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Four “healthy foods” you should be avoiding

Four “healthy foods” you should be avoiding

  • Genna Heintzkill
  • Jul 09, 2018

It might be a cliché, but the old maxim “you are what you eat” makes a lot of sense. Our diet is responsible for the way we look (from our skin to our weight and even our hair) and exerts an influence on the way we feel. All of us know that candy, chocolates and potato chips are no-nos. But many foods that  masquerade as healthy are just as bad. Here are four foods you might be surprised to learn rank poorly on the health-o-meter.


Adult breakfast cereals are typically given a healthy spin. Look no further than the wholesome-looking granola, which is often eaten with fruit, and screams vitality. But not so fast. Though the hardy granola bar might look harmless, it’s hiding enough sugar to put it in the same hemisphere as a chocolate cake. The US government labelled the granola bar a “grain-based dessert”. What’s wrong with sugar first thing in the morning you ask? It’s just about the worst thing you can eat. When your body is in a fasting state, it’s going to latch on to anything it can get. If you feed it sugar, it’ll ramp itself into an accelerated state. This will give you an irritable morning in the short term, and raise your chance of getting type 2 diabetes, long-term anxiety and weight gain in the long term. Sugar is found naturally in vegetables, grains and dairy, so there’s absolutely no need to add any on top of that. When it comes to that all-important breakfast,  you’re much better off with simple bacon and eggs.


Everyone knows that bread is not the best for the waistline, but did you know that most of the bread sold in supermarkets is low in fiber/protein and high in sugar? As per Health Essentials , be wary of terms like “wheat” or “multigrain” that don’t include a percentage. A lot of marketing gimmickry lines the  packaging of the bread we buy, and you only want the brands that promise “100 percent wholegrain” or “100% whole-wheat.” But even then, try and cut down on the bread you eat. It’s a great source of energy in the short term, but like all fast-acting foods, it also produces a noticeable slump hours later.

Fruit juice

In theory, orange juice is a great idea. Take a healthy foodstuff, extract the most delicious bits, throw away the rest, and quench your thirst without having to resort to soda. The reality is a little different. That glass of orange juice you have in the morning is probably the equivalent of eating 4 or 5 oranges, and because you’re drinking something that has had the life squeezed out of it, you’re not getting any of the healthy fiber found in the extremities of the fruit. It’s debatable whether fruit juice is any better for you than soda. If you want an orange, eat one raw. And for pure hydration, nothing beats water. 

Low fat yogurts

The bad press against fat has produced a string of “low fat” health foods in its wake. One of those is the low-fat yogurt, which is loved by dieters the world over. But wait, not so fast. When you strip fat out of yogurt you also strip out taste. To compensate for that, more sugar is added to the concoction. As we’ve stressed above, excess sugar piles on the pounds, puts you at risk for diabetes and makes you irritable. Oh, and it also rots your teeth. In the end, you’re much better off going with the full-fat alternative. Fat has been demonized but it can be a healthy source of fuel, and one that our bodies are well equipped to process.

Next time you go grocery shopping, keep this rule of thumb in mind: in every grocery store, the fresh food is kept on the outer edges, and the sugar-laden, processed foods are in the middle aisles. So don’t get tempted by the stuff in the middle. Upon entering, immediately go left or right, to the very end, and stop there. It’s a trick that might just kickstart your new healthy eating regimen. 

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