Monday, January 28, 2013

Healthy or not?

Food that you may think are good for you, but are not.
1.      Microwave popcorn: It contains nearly 4 dozen chemicals. A new study has found that the chemical ingredient responsible for that butter taste in microwave popcorn may actually speed the progression of Alzheimer's disease. And if all the chemicals are not deterrent enough for you, also consider the fact that microwave will kill all the enzymes in your food, aka everything that is good and nutritious.
A better alternative is air popped or in a corn popper, using coconut oil and your own blend of spices.

2.      Light salad dressing:  Read the ingredients on the bottle. They are usually filled with preservatives and other additives you can't pronounce—not to mention sodium and sugar. A better alternative is to drizzle olive oil, and balsamic vinegar or lemon juice, add a few fresh or dried herbs, some Himalayan sea salt and fresh pepper….. much much healthier and so much more delicious.

3.      Trail Mix: The commercial ones are usually filled with over processed nuts, peanut, sugary dried fruits, chocolate, sugar, salt and preservative. The concept of trail mix is phenomenal. Make your own! Use raw nuts, home dried fruits (sparingly). If you want extra flavor, drizzle the nuts in coconut oil, roast  at 200 degrees for around 6-8 hours, season immediately when out of the oven (Use any spices you like…. Himalayan salt and pepper, chili powder, garlic, chipotle, unsweetened cocoa powder)

4.      Granola: With rolled oats, nuts, and dried fruits, granola seems so healthy. What is misleading though is how much sugar and extra calories are lurking in granola. A bowl of this stuff can easily contain 500 or more calories.

5.      Flavored fat free or sugar free yogurt: do not get deluded by the “fat free” labels. Fat is not your enemy. Bad fat is your enemy. With flavored yogurt, sugar content should be your concern.  As for the sugar free, it is replaced by artificial sweetener who can be much more damaging to your health. Use plain yogurt, add fresh fruits or berries, and sweetened with raw honey, maple syrup or Stevia.

6.      Flavored soymilk, rice milk or almond milk: read your labels. Most of those are usually packed with sugar, which counter the wholesomeness of the drink. As for the soy, the vast majority of soy grown in the US is genetically modified (GM) soy. Soy contains a number of problematic components that can wreak havoc with your health. The only soy you should consume is fermented soy.

7.      Energy drinks: a sugary caffeinated drink. It will give you an unnatural boost of energy. One hour after drinking Red Bull, your blood system becomes abnormal, as might be expected from a patient with cardiovascular disease. If you’re drinking energy drinks for the reason most people do -- to get more energy – know that there are far superior options than artificial energy drinks. Humans are not naturally sluggish or constantly tired. This lethargic state is something that many of us have brought on ourselves with poor life choices or toxicity in our bodies

8.      Smoothies: Smoothies have long been the darling of the health-food world. Although some smoothies made with simple, whole-food ingredients can be healthy, don't get fooled into thinking anything with the name "smoothie" is good for you. Some smoothies are made with lots of added sugars, high-calorie ingredients like chocolate syrup, or even use full-fat ice cream as a base. Your best smoothie bet? Make one at home so that you know exactly what's in it!

9.      Turkey sandwich: You've probably heard that when in doubt of what to order out, a turkey sandwich is always a safe bet, right? Well, it depends on where you're eating. Highly-processed deli meats can be high in nitrates and sodium, which is hard on the heart and health. Not to mention that turkey sandwiches are oftentimes loaded with processed mayo ,and include huge portions of bread (white or wheat, too much is too much). Better choice? Make one yourself using nitrate free fresh turkey, substitute the mayo for mashed avocado, add onions , tomato, mustard and spices for that extra flavor. Instead of a huge bun, roll the turkey in a lettuce leaf of a whole grain wrap

10.  Parfait:  Made with yogurt, granola, and fresh fruit, a parfait seems pretty harmless, but  unless  it is made at home with the right ingredients, this "healthy" snack can easily contain heavy dessert-like numbers for calories, bad fats, and sugar. Use some plain yogurt, fresh berries, and raw nuts for crunch.

11.  Fish sandwich: Just because it is fish, it does not mean it is healthy. Fish needs to be fresh water fish from a good non contaminated source. Then it needs to be cooked properly: not battered and deep fried. Adding copious amount of chemical laden “secret sauce” and a huge white bun only destroys it further. Use Alaskan Wild Salmon, grill, bake or fry it in coconut oil. Wrap it in a lettuce leaf or a whole grain wrap with avocado, veges, mustard, spices and NOW you have a healthy fish sandwich.

12.  Chicken wrap: same thing than with the fish sandwich. Use good quality hormone free chicken. Use it in the same manner as above mentioned

13.  Low fat muffins: I hate anything low fat. Good fats are necessary. Bad fats are harmful. You want to have a healthy muffin? Bake it yourself. Use applesauce, coconut oil or avocado for a fat. Use whole grain flour cut with oatmeal. Use Baking Blend Stevia or raw honey for a sweetener. Add fresh fruits of berries. In the process of labeling things low fat, people forget to look at the sugar content and the quality of the other ingredients.

14.  Gluten free products: Gluten sensitivity is a huge issue nowadays. But because it is labeled gluten free does not necessarily make it healthy. If it's packaged or processed -- gluten or no gluten -- it's not as healthy as other whole foods you could be eating. Again learn to read your labels.

15.  Frozen diet dinners: A pre-portioned frozen meal may be convenient and seem like a great way to keep your calories in check, but when it comes to nutrition, most diet dinners just don't stack up. Filled with preservatives, too much sodium, and few veggies, these are better left in the freezer case.

