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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.

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                      Last Updated on November 11, 2019

                      How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                      How to Improve Memory and Boost Your Brainpower

                      Have you ever noticed that some people are able to effortlessly remember even the most mundane details and quickly comprehend new things? Well, you can too!

                      To unlock the full potential of your brain, you need to keep it active and acute. Wasting time on your couch watching mindless television shows or scrolling through facebook is not going to help.

                      Besides getting out flashcards, what can you do to help remember things better and learn new things more quickly? Check out these 10 effective ways on how to improve memory:

                      1. Exercise and Get Your Body Moving

                      Exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain. Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.

                      Furthermore, without regular exercise, plaque starts to build up in your arteries, and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood. Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks and it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain. When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.

                      To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day. Even if it’s just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking, swimming and dancing are all excellent activities. Take a look at these 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

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                      2. Eliminate Stressors and Seek Help If You’re Depressed

                      Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory. Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.

                      If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain. Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus which is where short-term memories are stored.

                      Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new. Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

                      3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep and Take Naps

                      Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information.

                      Getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours. Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

                      4. Feed Your Brain

                      Fifty to sixty percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is used to insulate its billions of nerve cells. The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.

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                      This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly. Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.

                      Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory. Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables. Here’re more brain food choices: 12 Foods that Can Improve Your Brain Power

                      Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat but their lack of nutritional value is not going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

                      5. Eat Breakfast and Make Sure It Includes an Egg

                      According to Larry McCleary, M.D., author of  The Brain Trust Program, an egg is the ideal breakfast. Eggs contain B vitamins which help nerve cells to burn glucose, antioxidants that protect neurons against damage; and omega-3 fatty acids that keep nerve cells firing at optimal speed.

                      Other foods to add to your breakfast include fruits, veggies and lean proteins. Avoid trans fats and high fructose corn syrup. Trans fats diminish the brain cells’ ability to communicate with each other and HFCS can actually shrink the brain by damaging cells.

                      Having a healthy breakfast in the morning has been shown to improve performance throughout the day. If you’re too busy to have a healthy breakfast, this maybe just right for you: 33 Quick And Healthy Breakfasts For Busy Mornings

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                      6. Write it Down

                      If there’s something you want to remember, writing it down can help.

                      It may sound like a no-brainer, but do you really know why? Writing it down creates oxygenated blood flow to areas of your brain that a responsible for your memories and literally exercises those parts of it. Here’s How Writing Things Down Can Change Your Life.

                      You can start a journal, write yourself emails or even start keeping a blog – all of these activities will help to improve your capacity to remember and memorize information.

                      7. Listen to Music

                      Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories. Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally. Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

                      8. Visual Concepts

                      In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.

                      Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook; or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember. It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

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                      Here, you can learn How to Become a Person Who Can Visualize Results.

                      9. Teach Someone Else

                      Reading material out loud has been shown to significantly improve memory of the material. Expanding further upon this idea is the fact that psychologists and educators have found that by having students teach new concepts to others, it helps to enhance understanding and recall.

                      Teach new concepts and information to a friend or study partner, and you’ll find you remember the information a lot better.

                      10. Do Crossword Puzzles, Read or Play Cards

                      Studies have shown that doing crossword puzzles, read or play cards on a daily basis not only keep your brain active but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.

                      So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book or enjoy a game of solitaire.

                      Pick one to two of these tips first and start applying them to your everyday life. Very soon you’ll find yourself having better memories and a clearer head!

                      More About Boosting Memory

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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