Total Nutrition Technology
Wednesday, April 22, 2015

By: Total Nutrition Technology

Eating healthy is certainly a goal for many of us and it's a great one at that.  But what exactly does "healthy" mean these days?  Food trends and food manufacturer's marketing departments have certainly made that harder to answer!  Many of the "healthy" foods you see aren't actually as nutritious as you many think.  Here are 10 Overrated “Health” Foods and why you many need to rethink them before you eat...

1) Energy Bars – When you’re working out and you get hungry, most people would eat an energy bar or, if you’re dieting, sometimes you eat a meal replacement bar.  Basically, all in all, it is the same in the end. So why are energy bars overrated?  They are loaded with sugars like fructose and glucose. In PowerBar Performace Energy it contains a majority of sugar and in Clif Bars, which have more nuts, dried fruit, and seeds, it still contains 4-6 teaspoons of sugar to hold those nuts, dried fruit, and seeds together. If you need energy, eat real food with benefits like berries or whole grains. You’ll be better off with those than any energy bar of any brand, but if you are on the run and all you have time for is a quick energy bar, then every once in a while it is okay.

2) Protein Powder – If you are working out like a mad man, you probably think that more protein powder in your “after-workout drink” will help you add more bulk, faster, right? Well, you’re wrong because you can actually overwork your kidneys and liver if you take in too much protein. When you take an excessive amount of protein, your body can’t absorb it all, so it gets turned into amino acids, which are processed by your liver and kidneys to be excreted from your body. Also, when you consume too much protein, the excess protein that you’re body doesn’t use can get turned into glucose. If you are going to add protein powder to your “after-workout drink” then make sure you add only the correct amount, your body will thank you!

3) Fruit Juice – Unless the ingredient list on the bottle of fruit juice says only what that juice should be, then it is okay. (Notice the word “okay” and not great!) Fruit juice is good on occasion, but you shouldn’t consume fruit juice everyday. The major thing that fruit juice doesn’t have that an entire fruit, like oranges and apples, does have is FIBER. Fiber helps you feel full and keeps your digestive tract regular. Fruit juice can also be very high in sugar, which is something that no one needs these days. Added sugar can lead to weight gain from those unnecessary calories. So next time you have a choice between fruit juice and the actual fruit, choose the actual fruit, you’re body will appreciate it because you will be cutting out unnecessary calories and adding fiber!

4) Red Meat – When we go out to eat, almost every menu you come across has Steak on the menu. Better yet, when you walk through a restaurant and see what everyone else is eating, a majority of them are eating a steak and baked potato with all the works. This isn’t a good thing. Too much red meat in your diet can lead to a greater risk of colon cancer, high cholestrol, and excess weight gain from those extra calories and all that saturated fat that beef contains. Instead of eating steak more often than not, try eating fish, which is loaded with Omega-3s that are good for your heart, body, and brain. If you aren’t that big of a fish fan, try poultry items like chicken and turkey.

5) Sports Drinks – Most people don’t realize that the drinks they consume when they are working out are full of unneeded calories. The average person that goes into a gym and works out isn’t going to need those calories from a “Sports Drink”. Remember, sports drinks are for those people who are constantly working out and need the extra electrolytes because they are doing 2X-3X more than the average person. We have electrolytes in our body and most people can do without sports drinks that are high in calories. If you feel you need some extra calories post- workout, eat a handful of salted peanuts or a piece of fruit. Save the sports drinks for events lasting 90 minutes or longer.

6) Natural Sweeteners – Natural or not, all sugar is the same. Just because honey, agave nectar, or maple syrup is all-natural doesn’t mean that it is better for you. All kinds of sugar contain about 15 calories per teaspoon and have no beneficial nutrients for your body. If you have to have your sugar, make sure to keep in mind how much you are using because those 15 little calories can add up in a big way that can lead to weight gain and a multitude of health problems. Try eating fruits instead of sugar, they have greater health benefits with a touch of sweetness.

7) Granola – There are many problems with Granola that people don’t usually see because of the goodness that it brings when you eat it. Granola is loaded with calories. The serving size on most granolas is ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) and the calories range from 150-250 per serving. Along with calories, there is the problem of added sugars like in Bear Naked, which they use corn syrup. McDonald’s also adds to their granola “crisp rice”, which is just crispy white rice, which has no health benefits. If you have to have granola and cant live without it, which I admit is wonderful, then add a tablespoon to your yogurt or mix it with your cereal that you eat in the morning that contains a lot less calories because in moderation, this tasty treat isn’t a bad choice at all.

8) Smoothies – Most people think of dieting and weight loss when they think of smoothies, but it seems that smoothies have the same problem as granola. Smoothies can be high in sugars and calories. The perfect example would be a smoothie from Smoothie King. Just a small smoothie can contain anywhere from 250-350 calories, which is a 20 oz and a large, 40 oz, smoothie can contain from 500-700 calories. These numbers don’t even include their “healthy smoothies”, which can contain between 500-1,100 calories. Most calories in all smoothies made consist mainly of added sugar and excessive fruit juice. Why do people think they NEED to add all this sugar? ...Because it sells. So from now on, if you want a smoothie, make it at home. Take ½ cup orange juice, 1 cup Dannon Light & Fit Vanilla Yogurt, and ½-1 cup of your favorite fruit and you have yourself a home-made smoothie that will have way less calories than those smoothies you would get at a smoothie specialty store.

9) Vegetable Juice – When you see a can of V8 vegetable juice on the shelf in the grocery store, most people would think that it would be a healthy choice. It should have a lot of different vegetable juices in similar amounts, but besides, the reconstituted tomato juice, the next ingredient is carrot juice, followed by other vegetables, which knowing the further down you go on an ingredient list, the more scarce the ingredients get. If you were to drink 1 cup of carrot juice, you would receive 900% Vitamin A, whereas V8 only provides 40% Vitamin A in 1 cup. Plus, there is 600 mg of sodium (40% DV) in a 12 oz can, which is way too much. No wonder you get thirsty after you drink a can of V8. If you don’t like many vegetables, this will be okay to get a serving in here and there, but if you can, try the carrot juice by itself or low-sodium V8 instead.

10) Pita Chips – Pita chips have been portrayed as a healthy food, but in reality the ingredients consist of white flour, oil, salt, and seasonings. Where is the whole wheat? Most people think that if it is a pita chip, then it has whole wheat. That’s why you should always check the ingredients list. In one serving of Stacy’s Pita Chips (about 10 chips), there is 130 calories and 270 mg sodium. A bag of Nacho Cheese Doritos contains 150 calories and 180 mg sodium. Where is the real difference? Essentially, there isn’t anything healthy about pita chips, unless the oil is extra virgin olive oil, but my guess is that it is too expensive to use, so they will use soybean oil or cottonseed oil.

Separating the hype from what actually matters to your health can be a challenge but it's not impossible to do.  Hopefully these 10 examples show you that just because a food is labeled as "healthy" doesn't mean that you can eat as much as you want or that it's as good for you as you think.  

If you like this - check out these...

- Copyright © Fitbits-