There are HUGE misconceptions when it comes to healthy eating, here are my top unhealthy healthy foods you should avoid.
In my own little bubble as a married person with no children and a good amount of free time, I do my own research on healthy foods and what is best to eat. As I get further and further into my career as a coach and trainer I am coming to realize that more people than not have no idea the “healthy” food they are buying for their family is not healthy at all.
My lacrosse girls and training clients are always asking me for healthy choices for snacks and meals and I am always surprised at how little they know. It is so important to read your labels! No matter how healthy you or someone else thinks something is, read the label for yourself. Remember you want to maximize your nutrient content (good old vitamins and minerals), fiber, and protein when eating. The fiber and protein will make you fuller longer and the nutrients will help your overall well-being; protecting you from illness’ and aid your workouts and recovery, to name a few benefits.
Here are a few unhealthy healthy foods that may be holding you back:
1. Canned Fruit
Many people like the ease and convenience of being able to have fruit ready to pack in their kid’s lunches or to grab and go on the way to practice. What you don’t know is the amount of added sugar inside! Canned fruit can have up to 22 grams of sugar per serving, to give you an idea of how much that is a can of Coke has 39 grams. You may as well be eating candy…
Substitute: Buy regular fresh fruit. Wash, cut, and prepare as soon as you get home. That way it is ready to go and easy to pack. The extra 15 minutes it takes to prepare is well worth it for your family’s well-being. I know moms are busy busy but please please remember the health of you and your family is soooo important. Make the time to prepare healthy snack options.
Even without the cream cheese, bagels are not good for you. When eating any bread you want to make sure you are eating whole grains. Many bagels are not whole-grain bagels. They are high in carbohydrates and low in fiber and have minimal nutrients. Now add the butter and cream cheese and you are eating a high calorie breakfast that will not keep you full very long at all.
Substitute: Whole grain toast with organic peanut butter. This new breakfast is high in fiber and protein and will keep you fuller longer than a bagel. And it is delish!!!!
Honey may be natural but natural doesn’t equal healthy. One tablespoon of honey has 16 grams of sugar in it. Honey’s sugar complex is half fructose(complex sugar), half glucose(simple sugar). When adding sugar to your diet you want complex sugars that are harder for your body to break down. So before you add it to your tea, granola or fruit stop and think if you really need it. You don’t want to undue they healthy choices you make by adding unnecessary sugar to it.
Substitute: Agave Nectar. Agave nectar is a natural sweetener as well. It’s sugar count is similar to honey. However, Agave nectar is sweeter, meaning you will not have to add as much to get your desired sweetness level, and it’s sugar complex is mostly fructose, making it a better sugar choice.
4. Juice and other sugar drinks
JUICE!!!! Yes I know, juice is healthy right? Wrong. It is a healthier choice than soda or Kool-Aid but it is not the healthiest option. Again the sugar content in juice is through the roof! 23+ grams of sugar doesn’t out weigh the nutrients you get from it. This also goes for drinks like Gatorade and vitamin water.
Substitute: Water and Fruit. Once again, go for the natural options. Water should be the main drink in your diet. To be successful in a weight-loss plan or at athletics or to be more focused in life, being hydrated is imperative. Swap out your calorie ridden drinks for water, trust me you won’t miss them once you begin to feel the beneifts of water. To replace the nutrients you were getting from the juice either eat an orange in the morning instead, or make the juice yourself fresh with a juicer.
Again reading labels can answer so many questions you have about whether or not your food is healthy for you. When in doubt go for natural, low sugar options. Don’t believe everything you see on TV, everything can be healthy in relation to a bad option. Take it upon yourself to know what’s best for your family. It should be your #1 priority!