Here we go again, bursting your bubble and ruining all of your favorite foods. Every day you eat foods that are filled with things that you’d never put in your mouth if you knew what they were. Don’t be shocked if some of these are things you think you can’t live without. Here are 10 Foods You’ll Avoid After You Know How It’s Made – part 4.
What goes better with a glass of beer than a handful of pretzels? Nothing does. You might even be trying to kick your potato chip habit by replacing them with pretzels. Eating pretzels instead of chips sounds like a good idea since they are baked and not fried. We’ve been told over and over to try to avoid fried foods and to eat as many baked foods as possible. It would seem that pretzels would be the perfect snack since they aren’t greasy in the slightest. You can eat a handful of pretzels without having to worry about how you’re going to get the grease off your hands. The problem with pretzels is much the same as with refined grains in that they offer little to nothing in terms of nutrition. Sure, pretzels taste good, but that’s about it. All that salt on the pretzels isn’t good for you at all, and the flour used to make the pretzels is nothing more than glorified sugar. Yes, your body turns pretzels into sugar since it is essentially a stick of baked carbohydrates with a little salt sprinkled on it. As with everything, try your best to eat pretzels in moderation, or all of those carbs will eventually catch up to you.
9. Non-fat salad dressings
Everyone knows that salad is good for them. What isn’t good about salad? It’s a bunch of fresh vegetables that can make any rabbit your best friend. You’ve been trying to eat better, and that’s why you’re eating more salad. But a salad isn’t worthy of putting up to your lips if there isn’t a dressing on it. A bowl of salad is nothing more than yard clippings if you don’t drench it in some flavorful dressing. That’s why you started using non-fat salad dressing. You don’t want all that fat getting in the way of your healthy vegetables. Well here’s the deal. That salad dressing you’ve been buying may not contain fat, but it is loaded with sugar. How else do you think they get the dressing to still taste so good? The companies that make the dressing have to replace the fat with something, and they choose sugar and chemicals. The flavors that you’re tasting are chemicals designed to trick you into thinking that it tastes good. The chemicals are masked with sugar, so they go down nice and easy. Toss your salad with a little oil and lemon juice to truly keep it healthy. If lemon juice isn’t your thing, then add some red wine vinegar for added flavor.
8. Products made from corn
Stay as far away from processed corn as you can. Corn on the cob is a great BBQ treat, and no one is saying that you shouldn’t devour some fresh corn. We’re not talking about the vegetable, but all the stuff that’s made from corn. That means you should steer clear of corn oil, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, and maltodextrin. You might as well throw corn starch into that mix too. The main thing you want to stay away from is anything with corn syrup in it. Some people think that this stuff is even more dangerous than actual sugar. The jury is still out when it comes to corn syrup being worse than sugar, but remember, sugar is terrible for us to begin with. Who cares if corn syrup is better or worse for us than something that some say is the source of many modern health problems? Like with anything else, moderation is key. You can still enjoy Fritos and other things made with corn. It’s almost impossible to not eat any corn syrup at all. Try to keep all corn products to a minimum, and you’ll be okay. Avoid consuming as much corn syrup as possible and try to find natural sugar alternatives when you can.
7. Sugar-free desserts
You’re on a diet, and you can’t seem to satisfy your sweet tooth. What do you do? You go to the supermarket and try to find the sugar-free options of the sweets you crave. Going the sugar-free route seems like the best plan since the sugar substitutes have no calories in them. You can also choose from a wide variety of sugar-free products such as candy, pastries, and even soda. Anyone who has ever been on a diet knows how hard it is to give up the sweet bubbly drink they love so much. Many turn to diet soda as an alternative, but that stuff isn’t so good for you either. Sugar-free desserts are loaded with chemicals. The sugar substitutes themselves are often of questionable quality. The food manufacturers have to put all kinds of stuff in the product to make it sweet enough to eat. No one knows for sure how safe these sugar-free desserts really are. It also appears that many people who consume sugar replacements end up gaining weight and not losing it. It seems the body goes on an all you can eat spree after consuming artificial sweeteners. It’s normal for you to crave sweets, get it out of your system by eating something sweet in moderation. By eating the artificial stuff, you trick yourself into thinking it’s okay to eat a ton of it. Keep the portion size in check, and you should be okay going off the rails on your diet from time to time.
6. Cheese-flavored snacks
Cheese makes everything better. Doesn’t it? Just think, what would macaroni be without the cheese? Nachos? Load them up with cheese. There’s a reason why everything these days is either covered in cheese or is cheese flavored. How many boxes of those world-famous cheese crackers do you buy? If you’re not buying those, then you’re buying the crackers that have the cheese filling in between them. Throw a pack of those crackers in your bag, and you’ve got yourself the perfect snack to get you through the day until lunch. So, what’s the problem with cheese-flavored snacks? Well, don’t hate us for telling you this, but they’re loaded with chemicals. The one thing that many cheese snacks have in common is MSG, but that’s not the worst by any means. Many of these cheese flavors that you associate with your favorite snacks don’t actually come from cheese at all. You’d be surprised how scientists can trick your taste buds with all kinds of flavors. Are you craving cheese? Get yourself a slice of the real thing and satisfy your cravings the healthy way.
