If you are like anyone else who is watching their weight and trying to be as healthy as possible, you have probably found yourself opting for those so-called health foods when shopping for groceries.
Are food manufacturers getting the best of you?
Unfortunately, there are plenty of health foods that are not always as healthy as they sound. While they may not be bad for you, they certainly are not all they are cracked up to be. In fact, you may be very surprised at some of the culprits.
In an effort to help you make smarter, healthier choices at the market, we have put together a quick list of some of the biggest imposters on the health food shelves and how to see through them.
Research shows that the antioxidants found in dark chocolate have a positive effect on disease prevention, energy levels, and mental health. The problem is that the regulations for the definition of dark chocolate on food labels are pretty lax. When shopping for dark chocolate, be sure to reach for the bars that have more cocoa than sugar; you should aim for a minimum of 70 per cent cocoa.
Do you love a little granola in the morning? Do you feel healthier after breakfast? Many granola products are high in both sugar and calories, thus negating its health benefits. If you want to make the most of your granola experience, take a look at the packaging to see just how much sugar there is compared to fibre – you always want more fibre!
Most yoghurt is packed with calcium and probiotics, but you have to look out for what else it might contain. The flavoured varieties are usually packed with sugar and calories. It is a good idea to buy plain Greek yoghurt and add your own mix-ins to it like fresh berries or even homemade granola.
If you think that substituting honey in place of sugar is a lot better for your health, we are sorry to disappoint you. Studies have shown that honey can be just as likely as regular sugar to raise your blood sugar and cause inflammation throughout the body. While you do not have to give up honey, just remember that all sweeteners are best in limited amounts.
There are lots of breads on the market that are advertised as multigrain, but you really need to check the ingredient list carefully. Often, these breads are made with refined flour and not a whole lot of whole grains. Always look for whole-wheat flour instead of wheat flour, for example.
When shopping for health foods, always remember to read labels and use your common sense!