Not all the foods you think are healthy are actually good for you. By Satyaki Sarkar
Staying healthy in this day and age is no longer optional, but rather, an absolute necessity. And for those dealing with obesity, the struggle is much tougher than you can imagine. Not only do you have to exercise regularly, following painstaking routines, but you have to watch each and everything that you eat, and constantly monitor your weight. In spite of that, many times, you find that all your efforts are bearing no results. That’s because sometimes, the lack of weight loss could be because of something you’re not even aware of, as some of the so-called healthy foods that you’re relying on to slim down might be doing just the opposite. Here are five of these hidden troublemakers.
1. Diet soda
While they sound like the perfect alternative to those unhealthy, regular fizzy drinks you get off the counter, diet sodas aren’t really that much better either. It’s true that they have zero calories and the carbonation can make you feel like you are full, but it’s the artificial sweeteners that keep it calorie-free which cause the harm. Artificial sweeteners end up confusing the human body, since the sweetener is unknown. So when the body cannot detect or measure how many calories you’ve consumed, it in turn reacts by craving even more high-calorie foods.
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2. Carb-only snacks
In spite of being massively popular among fitness enthusiasts, what most people don’t know is that when you eat foods comprising only of carbohydrates, the body quickly breaks them down and converts the carbs into simple sugars, before sending them directly into the blood stream. Once the initial sugar rush subsides, you are left with low blood sugar and a lingering hunger pain. Thus, starch-heavy meals and snacks like pasta, crackers, dry cereal, and breads should be avoided as much as possible, and replaced with foods containing healthy carbohydrates with protein or unsaturated fats such as avocado or peanut butter, which keep you full for longer.
Supposedly the golden meal for any health conscious person, Granola is seemingly perfect for any diet, being made of tons of whole grains, fruits, and nuts. But the truth is that granola is usually made from oats coated with water, oil, and sweeteners like honey and brown sugar which makes them stick together. Added to that, the dried fruits contain large amounts of sugar, while nuts, as you might know, have a lot of fat. So a cup of granola, might have about 11 grams of fiber, but at the same time, it could have as much as 500 calories as well. Thus, if granola is to be part of your diet, it is always best to make it yourself, or carefully and consciously monitor the amount you’re consuming.
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4. Packaged vegetable chips
It’s common knowledge that potato chips are the last things to be on a healthy diet, and so, we end up replacing them with vegetable fries like crispy beets, kale, and the like. It’s sadly, no different either. Vegetable chips pack large quantities of calories into a small portion, and while they might provide you with more vitamins and nutrients than regular potato chips, if you really want to opt for a healthy alternative, you should choose sautéed, roasted, or steamed vegetables instead.
Photograph: Kasey Shuler/Flickr
5. High-fibre snack bars
Yet another holy grail of fitness enthusiasts, high-fiber snack bars do contain exactly that, lots of fiber, which is essential for the body. But the problem is, that being in such a concentrated form, they provide that fiber to the body at one go, instead of in small doses throughout the day, as is necessary. A single snack bar contains as much as 25 grams of fiber, which is what the human body needs for an entire day. This in turn, ends up hampering the digestive health of your stomach, while also causing stomach upset.