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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 18, 2020

                      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                      Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                      Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                      1. Exercise Daily

                      It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                      If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                      Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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                      If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                      2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                      Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                      One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                      This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                      3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                      Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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                      Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                      Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                      4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                      Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                      The basic nutritional advice includes:

                      • Eat unprocessed foods
                      • Eat more veggies
                      • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                      • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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                      Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                        5. Watch Out for Travel

                        Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                        This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                        If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                        6. Start Slow

                        Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                        If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                        7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                        Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                        My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                        If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                        I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                        Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                        More Tips on Getting in Shape

                        Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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