(WellnessPursuits.com) – Eating right and exercising daily seems to have gone the way of the dinosaurs in favor of new, trendy diets. Seemingly a new diet springs to life every few months, with an amazing new “super food” designed to help you cut the fat, drop the pounds and feel great about yourself.
Some of these diets are dangerous (eating nothing but one food for long periods of time), while others are simply new and don’t provide any sustenance. If you are considering going on one of these diets, or are thinking about including some of these trendy health foods in your current meal plan, here are a few “health” foods that are actually bad for you.
Wait, what? Everyone seemingly everywhere says granola is great for you. It’s packed with fiber and all that goodness, right? Well, yes, it does come with some fiber. It also comes loaded with sugar.
Check the label on any “granola” based food, whether it is a cereal, bar or other item, there is an obscene amount of sugar in it (which leads to the development of more body fat and also raises your risk of diabetes). If you look on the menu at McDonald’s, a Fruit n’ Yogurt Parfait has more sugar than a small strawberry milkshake.
Walk down any health food isle and you’ll see tons of protein bars. Some are “hold-me-over” bars with 10 grams of protein or so to help get you through that midday lull. Others are complete meal replacement bars, packed with 30 grams of protein or more. What’s not to like about that? Plenty.
Protein bars are nothing more than candy bars with elevated protein levels. You’ll find nearly every protein bar packed with sodium, starch and sugar. After all, you have to make all that protein in a small portion somewhat edible.
Vitamin Enriched Beverage
Hopefully you haven’t fallen into this trap, but it is worth bringing up. Plenty of new “health” beverages include a boost of vitamins. Maybe one comes with a good portion of Vitamin C or D. Sounds good, right?
Not when you look at the calories and sodium. The sodium found in beverages like Vitamin Water rival that of Power Ade and Gatorade. If you really need more vitamins, reach for an apple. Not a salty drink.
This is a common meat alternative offering. Due to this, it is more popular with vegans (which may explain why you haven’t heard of it).
It is made from wheat gluten due to its high protein levels. However, seitan doesn’t have much, if any flavor, so it often comes packed with extremely high levels of sodium. If you really want to include it in your diet, read the packaging for added ingredients. More often than not, the salt levels are just far too high.
This is an algae, commonly found in powder form. It is another protein offering typically used by vegans. In general, it actually is healthy, with a good amount of protein, as well as some antioxidants and iron. You just really need to be careful with it, because over consumption can cause an excessively high iron level, causing problems with your blood. So, you can eat this, just don’t go over the top.
Honorable Mention: Acai Berries
Alright, so these aren’t technically bad for you. However, it is worth bringing these berries up. Why? Because unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last five years, everyone is talking about acai berries.
It’s included in everything, Dr. Oz has talked about the berries, as has Oprah. However, claims to weight loss are not founded, and while a nice source of antioxidants, blueberries actually have more (and are cheaper and you can actually find in the grocery store).
There you have it. It all really comes down to common sense. Just because something is sold as being “healthy” still means we all must evaluate what is really healthy for ourselves… Pay attention to ingredients by reading the labels.
Here’s to your Healthy Pursuits!
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