Food and diet fads come and go. We are exposed to so much information on a daily basis that sometimes it is difficult to know which foods are as beneficial as touted. The other day I read an article about overrated healthy food, so here is my list of the top 5 overrated health foods:
Yogurt: I’m not saying that yogurt is not good for you, it does contain probiotics that help replenish our digestive tract with healthy bacteria. However many of the yogurts on the market are filled with sugar that kills all the good bacteria in the yogurt (see my blog on Activia yogurt). In order to reap the health benefits of yogurt, have plain organic yogurt with no added sugar. And vanilla is not plain, it contains more sugar than many of the fruit versions. Reach for full or low-fat since your body requires some fat in the yogurt so it can absorb the vitamin D that is added to many dairy products.
If you suspect to have a dairy sensitivity or allergy - stomach bloating, stomach pain or acne then skip dairy all together.
Egg Whites: I never really got the “just egg whites” thing. All the nutrients are in the yolk. If you are looking to cut back on fat, I would suggest looking at other things in your diet to cut back or out. You want to eat the whole egg. It’s a whole food packed with nutrients. Although egg whites are a good source of protein, the yolk contains 43% of the total egg protein and balances the amino acid (the building blocks of protein) profile of the egg. When you skip the egg yolk, you’re also skipping 100% of vitamins A, D, E, K and carotenoids. Among their many benefits, these nutrients boost your immune system, keep your bones, skin and teeth healthy, support the thyroid gland, reduce your risk of cancer, and promote healthy growth in children. The yolk also contains 99% of the zinc, 95% of the calcium and 90% of the calcium. If you tend to only eat egg whites, please consider reintroducing the yolk into your diet.
Whole Wheat: I am not anti-grain but I certainly do not love gluten products, (we are gluten free at home and consume the majority of our meals at home.) Whole wheat is not as good for you, I would say it is somewhat healthier than white bread. While I think this deserves a blog entry of its own, I will leave you with one tip, if a grain does not look like a grain, chances are it’s not good for you.
Protein Bar: Some individuals love protein bars, they taste like a chocolate bar. That’s because they have a ton of sugar and other additives in order for them not to taste like cardboard. If something is too good to be true, it likely is and in this case, the protein bar is not a healthy food. Just look at the ingredients, you’ll see the lengthy list of ingredients, most of which you probably aren’t familiar with. I’ve seen people eat their lunch and then have a protein bar. Unless you’re an endurance athlete, you do not need all of those calories in one meal – the protein bar is meant to somewhat supplement a meal.
Low-Fat Salad Dressing: Our body needs fat, specifically good quality fats in order to absorb vitamins (fat-soluble ones, vitamins A, D, E, K). Fat-free dressings usually contain not so health ingredients to compensate for their lack of taste. Try making your own dressing or simply add extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a dash of salt. The olive oil contains the good fat to absorb the vitamins from your salad and will leave you feeling satisfied.
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