You’ve decided now is the time. You are finally going to get healthy and lose some weight in the process.
You are going to hit the gym at least three times a week.
You are going to stretch.
You are going to be sure to drink enough water every day.
And you are going to throw out all of those unhealthy foods in your cupboards and replace them with healthy ones.
This sounds like an excellent plan! No doubt, after you buy a new pair of sneakers and download an app to help you stay hydrated, you will head to your local grocery store to stock up on healthy foods and snacks.
But hold up!
Do you really know which foods are healthy and which are just pretending to be?
If you only read the front of the packaging or believe what you see in those flashy TV commercials, you know, the ones that show active people with perfect bodies, you’re most likely going to buy foods you only THINK are healthy, but really aren’t.
To help you make the healthiest decisions on your next trip to the grocery store, here are 8 foods you think are healthy, but really aren’t – so DO NOT BUY THEM!
1. Energy Bars
Perhaps the most dubious items on this list are energy bars. Sure, they promise to give you more energy so you can have a better workout, or even just get through your day, but are these bars really good for us?
Well, that depends. Do you think a “healthy” energy bar that contains as much sugar as a candy bar is healthy? Because many energy bars contain copious amounts of the white stuff!
Don’t just read the front of the label that boasts how many grams of protein the bar contains, turn that bar over and read the nutritional information to find out how much fat and sugar are in that one, little bar. Or, better yet, forego that bar for a piece of fruit and/or a hard-boiled egg instead.
2. Bran Muffins
There is no denying that fiber is essential for overall good health. But there are other ways to get important fiber into your diet besides bran.
Why is bran not so great for your health?
To start, bran can actually cause gut inflammation and, if you’ve spent any time reading our blog, you know the last thing you want is gut inflammation! It is the antithesis of a healthy gut and can lead to a host of diseases.
On top of that, many bran muffins are loaded with sodium and sugar. In fact, there is a popular food chain whose bran muffins contain twice as much sugar as their chocolate frosted cake donuts! If you want fiber in your diet, eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables instead!
3. Dried Fruit
In most cases eating dried fruit is the same as eating a piece of candy. Not only is fructose about the only thing left when you take away all of the water content, but many companies add extra sugar and preserve with sulfur dioxide, not really something you should be ingesting. If you’re going to eat fruit as a snack, eat an actual piece of fresh fruit.
4. Sandwich Wraps
Where on Earth did the idea that a sandwich made on a thin piece of pita is somehow better for you than a traditional sandwich come from? If you make your own veggie wrap at home, that’s one thing – but the truth is many popular commercial wraps are filled with unhealthy ingredients like mayonnaise, bacon, and sodium.
5. Agave Nectar
A lot of people think this is the best sweetener to use because it is natural. But consider this: Agave nectar has more fructose than high fructose corn syrup. Your best bet is to use unfiltered organic raw honey or molasses, where you will at least get some other beneficial nutrients with your sweetness.
6. Flavored Yogurt
By now we know that a healthy gut requires probiotics, those beneficial bacteria that helps us shed weight and keep diseases at bay. While fermented dairy products like kefir and yogurt offer beneficial probiotics, many brands are packed with tons of sugar, some as much as 15 grams per serving!
Your best bet is to eat plain ol’ Greek yogurt and add some fresh berries for a little sweetness.
7. Diet Soda
Many people think diet sodas are a healthier alternative to regular sodas, but this simply isn’t the case. Diet sodas use artificial sweeteners instead of regular sugar. And while some of these sweeteners, like saccharin, acesulfame, aspartame, neotame, and sucralose are FDA-approved, how they affect the brain and body is very complex.
Studies have found many artificial sweeteners increase our risk of developing metabolic syndrome and certain cancers.
Your best bet is to stick to drinking water. If you feel you must have something with a little flavor and sweetness, try coconut water.
You’d be amazed (maybe not) at how many people trade in sugary cereals for “healthy” granola, not knowing that granola typically offers the same amounts of sugar, and, in some cases, fat from oil. Make sure you read those ingredients and choose a granola that does not add any sugar and is made from whole grains and oats.
At this point you’ve probably noticed that most of the foods on this list are unhealthy because they contain a lot of sugar. And while you probably know that sugar adds inches to your waste, did you know that sugar is the real culprit behind high blood pressure?
Sure, you’ve been told that salt is the culprit, but the truth is, sugar has more of an effect on our blood pressure.
Researchers at the University of Louisiana found that even drinking ONE less sugary beverage per day can have a MEASURABLE decline in your blood pressure levels.
So, the good news is cutting out these foods will not only help you lose weight, it will also help your blood pressure.
But if you’re looking for a COMPLETE blood pressure system, one that has helped thousands of Americans take control of their blood pressure and overall health – I’d recommend The Blood Pressure Solution, written by a doctor that has been helping people naturally lower their blood pressure WITHOUT prescription medication for years.