5. Blended fruit yogurts
We all know that yogurt is good for you. One of the reasons you eat yogurt is to get some more dairy in your diet. Plus, the added fruit is something we all need. Some people are more afraid of fruit than a vampire is garlic. What’s even worse is, some people only eat artificially fruit-flavored things. You know this could be you if you’re the type who only knows what fake cherry tastes like and not the real thing. So, it’s understandable why you would think that yogurt with fruit blended in it is a good thing. You have yogurt and then fruit; two things that every person should eat more of. Then what’s so bad about these two seemingly healthy foods? The problem with blended fruit yogurts is that they’re loaded with sugar. There is no health benefit from eating yogurt that is filled to the brim with added sugar. The best alternative to blended fruit yogurts is to buy plain yogurt and add a little fruit to it yourself. You can add any fruit you want, and the yogurt will still be considered healthy. You aren’t going to add all that sugar like they do in those pre-mixed cups. Avoid those cute little cups at all costs if you’re eating yogurt as a healthy snack. There’s nothing healthy about eating yogurt with a ton of sugar dumped into it.
4. Refined grains
You’re addicted to carbohydrates. The first part of recovery is admitting that you have a problem. You can’t leave the house in the morning without a couple of slices of peanut butter toast. What do you get for lunch? You might hit up your favorite Chinese restaurant and what’s the one thing that your favorite Chinese dish comes with? Rice. After a hard day of work, you go home and whip up a pot of spaghetti to go along with your secret tomato sauce recipe. Do you notice a common trend here? Every day you probably eat a ton of refined grains. It’s so hard today to avoid grains that have been over-processed to the point that they lose most of their nutritional value. How do you avoid eating refined grains? You start looking for obvious sources like bread, pasta, and rice. If you can avoid those three things, then you’re in good shape. Try to eat whole-grain foods that haven’t had all of their healthy goodness stripped from them. It’s going to take work, but you should cut back on all grains. You will feel better by not overindulging on carbohydrate-laden foods that weigh you down. No one is saying that you need to forget about pizza or pasta entirely, just try your best to limit anything with refined grains as much as possible. No one expects you to never order a Pizza Hut pizza again. The thought of that alone has to send shivers down your spine, so forget we even said the words out loud to begin with.
3. Fruit canned in syrup
Fruit is good for you. Right? Your mom used to tell you all the time as a child that fruit was a part of a balanced diet. She tried her best to get you to eat fruit any way she could. Fresh or canned, it didn’t matter. Fruit is fruit right? Everyone had their favorite canned fruit, and then there were those you’d rather forget about. The cling peaches were pretty good. Let’s not forget the pears; they too were pretty good. Let’s not forget the fruit cocktail that had those weird little grapes in it. If the grapes didn’t freak you out, then the small cherry halves did. So, what’s so bad about canned fruit in syrup? It’s the syrup the fruit is canned in. The syrup is liquified sugar and not much else. Fruit is naturally full of sugar, and that’s why it has such a sweet taste. Adding more sugar to already sweet fruit makes no sense at all. Your mom might have been happy that you were eating what she thought was healthy, but all that sugar was anything but. If you’re craving something sweet, the best option is to reach for a piece of fresh fruit. If you do buy canned fruit, buy the version that isn’t packed in syrup. Read the label before buying any canned fruit, so you don’t flood your body full of unnecessary sugar and calories.
2. Rice cakes
Just because you’re on a diet doesn’t mean that you just stop craving snacks. You have a routine that you follow every evening. You get all nice and cozy on the couch and curl up to watch a movie while munching on a bowl of chips. But now that you’re on a diet, the chips have been replaced by rice cakes. This requires true discipline and sacrifice, since no matter how hard you try to convince yourself, rice cakes are not chips. Plus, rice cakes are not necessarily as healthy as you think they are. Surprisingly, rice cakes might be less healthy than some of the other snacks you were eating before going on your diet. What’s so bad about rice cakes? The main problem with these cakes made of puffed rice is that they are nothing more than carbohydrates. You’re not getting much bang for your dietary buck when you’re eating a hockey puck shaped rice puff loaded with carbs. A better alternative is to eat a few carrot or celery sticks. If those don’t sound so great, then chew on a piece of homemade beef jerky. Don’t sabotage your diet by eating things that appear to be healthy, but are empty calories. A rice cake now and then won’t hurt you, but don’t eat them every time you need to fill the void of leaving chips behind.
1. High-fiber bars
You’re in a hurry, and your belly is reminding you that it’s been a while since you’ve eaten anything. Before you make a mad dash out the door, you grab one of those high-fiber bars. You know, the ones that are not only supposed to be good for you but are also full of delicious chocolate chips. High-fiber bars make a great go-to snack or something to hold you over until you can eat your next meal. You give them to your kids and even keep a stash of them in your desk at work. You feel as if you’re eating something good for you since there is all that fiber in there. How can anything full of so much fiber be anything but good for you? Well, by now you know what’s next. Time to burst another bubble when it comes to anything and everything that you love to eat. So, what’s the big deal with these high-fiber bars? The main problem is that they’re loaded with sugar. These bars may be high in fiber, but they’re also filled with sugar as well. Some high-fiber bars have as much sugar as a candy bar. Yeah, that’s bad. You aren’t always eating healthy when snacking on a high-fiber bar. One way to be sure is to make your own granola bars at home and even put a few chocolate chips in them for sweetness. Or grab an apple on your way out instead, before dumping all of this unneeded sugar in your body.