There are a couple of good foods out there that people do bad things to. While these foods are good at heart, it is important not to let that be an excuse for eating something unhealthy in disguise. This article will discuss good foods gone bad, as well as how to spot them, and how to avoid them while still getting a tasty bite.
Salads are a great Hiding Place for Sugars and Bad Fats
A good salad can cover just about every food group in a single serving, but there are a couple of ways that this can be taken advantage of to make salads healthy disguises for bad foods.
A lot of dieters beware of the croutons on salads, pointing out that they are just bread soaked in oil and baked. However, because not all oils are bad for you, croutons are really only a problem if you’re trying to eliminate carbs. While a good salad without croutons can be virtually carb-free, most diets can spare a few croutons for the benefits of a salad.
If you’re worried more about the oil in the croutons than the carbs, you should probably be more concerned about other toppings, as many salads come topped with fried onions, or even fried meats, which will also raise the calorie count. Chances are this oil will also be a less healthy oil than that used on the croutons.
Another common source of oil in salads come from nuts and seeds, but these are healthy oils that can help the body in a number of ways. The only real oils to avoid are saturated fats and trans fats, which usually come from red meat toppings and salad dressings, respectively.
The most dangerous toppings on a salad are the ones that you put on it yourself. Salad dressings can be sources of all kinds of unhealthy oils, artificial colors, preservatives, and salts. Be aware also of “fat free” dressings that often replace the fat with sugar, which is even worse for you. While salad dressings can be done right, the easiest and healthiest bet is usually just a splash of oil and vinegar. Try using different vinegars and vinaigrettes with different salads to find your favorite.
Too Many People Drink their Calories
Studies show that coffee may be good for you, but that does not extend to cold, white beverages covered in syrup and served in a plastic cup, and the same goes for tea. Hot beverages like coffee and tea contain caffeine, which can help give a boost to your mind before work or your body before a work out, as well as healthy antioxidants, but many people only drink coffee and tea in the form of coffee-shop concoctions that are closer to ice-cream than a healthy beverage. A little milk can cut coffee’s acidity, but it’s best to hold the sweeteners and flavorings.
Something similar can be said for alcohol. Wine in moderation has been found to have health benefits, but moderation means a glass or two per night. The health benefits are washed out if that glass or two turns into half a bottle, or if people start reaching for other alcoholic beverages as well.
For a fruity beverage without the alcohol, many people these days reach for juice, but are skeptical of “fruit juice concentrate” which is used to flavor a lot of products, including beverages and fruit juice. Fruit juice concentrate is made from real fruit, so that should be a comfort, but in the concentration phase it loses its natural fiber and some vitamins, while retaining all of its natural sugars. Many fruit juices made from concentrate replace the lost vitamins, and sometimes add additional vitamins, but they seldom try to make up for lost fiber, which aids in digestive regularity.
Fruits Outside of the Peel Often Come with Added Sugars
Fruits tend to have quite a bit of natural sugars, so many dieters tend to avoid them altogether, which is unfortunate because they also have natural fiber, vitamins, and minerals. One instance in which fruit should be avoided is when it comes canned.
Fruit that comes in a can is often packaged in syrup instead of juice or water, in order to make the fruit sweeter. While some sugar-conscious eaters are willing to drain the syrup and look the other way, it still adds to the sugars that are in and on the actual fruit, making it far less healthy. If you’re going to buy canned fruit, look for fruit packed in juice or water, instead of in syrup.
There are a lot of deserts out there that shouldn’t be given too much credit because of their fruit-base either. From pies to tarts to shortcakes, too many people think that they need to dump sugar or whipped cream on their fruits to have a good snack. As mentioned above, fruits already have loads of natural sugars, so consider mixing fruits up into a fruit salad, or blending them into a smoothie for sweet treats without loads of added calories.
Whole Grains are Healthy, but what else is in there?
Things with grain tend to be very dangerous because grain is rather “in” these days when it comes to dietary trends. Some people are avoiding all grain because of the calories or because of gluten, but just about everyone else has been thoroughly convinced that grain is inherently healthy.
While whole grain has a lot to say, a lot of grain containing foods from cereals to snack bars are bragging about their grain content and hoping that no one will notice their sugar content. With a few exceptions, most packages that have special badges bragging about their healthy whole grain are also loaded with extra unhealthy ingredients, and it’s probably best to read the nutrition label to see what sorts of ingredients aren’t being bragged about on the front of the package.
One healthy item does not a health dish make. It can be easy to be fooled, or to fool yourself into eating something unhealthy because it’s built around something healthy, or because the healthy items are just marketed better than the unhealthy ones. A big part of sticking to healthy diet is being able to identify when something unhealthy is trying to sneak in.