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11 Health Foods That Are Potentially Harmful

By Shabana Kachhi

In this generation, we make conscious efforts to choose healthy over fast foods. But thanks to the food industry trying to catch up on this trend, healthy food is indeed within easy reach. Or is it???

The isles on the super markets are flooded with healthy products. Labels such as sugar free, organic and naturally derived - all attract us like ants are attracted to sugar. Foods that are "loaded with natural ingredients" or "helps lose weight naturally" are like answer to our prayers. But are they really as healthy as they claim to be? Well, may be not...

healthy foods that are actually bad for you

Health foods are a fad, which you can certainly do without. Instead of attractive catchy phrases, if you concentrate more closely on the list of ingredients, you will be shocked to realise that most of these diet-friendly foods are loaded with unnatural sweeteners and preservatives to make them palatable.

We at Boldsky believe in healthy eating, therefore we are here to bust many health food myths and tell you why they need to be striked out of your shopping list ASAP...

We have curated a list of top 11 so-called health foods that you can definitely do without-

Here is a list of 11 health foods that you need to strictly avoid-

1) Flavoured Oatmeal:

This discovery is indeed the first on our list, as all of us like the flavoured oats that are easily available nowadays in the super markets. These are super easy to make, tasty and a perfect way to start our day with. Oats are marketed as powerhouses of energy, which will sustain you for a long time. While this fact is true, flavoured oats are definitely not healthy. They are loaded with sugars which will crash your system later on in the day, urging you to binge eat another high-calorie food.

Swap it With: Whole rolled oats or the regular variety is much healthier. Top it with fresh fruits and a bit of honey for taste. Preparing oats with yogurt will further increase its health quotient. This will be a great way to kick-start your day.

2) Dried Fruits:

Dried fruits are supposed to be healthier, right? Well, not all. Freeze dried fruits like cranberries or even raisins are mostly full of sugar. Though natural, these sugars too aren't healthy. When a fruit is dried, it loses all its water content and sugar content becomes concentrated. Some packaged dried fruit contains added sugar to increase its taste, while some dried fruits are fried and salted.

Swap it With: Fresh fruits as much as possible. Consuming whole fruits along with peels, if edible, will make for the healthy snack, minus the unnecessary calories and sugar.

3) Fat-free Foods:

Products labelled fat free immediately attract attention of the dieters. Little do they know that they do more harm than good. A food in its natural state never harms the body, unless it is consumed excessively. But when these products are labelled fat free, they may be stripped off of their fat content but many other unhealthy ingredients are added to make it palatable to the human tongue. Things like low-fat milk and yogurt are heaving altered and are full of artificial flavouring and preservatives.

Swap it up with: Original versions of these foods. If you are trying to lose weight, managing proportions rather than skipping these products all together will provide to be more beneficial to you.

4) Gluten-free Food:

Gluten is a very important protein which is found in bread, wheat, rye, etc. This protein got its bad name after a serious of inflammatory bouts and abdominal pain reported by a large group of people. The fact that these people are very sensitive to gluten and that is why they experienced side effects, was completely ignored. Gluten is a healthy protein very much needed by our body. It helps decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes and also helps the body get rid of toxic substances. Eliminating this protein from your diet leads to unhealthy weight loss and increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

Swap it with: Whole foods. Skip the gluten only if you are highly sensitive to it. Your body needs gluten in healthy quantities, so don't deprive it of the protein.

5) Energy Bars:

Energy bars are highly processed and contain nothing special that regular food doesn't. Ingredients like white flour, sugar, artificial flavours are added, which increase its calorie count. So, basically, the energy that the bar provides will be due to the high calories that it contains, which is not at all healthy in our eyes. It can easily be substituted with other natural ingredients.

Swap it with: Dates and other nuts and seeds. You can easily carry some mixed nuts and seeds with your wherever you go. These will provide with the nutrients and energy which will last you long, minus the unhealthy ingredients.

6) Zero-calorie Sweeteners:

There was a time in our country where artificial sweeteners were marketed so effectively that people who were non-diabetic or the ones who never thought about dieting before, wanted to switch to these amazing sweeteners that promised to miraculously give you a flat stomach. They thought that substituting these products with sugar, they can gorge on sweets endlessly. Though artificial sweeteners can reduce calorie intake, which may help you to reduce weight by restricting your diet, they are known to increase your dependency on sugar, making the product counter effective.

Swap it with: Natural sugar, unless you are diabetic. Too much of anything is too bad, which includes sugar-free sweeteners as well.

7) Healthy Oils:

Many vegetable oils are marketed to be healthy for our heart. These oils are chemically refined. They also contain a large amount of unhealthy omega 6 fatty acids, which are very harmful to our body. These oils are nothing but processed unsaturated fatty acids, which are easily oxidised in our body. Oxidised foods produce free radicals, which damage our delicate internal organs. The biggest problem is that when these unhealthy oils are marketed as healthy, people tend to consume more of it.

Swap it with: Healthier oils such as coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil.

8) Herbal Supplements:

Of late, fitness enthusiasts are caught up with anything herbal because they want to get rid of the chemically laden medicinal ones. Herbal supplements in our country are not regulated by the respective authorities, which can make them shady. Though they may work on you, you can never be sure of what goes into it. It is always better to stay away from that kind of mystery when it comes to your health.

Swap it with: Real food or natural homemade remedies. If you still want to depend on supplements, make sure you buy them from a reliable source.

9) Fruit Juices:

Our country has a huge demand for fruit juices. Thousands of bottles are sold every day, as these juices are said to be 100% natural. Let us tell you one thing - Never ever are ready-made juices unnatural, especially not so with the process they are sold. Packaged fruit juices are marketed to be healthy but are indeed loaded with sugar and preservatives. They may be convenient to use and are great if consumed occasionally. But starting your day with one of these readymade juices, is known to cause acidity over a long period of time.

Swap it With: Whole fruits. Homemade juice too is unhealthy, as the fruit is stripped out of all its goodness and of course, sugar added makes it worse.

10) Readymade Soup Mix:

Soup mixes are gaining traction in our country by naming themselves as a healthy pre-meal option for the kids. But they are as bad as noodles are for you. The packaging may claim of it containing whole veggies, but tiny pieces of dehydrated peas and beans scream the truth out loud. They also claim to have fibre content and other nutritional benefits. But the fact is that they are nowhere near the real soups. Loaded with sodium and preservatives, it is better to leave them on the super market aisles.

Swap it with: Real soups or salads. The internet has many easy-to-make recipes which can be prepared and frozen for later use too.

11) Eatery Salads:

Salads are healthier only if made at home with the purest and freshest of ingredients. While there are many restaurants which serve amazing salads, most of them, including many fast food chains, make salads with sub-par ingredients. In fact, one study made a shocking discovery that salads which are served at a fast food burger chain, has more fat than their burgers!!! So you are looking for guilt-free trip eating out by ordering salads first, think again.

Swap it with: ANYTHING!!! If you are going out and not wanting to binge, have a fresh salad at home before starting. In case you are already headed out and want to control your portions, you can always have a whole fruit on the way.

Read more about: junk food diet tips
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