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Top 10 “Healthy” Foods Busted By Real Science

Top 10  “Healthy” Foods Busted By Real Science

The world of nutrition is full of misconception, myths, and even lies. There are so many contradicting information out there that are confusing and misleading.

So how can we decide which information is fad and which one is real? The answer is science and research studies (especially those which are peer-reviewed). We should only trust information that is backed by real science and has been proven by peer-reviewed research / study.

However, are they really that healthy? Read more to learn the truth.

1. Breakfast cereals

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    This is what the majority of people are eating every single morning. And yet, it might be the worst food choice you can possible eat as breakfast. Why?

    Cereals are usually loaded with sugars and refined carbs (read here and here on why they are some of the worst and fattening ingredients in existence). They will spike your blood sugar and insulin levels, and a few hours later when your blood sugar crashes, your body will be desperate for another highly refined carbs snack. (Study)

    So what should you eat for breakfast then? You should eat something that is unprocessed and has protein and fiber in it (like eggs and vegetables).

    2. Granola

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      The real, natural granola contains some healthy ingredients like oats and nuts, however the food industry has processed it by adding sugar, oil, and other fillers.

      The processed granola contains high amount of sugar, which makes it very energy dense, and easy to over-consume (leads to obesity). (Study)

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      3. Low fat yogurt

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        Unlike the Full-fat yogurt, Low-fat yogurt has been highly processed by the food manufacturer: saturated fat has been removed, while many other stuffs (sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweetener) has been added.

        This study shows that saturated fat is actually harmless. There is also another study that shows people who ate the most high-fat dairy products were the least likely to be obese.

        So if you love yogurt, you should eat the real, full-fat yogurt (which is most probably much healthier than the highly processed low-fat yogurt).

        4. Commercial Salad Dressings

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          Salads are usually healthy meals, it contains many types of vegetables that are loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, soluble fiber, and various good stuffs.

          However, most people don’t like the taste of “just salads”, so they add dressings to improve the taste.

          The problem with most commercial dressings is that they’re made with nasty ingredients like soybean oil (which are way too high in Omega-6 fatty acids — leads to inflammation) and high fructose corn syrup.

          So, how can i improve the taste of my salad while staying healthy? Well, you can always make your own dressing (you use extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, and other spices to add taste).

          *PS: Check out this recipe that taste as good as french fries

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          5. Fruit juices

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            Fruit juice is usually very high in sugar, and has very low fiber content. Those which are sold in bottles may not even have any actual fruit content: it may just be made of water, sugar, and some flavoring additives.

            Whole fruit do contain some sugar, but it is bound within the fibrous cell walls, which slows down the release of the sugar into the bloodstream. So if you love fruit, it is better to eat whole fruit rather than drinking fruit juice.

            6. Diet soft drinks

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              How many of you think that Diet Coke is healthier than normal Coke?

              This study found that people who replace sugary soda with diet soda don’t end up weighing less after six months. The explanation is probably because even though the artificial sweeteners themselves are caloric free, they may stimulate the appetite in some people, and make them eat more of other foods. ( Read more here, here, and here )

              That being said, some people can lose weight changing their normal soda to drinking diet soda, but that’s most probably because they are also changing other things as well (such as their food intake and exercise routines).

              7. Whole wheat bread

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                You might think that whole wheat bread is healthy, and to some extent that is true. It is relatively healthier as compared to refined wheat bread (the white color one).

                But you know what, the food industry is full of scam-my marketing tricks, and the main problem with most whole grain foods are that they aren’t made with actual whole grains. The grains have been processed into very fine flour that is just as easily digestible and spikes blood sugar just as fast as refined grains (no wonder they taste as fluffy as the white bread).

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                In fact, here’s a research by Harvard University that shows the comparison of Glycemic Index of whole wheat bread as compared to regular white bread (HINT: it is high as regular white bread).

                Also, many studies show that many health problems (especially for gluten-sensitive people) are related to the consumption of whole wheat. (study, study, study)

                8. “Organic” processed food

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                  Do you realize how many items in the supermarket that are labeled as “organic”?

                  When you actually look at the ingredients labels for many of these organic, “healthy” meal replacement bars, crackers, snacks, and others; then you will learn that they aren’t that much different from the non-organic equivalents.

                  Sure, they might contain organic cane sugar instead of regular sugar… but organic sugar is just as bad as regular sugar. Your liver won’t tell the difference.

                  So, it’s better to eat whole, single ingredient foods (organic if you can afford it), but avoid organic processed foods.

                  9. Trail mixes

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                    Trail mixes usually contain dried fruits, nuts, and sometimes chocolate and grains.

                    The dried fruit usually has a lot of sugar content and the nuts are loaded with fats. For this reason, trail mixes is a very energy dense snack, which can be useful when you need a lot of energy (such as when doing intense exercise).

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                    However, if you eat it frequently while maintaining a relatively sedentary lifestyle, it will surely result in weight gain.

                    10. Processed Gluten-Free Food

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                      Gluten is a protein found in many grains, including wheat, rye, and barley. It’s found in most breads, cereals, pastas, and many processed foods.

                      Gluten-free is a term that is becoming more and more popular nowadays.

                      According to a survey in 2013, around 30% of adults in the United States say that they want to cut down or be free of gluten in their diets.

                      No wonder you can easily find many gluten-free replacement products in the supermarket around the country.

                      The problem with those foods are they are usually just as bad as their gluten containing counterparts. These foods are usually made with highly refined carbohydrates, sugar, and various chemicals.

                      If you are going to eliminate gluten, you should choose foods that are naturally gluten free (such as : Quinoa and Flaxseed), instead of processed gluten-free foods.

                      Junk food with “gluten free” on the label is still junk food.

                      After all, gluten-free foods are only needed by people who are suffering from Celiac Disease (who develop an immune reaction to gluten that damages the intestine). And only about 1% of the population suffers from Celiac Disease.

                      Beware of mainstream nutritional wisdom that are not backed by science.

                      Find this article useful? Feel free to share it with your friends.

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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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