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10 So-Called Health Foods You Should Stop Eating

10 So-Called Health Foods You Should Stop Eating

Eat because food is on the table and your last meal might just be that quick granola bar at lunch. You may eat it even though it tastes awful because you can’t hurt grandma’s feelings. You might eat because you’re bored sometimes, or because you’re sad. Sometimes you might feel like you eat because you earned it.

Whatever your reason for eating, a relatively agreed upon reason is that you’re eating to be healthy, or at least doing your best to become healthier. You gave up that super scrumptious looking ice cream with hot fudge and sprinkles for some low-fat or fat-free froyo because you’re trying to have the best health possible. I get it. You know what really isn’t fun? Eating the wrong foods that you deemed to be the health foods, and find out that it’s actually worse for you than before.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 different health foods we’ve sacrificed our other food for. These foods really aren’t doing us any favors, so we’ve provided some yummy and healthier alternatives for you to use instead.

1. Low-fat or Fat-free Yogurt

yogurt is not icecream

    Doesn’t this one just grind your gears? When you see fat-free or low-fat you instantly think, “This has to be better for me because fat is bad.” Wrong-o! For years, we have been trying to end this war on fat; when in reality, it is important to our health! Fat is what you burn when you’re not doing anything, fat gives us energy, and fat is a key part of our diet. When fat is supplemented with harmful chemicals and preservatives and SO MUCH MORE SUGAR, it actually hurts us more than it helps us.

    Healthy Alternatives:

    • Regular, original yogurt.
    • Try just plain yogurt, spicing it up with fruit yourself.
    • Everybody likes parfaits. Am I right?

    2. Fruit Smoothies

    Fresh milk, strawberry, blueberry and banana drinks on wodeen table, assorted protein cocktails with fresh fruits. ; Shutterstock ID 182683421; PO: Brandon for Food
      Fresh milk, strawberry, blueberry and banana drinks on wodeen table, assorted protein cocktails with fresh fruits; Shutterstock ID 182683421; PO: Brandon for Food.

      Jamba Juice, how could you? Fruit smoothies are more fruit juice and super sugared-up yogurt/sherbert than fruit these days. Although they taste heavenly, they really aren’t all that good for you! However, if you want to snag a Jamba on your way to work, make sure to get the smallest size, as this will keep the calories and sugar as low as it can go.

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      Healthy Alternatives:

      • Freshly squeezed juices.
      • Channel your inner chef and make your own smoothie!
      • Use some plain yogurt, milk, and your favorite fruits.
      • You’ll be so much more filled by the time lunch rolls around, cutting your snack time and adding more energy.

      3. Naked Juice

      naked juice

        In case you thought that you could get out of making your own smoothie and turn to the juice above all juices, think again. I’ve definitely snagged a Naked after a workout, thinking the fruit and veggies in my Green Machine were gonna give me power for the whole day! However, Naked packs a whopping 60 grams of sugar per bottle. While this isn’t added sugar, and the fructose within it comes from the fruit, it is still way more than your body should have at one sitting. Juicing your fruits also takes away the fiber within them, leaving you practically starving and itching for that cannoli you saw at Starbucks.

        Healthy Alternatives:

        • Eat the fruit itself, rather than the juice form.
        • Fruit will fill you up, while adding the necessary fiber to your diet.
        • Seriously – just squeeze your own juice or make your own smoothie.

        4. Flavored Milk (Soy, Almond, Coconut)

        flavored milk

          I understand that lactose intolerant people have it hard when morning comes around. All you want is cereal, but all that’s in the fridge is regular milk. However, these alternative milk companies pack in the sugar and preservatives like nobody’s business, otherwise almond milk would have a much shorter shelf life.

          Healthy Alternatives:

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          • You don’t have to cut out soy, almond, or coconut milk completely.
          • Just make sure you buy the “unsweetened” boxes, with 0 grams of sugar!

          5. Sports Drinks

          gatorade

            Are you serious Gatorade? Yes, you’re giving us all the electrolytes and potassium we want (so shoutout to you for that), but did you really need to load on that extra 21 grams of sugar as well? Look’s like I need to hit the treadmill again after that.

            Healthy Alternatives:

            • Try coconut water.
            • Or post workout powders.

