Recently, it seems that every day there is some new nutritional advice. Researchers are constantly discovering new properties of the foods we are eating and urging us to change our dietary habits. One week, we are being told that fat is the enemy, the next we are told that eating fat could help you to live longer!
With all the new technologies of today, it is no surprise that new discoveries are being made. However, we have now being told that the way we were brought up is not the way that we should be eating. We have been told to watch out for the calories, as counting calories will help us to maintain our weight. It didn’t matter what we were eating, as long as we were not going over our daily amounts. Now, we are told that keeping within these a daily amounts is not important. Calorie counting is out, and mindfulness around food is in. We should be having a healthy diet of vegetables, nuts, fruit, seafood, legumes, whole grains, a small amount of processed meat and some non-fat dairy products. It does not matter how much we are eating, as long as we are eating the right foods. For example, 2000 calories of carbs is going to be a lot more damaging than 2000 calories of vegetables.
Similarly, we have been told for decades to avoid fats at all cost.
Fat should be 20-25% of your calories per day, and we should not be eating fatty foods. Now, we are told the opposite! Each as much fat as you like! As long as these fats come from healthy fat sources such as peanut butter, avocados and olive oil, then you are treating your body well. Do not have the fats from carbs or fatty meats, but instead eat as much healthy fat as you like.
With all of this change, it can be difficult to understand what is healthy and what is not. This is the 360 guide on 5 foods that you thought were healthy, but actually are secretly unhealthy!
We think of salad as the ultimate health food. All that lettuce, tomato, onion- it must be good for you, right? Well, think again. Whilst some salads are healthy, a lot of them are full of unhealthy foods. That is because many restaurants and supermarkets will top the healthy ingrediants with unhealthy foods, such as cheese, croutons, fatty means and creamy sauces. If you make your salad yourself and top with fresh vegetables, lean meats or fish and drizzle with olive oil then you can be sure that you are eating a healthy meal. Otherwise, step away from the chicken Caesar!
I was always told to drink my juice. It would give me the vitamins I needed to grow big and strong. Now, I avoid juice at all costs. Many juices are a huge source of sugar and additives. If you buy from a supermarket, then you must check the label to ensure that this is fresh juice and not from concentrate. Even if you do make your juice yourself, then it is still loaded with this natural fruit sugars which could rot your teeth. To avoid this, drink water and eat your fruit instead.
Potatoes are good for you, there is no doubting that. They are full of fibre, potassium and vitamin C, and they are low in fat. Still, this healthy food choice can soon become very unhealthy. Like salad, it is all about the preparation. If your potato is baked in vegetable oil to get that crisp skin, then you are making it unhealthy. If it is filled with butter, bacon and cheese, then it is full of saturated fats. Opt for plain tuna and a side salad to keep your potato healthy.
‘Fat Free’ Foods
Foods labelled ‘fat free’ are one of the biggest lies on the market. Just because it is fat free, it does not mean that is it in anyway good for you. Of course, there are many healthy fat free foods, such as vegetables, but then there is a whole range of unhealthy foods- sweets, fizzy drinks, ready meals. All of these contain large amounts of additives and none of the basic nutrition you need for a healthy diet.
Finally, there is the margarine. For many years, butter was the devil- it had high fat content and so was bad for you. Therefore, we turned to margarine. Now, we have come back to butter, and margarine is off the menu. This is because margarine is not a food. The spread is made from chemicals and refined oils, so that it looks and tastes like a food, but it is no nutritional benefits at all. Butter may be high in fat, yes, but it at least has some nutritional value. So, use butter sparingly, and avoid the margarine like the plague!