple ingredients. Your body will thank you.

                8. Packaged Turkey

                food sandwitch

                  An excellent source of lean protein, turkey is a fantastic choice for lunch or dinner. The problem with packaged turkey is that it is loaded with sodium. To help keep it fresh, a 2 ounce serving of packaged turkey can contain up to one-third the amount of the recommended daily sodium intake. That’s a lot!

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                  To keep your health on track, opt for fresh slices or pieces of turkey. Roast your own turkey at home. If you’re in a bind, pick up a prepared turkey at the grocery store, just make sure it has less than 350 milligrams of sodium per serving.

                  9. Dried Cranberries

                  food dried fruit

                    Who doesn’t love a handful of cranberries in the afternoon? They are an especially enjoyable snack when mixed with almonds or nuts. Dried cranberries are most often sweetened with sugar. Even if they don’t have added sugar, because they are reduced in size, they aren’t as filling. This can lead to consuming even more calories.

                    If you can’t stomach the bitterness of fresh cranberries by themselves, try adding them to a fruit salad. You’ll end your snack session feeling full – of nutrients, not wasted calories.

                    10. Protein Powders

                    food powder

                      We can all agree that adding healthy protein to your diet is a good thing. Fresh sources like eggs, nuts and meats are great. However, there is such a thing as too much protein. It can have detrimental effects on your kidneys and liver. Protein powders boast their high amounts of protein, when in fact the high amounts may actually be too much.

                      The average person only needs 50-100 grams of protein per day, which is easily consumable via regular meals, drinks, and snacks. Adding in protein powder could overload your system with too much protein (not to mention all the refined ingredients that goes along with it). Do your liver and kidneys a favor and pass by the big tubs of powder the next time you’re out shopping.

                      Conclusion

                      You are what you eat, so to be healthy, you have to eat healthy. Remember, good eating doesn’t have to be work. Choose simple ingredients and foods closest to their original form. Your body will thank you!

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                      Last Updated on December 9, 2019

                      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

                      Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

                      Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

                      Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

                      1. Get Rationally Optimistic

                      Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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                      This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

                      In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

                      The result: no more mental stress.

                      2. Unplug

                      Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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                      How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

                      It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

                      Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

                      3. Easy on the Caffeine

                      Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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                      Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

                      4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

                      That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

                      How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

                      • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
                      • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
                      • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

                      While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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                      5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

                      This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

                      The result: mental stress will be gone!

                      So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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                      Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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