All of us know that we should be eating lots of vegetables and cut out the sweets. Obviously we should avoid fast food and candy. But there are also a lot of foods out there that we thought were ok for us but in fact are not. These foods should be avoided. The fact of the matter is that we need to be checking our ingredients lists to make sure we are not eating foods with added chemicals, sugars, or artificial sweeteners.
The best thing to do is to cook your own meals from scratch using fresh vegetables and fruit. If possible, stay away from packaged foods.
So what are these 6 foods that we should be avoiding? Some of these may be more obvious than others. But some people will find some of these foods as a surprise.
Low Fat Foods
Over the last 20 years, low fat foods have been the craze. The logic was “why would I buy full fat when I could buy low fat”. It is far healthier right? Less fat? The answer is NO! Low fat packaged foods are almost always far worse for your health than the full fat alternative. Why? To remove fat from foods and still make them taste good, many sweeteners (both artificial and sugars) are added into these products. These things wreak havoc on your body and cause you to put on weight. In addition, natural fats are not bad for you in moderation. In fact, your body needs them and thrives on them. Foods such as avocados and nuts can be a great and healthy source of fat in moderation.
White & Many Whole Grain Breads
Many of us really enjoy bread whether it be white or whole grain. The issue is that white bread offers basically no natural value to us. It is usually loaded with sugar and other nasty ingredients. And most whole grain breads are so processed and full of sugar that they are not much better than white bread. And neither of them will keep you going for long.
So what to eat instead? Well going to a bakery is often a good start. They generally offer more natural breads with less nasty ingredients in them. So when you are at the bakery, try some whole wheat tortillas or Rye bread. If you prefer whole grain bread, look for packaging that says 100% whole grain or buy from your local baker.
On a hot summers day it is pretty tempting to order a nice and cold Frappuccino from Starbucks. However these cold drinks are almost always loaded with flavors and sugar. Having more than one a day is equivalent to your daily calorie intake. Not good. Try to avoid these at all costs. If you want a iced coffee, ask for just that. A plain coffee (with full fat milk if you want it) and ice. Tastes great and is super refreshing.
Fried foods taste pretty good and they are usually super convenient. But we all know that they are bad for us and are clogging our arteries. Some examples of fried food are French fries, onion rings, sausage rolls, chicken nuggets, etc.
If we are serious about losing weight, we need to avoid these kinds of food. Yep, avoid completely. These kind of foods are high contributors to heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Got a deep fryer at home? Get rid of it today! Cook your meals in your oven or stove.
Yes I know that breakfast cereals are really convenient and taste pretty good. But they offer little to no nutritional value and usually do much more harm to our bodies than good. Even many of the cereals that look healthy are almost as bad as the sugary ones. Because they are full of sugar too. Most breakfast cereals are packed with sugar, fat, preservatives, and other nasty chemicals. We should never eat these cereals, let alone every day!
What is a healthier option for breakfast? Well there are cereals out there that only contain a small amount of sugar such as Weetabix and low sugar muesli’s. But don’t add extra sugar to these cereals. If you need them to be sweeter, add honey or banana. Another great breakfast option is porridge. Try adding mashed banana and raspberries. Yummy!
Make sure to check your ingredients labels and how much sugar is added in the cereal. If there is any artificial sweetener added, avoid that cereal.
Let me clear this up first, not all protein bars are bad for us. In fact, some are pretty good for us. The thing is we need to check the ingredients lists of our favorite bars. As many of them are full of sugar and other nasties to make them taste good. Look for protein bars with as few ingredients as possible and you should know what each of the ingredients are. If you start seeing words that you can’t read or sound unnatural, avoid that brand.
So when done right, protein bars are a great snack to keep us going. But again, avoid bars with unnatural ingredients or sugar in them. Or better yet, try making your own protein bars at home. They are super easy to make and taste great. Oh, and did I mention they are really healthy? Here are some great examples of homemade protein bars here.