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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 July 10, 2020

                      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                      How to Take Control of Your Life with Better Boundaries

                      We all have them—those hurtful, frustrating, offensive, manipulative people in our lives. No matter how hard we try to surround ourselves with positive and kind people, there will always be those who will disrespect, insult, berate, and misuse you if we allow them to.

                      We may, for a variety of reasons, not be able to avoid them, but we can determine how we interact with them and how we allow them to interact with us.

                      So, how to take control of your life and stop being pushed around?

                      Learning to set clear firm boundaries with the people in our lives at work and in our personal lives is the best way to protect ourselves from the negative effects of this kind of behavior.

                      What Boundaries Are (And What They’re Not)

                      Boundaries are limits

                      —they are not threats or ultimatums. Boundaries inform or teach. They are not a form of punishment.

                      Boundaries are firm lines—determined by you—which cannot be crossed by those around you. They are guidelines for how you will allow others to treat you and what kind of behaviors you will expect.

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                      Healthy personal boundaries help protect you from physical or emotional pain. You may also need to set firm boundaries at work to ensure you and your time are not disrespected. Don’t allow others to take advantage of your kindness and generosity.

                      Clear boundaries communicate to others that you demand respect and consideration—that you are willing to stand up for yourself and that you will not be a doormat for anyone. They are a “no trespassing” sign that makes it very clear when a line has been crossed and that there will be consequences for doing so.

                      Boundaries are not set with the intention of changing other people. They may change how people interact with you, but they are more about enforcing your needs than attempting to change the general behavior and attitude of others.

                      How to Establish Boundaries and Take Control of Your Life

                      Here are some ways that you can establish boundaries and take control of your life.

                      1. Self-Awareness Comes First

                      Before you can establish boundaries with others, you first need to understand what your needs are.

                      You are entitled to respect. You have the right to protect yourself from inappropriate or offensive behavior. Setting boundaries is a way of honoring your needs.

                      To set appropriate boundaries, you need to be clear about what healthy behaviors look like—what healthy relationships look like.

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                      You first have to become more aware of your feelings and honest with yourself about your expectations and what you feel is appropriate behavior:

                      • Where do you need to establish better boundaries?
                      • When do you feel disrespected?
                      • When do you feel violated, frustrated, or angered by the behavior of others?
                      • In what situations do you feel you are being mistreated or taken advantage of?
                      • When do you want to be alone?
                      • How much space do you need?

                      You need to honor your own needs and boundaries before you can expect others to honor them. This allows you to take control of your life.

                      2. Clear Communication Is Essential

                      Inform others clearly and directly what your expectations are. It is essential to have clear communication if you want others to respect your boundaries. Explain in an honest and respectful tone what you find offensive or unacceptable.

                      Many people simply aren’t aware that they are behaving inappropriately. They may never have been taught proper manners or consideration for others.

                      3. Be Specific but Don’t Blame

                      Taking a blaming or punishing attitude automatically puts people on the defensive. People will not listen when they feel attacked. It’s part of human nature.

                      That said, you do not need to overexplain or defend yourself. Boundaries are not open to compromise.

                      Sample language:

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                      • “You may not…yell or raise your voice to me…”
                      • “I need…to be treated with respect…”
                      • “It’s not okay when…you take things from my desk without asking…”
                      • “I won’t…do your work…cover for you anymore…”
                      • “It’s not acceptable when…you ridicule or insult me…”
                      • “I am uncomfortable when…you use offensive language”
                      • “I will no longer be able to…lend you money…”

                      Being able to communicate these without sounding accusatory is essential if you want others to respect your boundaries so you can take control of your life.

                      4. Consequences Are Often Necessary

                      Determine what the appropriate consequences will be when boundaries are crossed. If it’s appropriate, be clear about those consequences upfront when communicating those boundaries to others.

                      Follow through. People won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t enforce them.

                      Standing our ground and forcing consequences doesn’t come easily to us. We want to be nice. We want people to like us, but we shouldn’t have to trade our self-respect to gain friends or to achieve success.

                      We may be tempted to let minor disrespect slide to avoid conflict, but as the familiar saying goes, “if you give people an inch, they’ll take a mile.”

                      It’s much easier to address offensive or inappropriate behavior now than to wait until that behavior has gotten completely out of hand.

                      It’s also important to remember that positive reinforcement is even more powerful than negative consequences. When people do alter the way they treat you, acknowledge it. Let people know that you notice and appreciate their efforts.

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                      Final Thoughts

                      Respect is always a valid reason for setting a boundary. Don’t defend yourself or your needs. Boundaries are often necessary to protect your time, your space, and your feelings. And these are essential if you want to take control of your life.

                      Start with the easiest boundaries first. Setting boundaries is a skill that needs to be practiced. Enlist support from others if necessary. Inform people immediately when they have crossed the line.

                      Don’t wait. Communicate politely and directly. Be clear about the consequences and follow them through.

                      The better you become at setting your own boundaries, the better you become at recognizing and respecting the boundaries of others.

                      Remember that establishing boundaries is your right. You are entitled to respect. You can’t control how other people behave, but you do have control over the way you allow people to treat you.

                      Learning to set boundaries is not always easy, but with time, it will become more comfortable. You may eventually find that boundaries become automatic and you no longer need to consciously set them.

                      They will simply become a natural extension of your self-respect.

                      Featured photo credit: Thomas Kelley via unsplash.com

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