In an era of AI and Machine Learning, staying healthy is nothing less than a challenge. What defines our health is the way we go about our lifestyle.
Not that we aren’t aware of growing health concerns, but we simply fail to correct our habits due to our super busy schedules.
The food we eat, equally, has an impact on our health. Fortunately, this is one thing we have become watchful about lately, or at least we try and be cautious in picking the right foods now.
Processed foods have a low nutritional value, hence less healthy. Therefore, we know they're not good in the first place.
However, not all foods we deem healthy are exactly so. Here are 6 foods that give a false healthy impression.
When we hear of multigrain, we assume the food is going to be healthier offering good benefits. It may not be true, however.
Foods carrying the tag of multigrain contain more than one type of grain. These may also contain processed ingredients, such as refined wheat flour.
When processed, these foods get stripped of essential nutrients, which make them less healthy to eat.
What has been suggested is to choose whole grain. Avoid junk at all costs. Note the label, it should indicate presence of 100% whole grain or whole wheat in the food. Whole grains are healthier than processed grains.
Not only are these rich sources of dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals, they are also free from powdery low-grade white flour.
Don’t be influenced by the color of the food. Some of them may appear dark brown, despite consisting of refined grains.
2. Free-range foods
Free-range foods evoke a sense of positivity about the poultry and eggs we consume. It’s believed that birds and animals allowed to roam freely during their growth, make for quality meat and eggs later.
However, companies claiming their foods to be free-range, may just be a farce.
Though US Department of Agriculture does define birds and animals that have access to outdoors, free-range; the amount, duration, and quality of that is not defined.
Food experts are also skeptical about the quality of habitats, environment, and hygiene conditions animals are raised in.
So just because certain foods are labeled as free-range, it doesn’t make it a wise decision to buy them.
3. Foods made of real fruits
It is a general perception that foods made of real fruits are healthy. The image of the fruits on the packaging label makes them look all the more real.
Rather, it is more of a marketing gimmick that food companies smartly use to their advantage.
According to CSPI, companies are not obligated to disclose the percentage of ingredients that a food item contains. As it is, most of us don’t read food labels.
Even if these foods are made of real fruits, it still requires a certain amount of added preservatives for them to retain their shelf life. That’s where the healthy factor goes out of picture.
Take, for instance, fruit juices. The packaged fruit juices we buy from the market are basically just sugar drinks, owing to a high content of added refined sugar.
4. Foods with no added sugar
Obesity and uncontrolled weight are making gradual inroads into our life. More than a third of American adults suffer from obesity today. Even though people are aware and working to avoid it, they still have a long way to go.
Those suffering from diabetes and who tend to avoid sugar and fats, are mostly drawn to foods that read ‘no added sugar’.
Even though these foods may not have any added sugar, these may still be high in sugar content, which can be harmful.
Foods such as packaged milk, cereals, peanut butter and juices are already high in sugar, thereby being almost as unhealthy.
Apart from that, most ‘no added sugar’ foods contain compounds like maltodextrin, a form of carbohydrate which is known to spike blood sugar.
If at all, try and pick foods that are made with natural sugar.
5. Foods containing zero trans fat
Zero trans fat foods give the impression of healthy, chemical-free products. Trans fat is mainly responsible for bringing down HDL (good fats) and increasing bad cholesterol.
Foods concentrated with trans fat are hence dangerous and highly unhealthy. It can cause chronic ailments including cardiovascular disease, breast cancer, diabetes, and obesity.
To make sure we keep it out of our diet, we look for foods that claim to contain zero trans fat.
But despite the tags reading ‘zero trans fats’, food products may not truly be devoid of trans fat. Food companies are allowed to claim the tagline, even if their product contains less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving.
The presence of ingredients like hydrogenated oil denotes nothing but trans fats.
6. Immunity Boosters
Companies tend to call their products immunity boosters to bring about a positive vibe among customers. We usually feel immunity boosters would be safe and lack side effects.
The truth is that these products only contain vitamins and minerals that we get from our regular diet. Nothing more than that.
Wondering how to improve your body’s immunity? The answer is to eat pure, clean, nutritive and fresh food. And when it becomes a practice to eat healthy, immunity surges on its own.
In this day and age, it is required of us to not blindly believe what we hear and see on TV and in the papers.
Brands and companies selling these foods are better with their marketing than their products. They market them in such a way that we get the impression we’re eating healthy.
Before buying food, we must go through the ingredient list thoroughly and try to ascertain the genuineness of the product in terms of the health benefits it offers.
That’s when I would say we really are eating healthy. Isn’t it?
Nikky Watson - I love all things fun. Drop in sometime and you’ll know what I mean. For living and out of passion, I write and blog. Currently, I am writing for Meddentsafety & other top blogs.
Twitter – @Nikky_Watson