Top 10 Fake Healthy Foods

Healthy eating has a lot of benefits: it helps to maintain a healthy weight, prevents diseases, makes you look and feel better, allows you to get control of your life and more. All these turns healthy eating into the best diet possible, so when you make an effort to eliminate unhealthy foods from your diet and incorporate healthy meals and snacks instead, you make a huge step to a better quality of life. Nevertheless, not all foods masquerading as wise diet choices are actually healthy. The truth is that there are a lot of junk foods that hide behind the “healthy” labels. So let look at the top 10 fake healthy foods you have to avoid if you want to eat healthily.

1. Fruit Juice

If you think that fruit juice is healthy, you a making a huge mistake. First of all, packed fruit juices contain a lot of sugar. But even when it comes to fresh juices, they are not as healthy as it may seem. For example, a medium-sized glass of orange juice is made up of about four middle-sized oranges. It will take just about a couple of minutes to drink such glass, which means that all the fructose from 4 oranges will come to your liver to convert into a fat.

If you compare a glass of juice to 4 oranges, you will see that eating a whole fruit is much healthier. First of all, it will take you more time to eat them. Secondly, whole fruits contain wholesome fiber that slows the absorption of sugar and regulates insulin response.

The truth you have to keep in mind is that fruit juices contain nearly as much sugar as soda drinks, so if you want to enjoy the taste of oranges, better eat the whole fruit.

2. Yogurt

Plastic cups with different yogurts on light background

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Most of the yogurts are literally packed with sugar, especially when it comes to “fruit on the bottom” ones. One pack of yogurt can contain as much sugar as a can of coke, so there is nothing healthy about starting your day with such a sugar bomb.

If you love yogurts, make them at home or at least swap for Greek yogurt. Remember that ingredients of a healthy yogurt are milk and live active cultures, so sugar versions have to be avoided.

3. Protein Bars

Protein bars are popular foods among those who want to build muscles. Nevertheless, not all protein bars are healthy and some of them are primarily sugar and just a little of protein. Although there are some healthy options high in protein and low in sugar, it is recommended to read the ingredients list to be aware of what you are consuming.

4. Farmed Fish

Atlantic Salmon

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Although eating fish is generally considered to be a healthier option than eating red meat, farmed fish has to be avoided. The truth is that farmed fish such as tilapia is even worse to your health than a bacon. What is more, farmed salmon or ‘Atlantic’ salmon has to be avoided as well.

Although salmon belongs to oily fishes known for numerous health benefits, farmed salmon is a fake healthy option. The thing is that there are nearly no Omega-3 fatty acids found in farm-feed salmon. Instead, as farmed fish is treated with banned pesticides, its meat can actually be toxic. Also, it is high in dioxin levels – environmental pollutants linked to cancer, organ damage, and immune system dysfunction. One more reason to avoid it is that since November 2015, it is allowed to sell genetically engineered salmon and such fish is not even labeled.

It is true that oily fish is healthy, especially when it comes to  Alaskan wild-caught salmon, Pacific sardines, and Atlantic mackerel. The tip is to avoid farmed fish and these other fish you should never eat.

5. Factory-Farmed Meat

If you are what you eat, would you like to have a plate of hormones, drugs, chemical pesticides, and fertilizers? Note that every time you eat factory-farmed meat, your feed your body with that plate. The thing is that factory-farmed animals are literally packed with things you will never add to your healthy diet, including arsenic, antibiotics, allergy medications, painkillers and even depression meds like Prozac. According to statistics, about 30 million pounds of antibiotics are sold for use in farm animals every year.

The tip is to purchase meat from a trusted local source. Remember that ‘you are what you eat’ touches both humans and animals. So if a pig was raised on hormones and drugs, the bacon you are going to eat is made up of these hormones and drugs as well. 

6. Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sugar

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The word artificial says a lot but unfortunately, artificial sweeteners are often seeing as healthy alternatives to sugar because they are low in glycemic index. What is more, they are even recommended by some doctors to those who suffer from diabetes. The paradox is that such sweeteners cause a disturbance in gut flora and can become a reason for the development of diabetes. What is more, artificial alternatives to sugar are linked to a number of diseases, including obesity, allergies, and some types of cancer. 

7. Agave Nectar

Agave nectar is very high in fructose, which is hard to the liver and provides the body with the instructions to store fat. The worst thing is that agave nectar can be found on almost every health food self in the US, so do not get trapped. Still, if you need some natural sweetener, note that raw honey and green stevia are much healthier. 

8. Nonorganic Strawberries

Strawberries being grown

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Organic strawberries are packed with vitamins, fiber, and particularly high levels of antioxidants known as polyphenols. Nevertheless, nonorganic berries contain a lot of pesticides that are very harmful to your health. In fact, strawberries are ranked first on the dirty dozen list. So it will be wise to avoid nonorganic berries or swap them for organic ones. You can also buy in bulk from a farmer and freeze. One more tip is to grow your own. 

9. Fat-Free and Low-Fat Dairy

If you choose low-fat dairy to lose weight, note that according to a study published in The American Journal of Nutrition, women who choose full-fat dairy products are 8% less likely to be overweight or obese than women who choose low-fat dairy.

First of all, full-fat dairy products make you feel fuller longer. Secondly, low-fat or fat-free products are high in sugar and can become a reason for the development of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even cancer.

Also, it is healthier to choose dairy products made from raw milk. The thing is that pasteurized milk loses a lot of nutritional content. One more tip is to choose organic milk as it has the far healthier ratio of fatty acids in comparison to conventional milk.

10. Unfermented Soy

 It is believed that all soy products are healthy but the truth is that only fermented soy products such as natto, tempeh, and real miso soup can provide you with some health benefits. In contrast, eating unfermented soy products such as edamame, soy milk, and soy protein, means feeding your body with genetically modified food. It is worth to mention that long-term use of soy dietary supplements can become a reason for the development of allergies, asthma, hypothyroidism, kidney disease and some types of cancer.

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