Supermarkets, health food stores, and even local corner shops are now awash with food and drink that’s sold as a healthy alternative to other popular products. However, some of these aren’t as healthy as they seem, and could easily be substituted for another food you may already eat on a regular basis. Here’s a little run down on the most common ‘healthy options’ that can actually be anything but.
With plant-based diets including veganism on the rise, hummus has grown in popularity in the last few years as an alternative to other dips. Made from genuinely healthy chickpeas, in essence it’s a great way to get protein and carbs without saturated fat. But as supermarkets have begun launching their own ranges, it has been found that some products contain as much salt as four packets of crisps. So, be sure to check salt levels or look into making your own when buying hummus.
Remember, most foods contain protein anyway. All dairy products, including chocolate, and nutty snack bars, can carry the ‘Protein-Filled’ stamp of approval, and many do. However, even some specialist protein bars made specifically for the health food market have been found to contain high levels of sugar and fat alike. It’s always far better for your health to get your protein from natural foods, which is why protein bars will never be on the menu at the likes of expert weight loss retreats by Prestige Bootcamp.
When you see an intriguing combination of colour, flavour and texture on any packet, it’s eye-catching straight away. And when it’s stuck slap-bang in the middle of a whole host of traditionally unhealthy snacks, it’s bound to stand out even more. But, at the end of the day, crisps are crisps. Even vegetable crisps are still lathered in salt and oil, often fried, and are usually made with vegetables that already contain high volumes of natural sugars.
While you may often be astonished at the price of a pouch of granola in any case, you may also be surprised to find that they’re not the healthiest option you can go for anyway. And it’s not just the cheaper alternatives that can be high in sugar, either. Often, granola that contains higher volumes of dried fruit and ‘superfoods’, such as Goji Berries, compensate for the unusual flavour with a few extra servings of sugar. Always read the label, or get creative and make your own.
If this one is a surprise, consider for a moment what constitutes multigrain bread. It’s bread that has to contain more than one kind of grain. It tells you nothing about the degree of the grains’ refinement, which can often be extensive. This can remove large amounts of the fibre, vitamins and minerals in the grain, leaving little more than simple carbs – like that you’d expect from ‘bread’. Look for whole grains when it comes to buying multigrain bread – and leave the loafs that simply don’t cut it.
Ultimately, the most important thing to be aware of when it comes to your diet – is your body. If you’re waking up in the middle of the night, hungry, or don’t have enough energy to push you through the day, then take a look at what you are, or aren’t eating. Similarly, if you find that weight loss isn’t being achieved and your fitness goals aren’t being met, mix up your diet until you find the ideal balance for you.