It’s time someone let you in on a little secret. As much as I hate to be the bearer of bad news, it’s time you found out the truth. Are you ready for it? Okay, here goes. A lot of the health foods you’ve been eating over the years, which you thought were healthy and good for you, have been just the opposite and are making you fat.
Bold statement, I know.
It’s time the lid has been blown off the trickery, deception, and manipulation that is so commonplace in the restaurant and food industry. What saps your motivation faster than eating healthy, working out, and still not making any progress? Well, it may turn out that you haven’t been eating as healthy as you thought you have been.
From breads to supplements to low-fat foods, there are hidden dangers around every corner. In order to successfully navigate your way through the aisles of your grocery store to the pages of your favorite restaurant’s menu, you’ve got to wisen up to the game. In today’s article, we’re going to look at some common tactics health food manufacturer’s and restaurants use, explain how to spot them, and let you know how to make a better and more informed choice in the future.
One thing to keep in mind; while these things may seem minor, they are everywhere; and a lot of minor things add up to major things in a hurry. Additionally, if you’re one of the (many) people who have trouble making progress or dropping body fat, every little bit counts. An extra 20 grams of sugar you didn’t realize you were taking in could be enough to throw your insulin levels out of whack and cause you to retain more fat than you’re burning. I’m not telling you to obsess over this stuff, I’m telling you to pay attention to this stuff.
“Eat Fresh!”….just not at Subway
Let’s take a look at Subway. With their “Eat Fresh” slogan, they certainly purport themselves as one of the “healthy” fast food chains out there. Remember Jared and all the weight he lost simply by eating Subway? Okay, you get the picture. When ordering a sub, one of their bread choices is a 9-grain wheat bread. Sounds healthy, right? Guess again. This 9-grain bread does have 9 grains…unfortunately it has 2% or less of each of them. The rest is made up of regular white flour (it just looks like wheat bread because they dye it), high-fructose corn syrup (aka the worst “food” on the planet), azodiacarbonamide, and about 15 other chemicals you can’t recognize that hold everything together. Come to think of it, you may have actually heard of one of those other chemicals. Ammonium sulfate sound familiar? Yeah, that one’s found in fertilizer.
What to look for: Doesn’t matter if it’s Subway or your grocery store, you’ve got to keep your eyes open for WHOLE wheat flour. Whole wheat flour and wheat flour are different. One is a complex carbohydrate that won’t cause quick insulin spikes and unwanted fat retention and the other is a simple carb that will spike your blood sugar faster than you can say body fat. Choose wisely
Reduced Fat Foods…Not Reduced Fat You
Food manufacturer’s know where your insecurities lie. They know the word fat is enough to send shivers down the spines of millions of uninformed consumers. But you guys are different. You’re becoming informed and you’re not going to fall into their trap, right? First, stop letting the word fat scare you. The fat found in peanut butter is a healthy fat, in that it won’t clog your arteries like fried chicken will. The makers of low-fat products like peanut butter remove the fat..but they don’t stop there. They replace the fat with insulin-spiking, fat building, good old-fashioned sugar. They deceptively make it seem they have improved the nutritional benefits of their product when they have in fact done the exact opposite.
What to look for: Watch out for reduced and fat-free foods. They almost always have sugar added to help add flavor. The added sugar will wreak havoc on your diet especially if you are consuming it in large quantities because you think you’re eating a health food. Always check labels and watch out for sugar. Personally, if something has more than 5 grams of added refined sugar I simply won’t buy it..but that’s just me, and I’m a little crazy, so take that for what it’s worth.
All Yogurt is NOT Created Equal
Yogurt is supposed to be healthy right? High in protein, low in fat, easily digestible…what could be bad? Turn that little cup of yogurt around and check the label. As you’ll find in most brands, Dannon, Yoplait, etc. there is almost a candy bar worth of sugar in those little cups. Sure the protein is nice, but when you’ve got 3-4 parts sugar to 1 part protein, is it really worth it? I see so many people falling into this trap. With the white cartons, clean colors and minimalistic designs, they want you to think you’re eating healthy, light, and clean. Just understand when you have a cup of yogurt with lunch and think you’re doing something good, you may as well be slamming a Snickers bar instead.
What to look for: Go straight for the good stuff; fat-free Greek yogurt. No fat, <2 grams of sugar, and nearly 20 grams of protein per serving. If you’ve got a Costco membership, you can buy the stuff here at a really affordable price. A cup of Greek yogurt before bed is the best thing to have as it contains slow-digesting casein protein, which will help fuel your muscles all night…without the fat-building qualities of the other sugary yogurts.
Diet Soda..Low on Calories, High on Chemicals.
And these chemicals are bad news. Take a second to read all about the artificial sweeteners that replace sugar in soda. While you’re at it, take a look at this comparison between water and Coke. Those articles will shock you. It should come as no surprise Diet Coke is downright disgusting and terrible for your body. Quick fact about Coke (diet included): The active ingredient in Coke is phosphoric acid. It will dissolve a nail in about four days. Phosphoric acid also leaches calcium from bones and is a major contributor to the rising increase of osteoporosis. Diet Coke provides no nutritional value and is nothing more than water and chemicals. Opt for a water, but hold the chemicals next time.
What to look for: Stay away from sodas in general. If you simply cannot live without them…fine. Every now and then isn’t going to kill you. But to have one everyday, or God forbid, at every meal….you’re just asking for trouble. Aim for water, sun tea, or other low-calorie options.
These are just four of the more common traps food manufacturer’s and restaurants will set for you. Remember, a health food is only a health food if it is free from added chemicals, preservatives, added refined sugar, HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, and provides nutritional value. You’ve got to take a proactive approach in determining what exactly you’re putting in your body. The good news is, all of these foods found in the grocery store have labels. Start reading them and you won’t be in for a surprise the next time you step on the scale. Eat clean, eat local, eat fresh, eat colors (veggies not dyes), and eat in moderation..follow those simple rules and you’ll have built a foundation of success that will easily last a lifetime.
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