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Getting the Skinny
You probably don’t think twice about eating these seemingly healthy, common everyday foods. But guess what, many of them actually aren’t that good for you. You might want to reconsider what you stock up during your next grocery run.
Seriously? You’re still eating that junk? White bread might look harmless and fluffy, but it’s no saint. The grains in white bread are often refined, in the process removing the good stuff such as fiber and some protein, leaving behind the bad stuff, the starch. Which means white bread has next to no nutritional goodness. It’s also high on the Glycemic Index; since it’s easily digested, it can cause your blood sugar to spike and leave you reaching for the cookie jar when you come crashing down again. Which you will. Pick up some rye, sourdough as healthier substitutes, or try something creative, like using leafy greens as a sandwich wrap.
Are you the type who chooses fruit juice over others because you think it’s a healthier option? Well, think again. A cup of apple juice contains as much sugar as a cup of Coca Cola. While you still get vitamins and antioxidants from fruit juice, you essentially lose the best part about fruits during the juicing process – the insoluble fiber. This fiber not only helps to make us feel full, it also slows down the absorption of sugars (fructose). In other words, you’re drinking almost just sugar and calories. Limit your intake to just a couple of glasses a week as a nutritional top-up, or you’re even better off eating the fruit on its own.
Feeling thirsty? Try a quenching your thirst with a glass of refreshing Morning Boost tea instead. Throw in some ice cubes to your Morning Boost brew to have it chilled.
Whole-grain oats are a great source of protein, fiber and vitamins. Some studies show that they can even help to control blood sugar and lower the amounts of fat in the blood. For convenience, many of us turn to instant oatmeal for breakfast for a quick fix. But are instant oats as healthy as we think they are?
In order for it to cook faster, many manufacturers tend to remove the fiber for a better texture, which removes some of the fiber benefits. On your next grocery run, look out for extra sugars and artificial ingredients in flavored instant oats. Opt for plain instant oatmeal if you must, and flavor it yourself with Greek yogurt, almond butter, fresh berries or any other fruit of your choice.
There are healthy yogurts, and then there are unhealthy ones. Here are some tips to take note of as you walk down the yogurt aisle at the grocery store. Always read the ingredient label on the side of the yogurt container. Many low-fat options make up for this with added sugars such as high-fructose corn syrup. Search for plain yogurts that contain beneficial probiotics such as lactobacillus. If you like your yogurts flavored, you’re better off opting for a plain Greek yogurt and then add in fresh cut fruits and a little honey to flavor it up, instead of getting flavored yogurts that are usually laden with sugars. Also, Greek yogurt usually has more protein than regular options.
To make them super yum, most store-bought cereals are generally high in added sugar. Since grains are processed, they tend to be high GI, low in protein and fiber. Basically, they’re more like a dessert than a healthy way to start the day! Stick to oat-based options to stay full longer or go for a veg-filled omelet. And remember, honey and dried fruit are just fancy names for sugar!
Salads often make wholesome meals: fresh vegetables, protein-packed lean meat with hearty toppings like nuts or avocado, and even adding grains like quinoa to make it the perfect weight loss meal. But your low-calorie, waist-friendly meal may do just the opposite if you reach out for the wrong dressing. Some grocery store favorites are high in sugar, or in unhealthy fats, which will set you back on your weight loss goals. Balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, honey, mustard and olive oil are just some of the great alternatives you can easily concoct in your kitchen into a yummy, healthier dressing.