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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 March 13, 2019

                      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                      How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

                      Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

                      You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

                      Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

                      1. Work on the small tasks.

                      When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

                      Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

                      2. Take a break from your work desk.

                      Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

                      Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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                      3. Upgrade yourself

                      Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

                      The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

                      4. Talk to a friend.

                      Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

                      Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

                      5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

                      If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

                      Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

                      Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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                      6. Paint a vision to work towards.

                      If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

                      Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

                      Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

                      7. Read a book (or blog).

                      The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

                      Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

                      Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

                      8. Have a quick nap.

                      If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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                      9. Remember why you are doing this.

                      Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

                      What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

                      10. Find some competition.

                      Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

                      Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

                      11. Go exercise.

                      Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

                      Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

                      As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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                      Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

                      12. Take a good break.

                      Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

                      Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

                      Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

                      Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

                      More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

                      Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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