I talk to so many people who are trying to lose weight and clean up their diet, and so many of those people are failing to see any progress. Most of those people are convinced that the reason they can’t lose any weight is because they enjoy beer or wine too much, eat too much pizza or ice cream, or have no willpower. Or on the flip side, they are great at avoiding most of those foods, and are proud of their discipline, but they still can’t seem to lose any weight. Either way, the focus is being put on the wrong things.
I firmly believe that the reason most people are struggling with their health is not because they drink too much alcohol and eat too much junk. I believe that most people struggle with their health is because they are eating a bunch of “health foods”, that are really just junk foods in disguise.
Were stuck in a whirlwind of business and government telling us everything from Lucky Charms to Nutella is healthy for us. It can be incredibly difficult to separate the good foods from the bad ones.
So I thought I would help you a bit.
Here are 10 “health” foods that you are probably better off without:
1) Protein Bars
Most protein bars are loaded with sugar and have lists of ingredients that are barely short enough to fit on the package. Not to mention that you have to spend the whole time eating it trying to convince yourself that it tastes better than it does. A Snickers bar combined with a protein shake will usually give you a better nutritional outcome(and much better flavor). Stick with whole foods or protein powders instead.
2) Fruit Juice or Dried Fruit
Even if the fruit juice and dried fruit you consume has no added sugar or other ingredients, the bottom line is your ingesting a concentrated source of sugar with very little nutritional value. Fruit juice removes a lot of the fiber and nutrients that makes regular fruit so healthy. When this amount of sugar is consumed in a liquid form, it causes your blood sugar to shoot up, and your body to store fat. Add some lemon or lime juice to your water if necessary, but otherwise stick to fresh or frozen, whole fruits.
Okay, salads are not inherently bad. But most salad dressings, cheeses, and croutons are. Too many people think that because they are eating a “salad”, they are automatically eating healthy. Stick with veggies, lean meats, hard boiled eggs, fruit, and nuts for your salads and use any combination of olive oil/balsamic vinegar/lemon/lime juice/and spices as your dressing.
Similar to salads, not all smoothies are created equal. When smoothies are loaded with fruit, milk, and yogurt though, they become an overdose of sugar that fits in the palm of your hand. (see fruit juice). If you want to learn how to make a healthy smoothie every time, check out the smoothie blueprint.
You may not be diagnosed with lactose intolerance, but the lactose and casein in milk could be causing digestive issues and inflammation that you are unaware of. Not to mention that most milks are a substantial source of sugar that come in the dreaded liquid form. Stick with water for the most part, but substitute almond and coconut milk if absolutely necessary.
While yogurt is typically better on digestion than milk, it usually makes up for it by having a higher sugar content. Its difficult to find yogurt that doesn’t have added sugar or high fructose corn syrup. If you truly can’t live without the stuff, stick with full fat plain greek yogurt and mix in your own fresh fruit for added flavor.
7) Whole Wheat or whole grain anything
Most people have been brainwashed into associating anything “whole wheat” with being healthy. When I see the words “whole wheat” the first thing that comes to mind is digestive nightmare. Gluten and other lectins in whole wheat and whole grains, can damage the gut lining, and lead to a list of inflammatory diseases. Remove grains altogether, and watch your health get taken to a new level.
8 ) Cereals, Cereal Bars, and Granola Bars
Once you get past the whole wheat claims and fortified vitamins that are added in during processing, this is a surefire way to make sure you will be hungry and tired just a few hours after breakfast. Low in protein and high in sugar is a recipe for disaster for what many people consider to be the most important meal of the day. Get out of the mindset of trying to eat traditional breakfast foods and focus on getting a substantial amount of protein and healthy fat in your first meal of the day.
9) Anything that’s “reduced” or “low”
Calories are not the problem, people. You can’t just minimize calories, fat, and sugars to lose weight. Whenever a food has been removed of one ingredient, it is usually replaced by 3 more ingredients that are worse for you. Many of which are artificial. If a food needs to be altered in order to be healthy, then it probably was never food in the first place.
10) Soy products
If you are using soy products as a replacement for meat or dairy, you are probably doing yourself more harm than good. The phytic acid in soy has been shown to deplete the absorption of important vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, and others. The consumption of soy has also been linked to the growth and development of various cancers and tumors, especially in women.