You’re trying to eat healthy – you want to make the best food choices. Words like “real” or “contains vegetables” sound so good – maybe too good to be true. Here are 5 food choices that aren’t as good as they seem.
1. Veggie Burgers. We all know that eating our veggies is better for us than that grilled hamburger. Right? Maybe not. In some cases, a veggie burger can come with things like nonnutritive cornstarch or, even, methyl cellulous. Those are the things that hold it all together. You could have a veggie burger that contains more than 20 ingredients. Read the label instead of just going with a marketing word like “vegan” or “all-natural”. If a veggie burger is what you want that list of ingredients will tell you if it’s made with quality protein like beans, lentils and soy instead of wheat gluten which is a cheaper protein substitute.
2. Trail Mix Bars. You know that trail mix is a good choice (the kind without the chocolate candies). You can’t go wrong with nuts and raisins. But, you want something easy to take on your hike so why not trail mix in the form of a bar? Stop and ask – what’s holding it all together. It has to be something sticky and it probably includes sugar. The “sugar” can be honey, maple syrup or agave, but it is still like adding a couple (or more) teaspoons of sugar to your trail mix. Even if it says, “nothing artificial” that doesn’t mean there isn’t sugar. So, forget the bar and take a bag with nuts, seeds and raisins – and nothing more.
3. Baked Potato Chips. Oh, the ugly vat of oil that makes the chips you love. You’re going to avoid it by buying baked potato chips instead. After all, less fat. Today’s dietician may say “so what?”. Fat isn’t as bad for you was we once thought. In truth, baked or fried chips have about the same calorie content and the baked version can carry lots more salt. Why? The salt makes up for the flavor that was lost when the oil was removed. More, baked chips may be higher in starchy carbs – worse for you than the vegetable oil. So, watch your portion size and enjoy a traditional chip without guilt.
4. Gluten Free. Gluten free seems like a truly heathy choice. You’d buy gluten free bread over whole grain bread because it would be a better choice. Not so fast – and not so true. Gluten-free foods were created for those suffering from a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease – not to give you a healthier choice. Gluten-free bread is likely to have more fat and salt and less of the good stuff—protein, fiber and vitamins. You want healthy? Choose a whole-grain sprouted bread.
5. Veggie Sticks. They’re an easy serving of veggies. Great for the kids – or so you think. If it’s time for a veggie stick, stick to the real ones. Carrot or celery sticks – even, cucumber. Veggie sticks make a good snack – but don’t add up to eating real veggies. Think vegetable powder turned into a snack with crunch.
Eating healthy is part of maintaining a healthy weight, but first you have to reach that goal weight. If you’ve tried to diet and failed and know your extra pounds are hurting your health, make another choice. Find a diet solution that works for you. You may want to join a diet group or diet with a friend. You’ll have a personalized diet, the supervision of a medical doctor with a specialty in weight loss and weight related disease and a staff that can give you the support you need so you can reach your goal weight. Then, you can enjoy all those healthy food choices.