Today’s post is about eating too much healthy junk food. Just what the heck does that mean? Well to put it simply, it’s way too easy to eat more than we should. This is particularly true when things are labeled as “healthy.” A great example of this involves a conversation that my roommate Skiles and I had in college.
Me: Why are you putting so much fake butter on you toast?
Skiles: Because it says it’s heart healthy and I want a healthy heart!
Me: I think it says that because its not as bad for your heart as regular butter. Not because it will actually make your heart any healthier.
So what are you eating or over eating that are surprisingly unhealthy? Well a couple of great articles came out recently looking at that question, and I will hit a few of the best points.
What do trail mix, peanut butter, and granola bars have in common? If you answered nuts, you’re right!!! (yes I know peanuts are legumes but that’s just too hard to make a pun out of). Nuts are fantastic because they have healthy fats, protein, fiber, and nutrients. But it can be wayyyy to easy to over eat these foods. The key here is moderation. Don’t shovel the trail mix or bar nuts in by the handful. Eating small amounts will fill you up if you give your brain just a little time to react.
Soft Served Saddle Bags
So here is a list of foods that we all buy with a smug grin on our face thinking we are making the healthy choice. When in reality we might as well be pouring sugar on our rice cakes: Granola, Sushi, Dried Fruit, Bagels, Energy Drinks, Yogurt, Canned Produce, Fruit Juice, Breakfast Cereal, Pasta, and Frozen Yogurt. What’s so wrong with these items is simply that for the most part they just don’t taste good to very many people. To make sure their items sell, many companies will pour on the yummy sugar while removing the yucky nutrients. What you should do with these items is look for both total and added sugars, as well as artificial sweeteners (which aren’t necessarily bad for you). If you see that there is more sugar or fat than you bargained for, then its a good guess that the manufacturer is more concerned with selling their product than with your health.
Hidden in Plain Sight
I freaking love Hummus, Green Bean Casserole, Veggie Burgers, Ranch Dressing, and Ice Cream (not mixed together of course). But the problem with these items is that the can come with a label like No Sugar Added, Fat Free, Organic, Heart Healthy, etc. Nothing wrong with these statements and when put together they make for a delicious and healthy adjective salad. But when seen alone on a label we all should be weary. Often time these buzz words are used to catch your attention. However, to make their foods taste good companies often need to rob Peter to pay Paul. Combat these buzz word buggers by checking the nutrition information and by using them in moderation (lord knows I love me some ranch!)
TO BE CLEAR, I’m am not saying any of the above foods are good or bad for you. But rather I am trying to open up your eyes to the world of “health” foods on today’s market. Usually your best bet is to buy your foods our of the produce section and dig in to grandmas recipe book. To sum it all up I would say that if it shouts “health” or “wellness” all over the label you should be skeptical. Just as importantly, if it tastes good you should probably indulge in moderation.
Wanna learn more? Check these articles out!
WARNING: Strong language
WARNING: Mild nonsense (i.e. toxins)