16.  Canned soup: The lining of cans  contains the suspect chemicals bisphenol-A and phthalates, both of which can mimic human hormones. This is very detrimental to your health as they can leach into your food. On top of it most canned soups have very high sodium content. Cans are wonderful emergency backup food though. Just try to find the cans that are BPA-free cans. Same with plastic containers.

17.  Spinach pasta: Pasta made with spinach may seem healthier than white (or even wheat) pasta, but sadly, it's not. Although the noodles may be green, the amount of spinach actually in there is so small that it doesn't add up to much benefit—and it certainly doesn't justify eating a huge bowl of it. You're far better off having a half cup of whole-wheat pasta and a side salad with spinach.

18.  Wheat bread: Don't be fooled by wheat-bread products. If the package doesn't specifically say "100-percent whole wheat,” then it's probably mostly white bread with just a little wheat flour mixed in for marketing. Also make sure each slice has at least 2 grams of fiber—another mark of a healthy bread. Check for sugar content and chemical content in the list of ingredients. If the list is too long or too difficult to read, pass on the bread. Choose a simpler version with a short and chemical free list of ingredients.

19.  Diet soda: The word "diet" doesn't always equal healthy, and that's certainly the case for diet soda. Made with artificial sweeteners and flavorings, it's not only unnatural and high in sodium, but regular diet soda drinkers have been shown to eat more calories after consuming diet cola. A healthier approach: sparkling water with added stevia and berries for flavoring. It is delicious and refreshing and still calorie free.

20.  Reduced fat peanut butter: There is the high and mighty “reduced fat” again. This one is simple: read the list of ingredients. For peanut butter it should only say “peanuts”. You can have added sea salt to it but absolutely nothing else. Try other nut butter as well. Almond butter, cashew butter, etc are all healthier version. Especially with all the  peanut allergies.

21.  Fruit cocktail: over processed fruits covered in a sugary syrup, and all stored in a chemical laden can. Yum. Use fresh fruits!!!

22.  Fruit juice: fruits are awesome when eaten whole. When you extract the juice out of the fruit you just took the sugary water, and left the fiber and enzymes out of it. All those are necessary to balance things out. If you are juicing yourself, try and blend the pulp thru it by making it in a smoothie.

23.  Baked beans: Beans are awesome because they're so high in fiber and are a plant-based source of protein. The commercial baked beans can be loaded with sugar and sodium. If they are canned you are dealing the same issues as canned soup, chemicals leaching in your food. Homemade baked beans are amazing. They are lengthy to cook but very simple and delicious. Go ahead bake a big batch and freeze in single portions so you can have them when you desire.

24.  Pretzels : most pretzels have no real nutritional value and are made with white flavor, which quickly converts to sugar in your bloodstream, spiking your blood sugar and causing you to want to eat more and more.

25.  Veggie chips: The pieces of actual veggies in veggie chips are so thin and so processed—whether they're baked or fried—that most of the nutrition from the original vegetable is gone.  You can thinly slice vegetables and bake them in the oven with a drizzle of coconut oil  until they become crispy. Spice them up when you take them out. They will store very well in a cool place for many week. Easy way to satisfy your craving with something crunchy.

26.  Protein bars: again read your labels. Most of those bars are loaded with bad fats, sugar and preservative. They are nothing more than a high priced fancy candy bar.

27.  Sports drink: sports drinks are little more than flavored water mixed with sugar and electrolytes. An easy alternative is: coconut water with a pinch of Himalayan sea salt and a few drops of Stevia. Delicious and it will fill your need for hydration and electrolyte replenishment.

28.  Tea drinks: Most are nothing more than sugar water with artificial flavor. Once again make your own: cheaper and much healthier. Are you starting to see a pattern here?

29.  Rice cakes: rice cakes may have a nice crunch with few calories, but there's little nutritional value in them. Plus, the new flavored varieties have the added downside of having sugar and salt in them. While fine as a treat in moderation, these aren't really giving your body much nutrition.

30.  Frozen yogurt: while yogurt is good for you in general, you have to be weary of the added sugar, artificial flavoring and coloring.

31.  Granola bars: read your labels. A lot of them are just glorified candy bars.

32.  Flavored nuts: raw nuts are the best! When you start pasteurizing them and covering them in bad fats, coloring, sugar and artificial flavoring, you are on the losing end. It is extremely easy to flavor raw nuts and keep them healthy. Don’t sacrifice your health for convenience.

33.  Fast food salads: The ingredients are of questionable quality, some of the meat will be reconstructed meat and the salad dressing is nothing short of a chemical lab experience. Salads are too easy to make to not treat yourself to something good. I love salad in a jar: I layer meat, dressing, different veges in a large Mason jar and store it in the fridge. When in a hurry grab. All you have to do is shake and enjoy. They will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.  Just be careful how you layer so you do not get soggy lettuce.

34.  Croutons : Whether they're whole-wheat or white, baked or fried, croutons do not offer much nutritional value. If you like them for their crunch, try tossing crunchy veggies like green pepper strips or heart-healthy walnuts in your salad instead.

35.  Fruit snacks: Whether it's a fruit roll-up or those little gummy fruit snacks, even if it's all natural, you're better off eating a piece of real fruit. You'll be more satiated, you'll consume less sugar and calories, and you'll get more nutrition bite for delicious bite.
Never sacrifice your health for convenience. You can either spend a little time in the kitchen or a lot longer time in the Dr’s office/hospital later on.

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