If you want to live a long and healthy life especially when it comes to Nutrition the thumb rule is:
“Avoid anything that comes in a wrapper or a box”
Thats it, you don’t need to read this answer if you follow this simple principle.
However, if you have 2 min to spare, go through this 7 foods that are advertised as healthy but are actually unhealthy:
Cereals:Their main ingredients are processed grains, sugar, and high corn fructose sugar.
Vegetable Oils: They are the worst type of oil you can use for cooking. They go rancid when heated at high temperatures.
Just because these oils have the word ‘Vegetable’ in it, it does not make them healthy!
Authority Nutrition has written a good article, listing all the studies and research on the main reasons why vegetable oils can be harmful for you:
My advice would be to switch your cooking oil to cold pressed coconut oil or ghee.
Any Soy Products:Soy based products were touted as the Superfoods at the beginning of the 21st Century.
I still remember clearly, how when I started going to the gym, and requested my mom to cook soy chunks for me as they were high in protein.
I didn’t liked the taste at all, although my mom tried her best to make it tasty, but somehow I ate them for few years.
Anyways, most people who eat Soy points towards the fact that most ‘Asians’ eat Soy and they seem to be healthy! Well, for starters, there are lot of determinants of health. And secondly they eat ‘fermented’ soy in small amounts as condiments (usually added in miso, tempeh).
More than 90% of Soy is genetically modified. The largest producer is United States. Soy crops are also supposedly destroying the planet (along with corn), as they deplete the soil of nutrients, and there is no crop rotation.
There are some studies which points towards the benefit of soy and some which points that it does increase estrogen levelsin men.
In my opinion, GM Soy is more harmful than not and I recommend you to avoid it.
Sport Drinks:Sport drinks claims that when you exercise more than 90 minutes, you start to lose lot of electrolytes (sodium and potassium) which needs to be replaced. You also need some fast acting carbohydrates to replenish your stores.
For athletes it may be the choice, but what about average folks like you and me?
What about school kids?
Firstly, people are not that active in the first place. 99% of them are not athletes and drink sport drinks because they are tasty and give me that ‘hit’ as a medium size bottle of say Gatorade contains about 20–25g of Sugar!
Water is feel is the best nutrient when working out. Drink lemon mixed with unprocessed honey for energy:)
Sugar Free Sweeteners:Ascuflame-K, Aspartame, Sucralose, Agave Nectar are some of the artificial sweeteners one must avoid. Instead stick with stevia or local honey.
Diet Coke:So what Diet Coke has almost Zero Calories?Well it contains all the sugar free alternatives I mentioned in the previous point.
Fruit Juice:Mostly sugar, stripped of fiber. Causes rapid increase in blood sugar and there more insulin. Instead why don’t you try the whole fruit?
If you notice, the most common ingredient that are added to the list of above “so called healthy foods” is SUGAR.
Sugar can take various forms and its important to educate yourself to read ‘Nutrition Labels”