            6. Energy Bars

            Granola Bars

              More like Reese’s 2.0, especially if we’re talking about the nutritional value. Energy bars sound like the greatest idea, but these otherwise healthy snacks are riddled with sweeteners, white flour, and high-fructose corn syrup.

              Healthy Alternatives:

              • Just look for bars that have LESS THAN 15 grams of sugar.
              • Also look for as little saturated fat as possible (less than 2 grams).
              • Sprinkle with tons of fiber and protein, and then you’re ready to go!

              7. Reduced- Fat Peanut Butter

              peanut butter

                Peanut butter is absolutely fabulous. Nut butter is filled with healthy fats and proteins that provide enough energy and fullness to help you go about your day until your next meal without feeling famished. However, whenever fat is reduced it just adds oils with the worst types of fats and even more sugar to keep it yummy.

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                Healthy Alternatives:

                • Reduce your protein size of a regular peanut butter.
                • Slather that on some celery and you’re good to go!
                • Snag some natural peanut butter next time, where peanuts are the only ingredient.

                8. Prepared Salads

                salad haterz

                  I’m not going anti-leafy-green-veggies here, but rather anti-everything-else-in-the-salad. The bacon, the deep-fried meats, the cheese, croutons, and creamy dressings are a lot of carbs and calories you really don’t need. The lettuce isn’t enough to make that salad healthy, my friends.

                  Healthy Alternatives:

                  • Just saying “No” is a wonderful principle, especially when it applies to croutons or any of the other no-no’s listed above.
                  • You can do a dressing, but ask for it on the side, so you are in control of how much you’re using.
                  • Tip: Dip your fork into the dressing first and use what’s on it to cover your salad with each super healthy bite.

                  9. Margarine and Butter

                  butter and margarine

                    It’s got trans-fat. It’s completely artificial. It’s got loads of vegetable oil. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s give a big welcome to margarine! Margarine came into play when butter was accused of having too much saturated fat. Margarine is supposed to be better for your heart health, but is also loaded with trans-fat out the wazoo. Actually, butter (as unsalted as you can make it) is totally fine. The fight between the two honestly comes down to trans-fat versus saturated fat, Meanwhile, neither option is very good for your body. Honestly, your best shot to eat healthier would be to avoid both margarine and butter if you can.

                    Healthy Alteratives:

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                    • Unsalted butter, whipped.
                    • Whipped, trans-fat free margarine.
                    • Olive oil.
                    • Avacado.
                    • Nut butters.
                    • No matter what, try and limit your intake and monitor your portion sizes.

                    10. Fake Healthy Chips

                    chipsiez

                      Veggie chips are the absolute worst. You gave up your Cheeto Puff’s for some fake health food that is literally just the color of whatever veggies are listed. Sadly, dye is the only difference between both types of chips. It’s still just potato starch, corn flour, and deep-fried lies being serving to us. Pita chips are baked rather than fried, so props to them for that, but the healthiness ends there. Pita chips are made from refined grains and enriched wheat flour, giving them next to none of the nutrients they are trying to peddle at you.

                      Healthy Alternatives:

                      • Pita chips with whole grain flour.
                      • Make your own (like in the picture above).
                      • If your craving that satisfying crunch, try and eat the actual veggies rather than the fried/baked kind, as they retain all their nutrients this way.

                      Conclusion

                      Watch for sneaky sugars and unhealthy fats, and you’ll be on your way to spotting unhealthy health food in no time!

                      Did any of these foods fool you and sneak their way into your pantry? Sound off in the comments below. Also, let us know your own healthy alternatives!

                      Information courtesy of Shakeology.

                      Featured Photo Credit: Yogurt gif, Fruit smoothies, Naked, Flavored milks, Gatorade on reporter gif, Unhealthy granola bars, Peanut butter toast, Parks and Rec salad gif, Butter/Margarine, Homemade healthy chips

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                      Last Updated on September 16, 2019

                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                      • (1) Research
                      • (2) Deciding the topic
                      • (3) Creating the outline
                      • (4) Drafting the content
                      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                      • (6) Revision
                      • (7) etc.

                      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                      2. Change Your Environment

                      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                      6. Get a Buddy

                      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                      Reality check:

                      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                      More About Procrastination

                      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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