Losing weight and staying there are some of the hardest things to achieve in this world. And, we all know that diet plays a key role in weight loss. The things that should be eaten to aid a healthy and effective weight loss plan are all too well known. We all know fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean meats, dairy and healthy fats are must haves to shed fat in a healthier way.
However, often we eat some food items that easily messes up the weight loss program. It can easily undermine the positive effect of the food items mentioned in the last paragraph. For example, eating a chocolate pastry late in the day can easily mess up all the calorie restriction you had in place. Yes, there is a place for everything in your diet until everything is in moderation. But, there are some food items and drinks without which, you will be much better off. Here, is the comprehensive list of such foods and drinks that are messing up your health and fitness plans.
The crunchy mixture of rolled oats, honey or brown sugar, dried fruit and nuts is a breakfast favorite. The leading companies have pushed granola as a healthy food item that has high fiber and protein. It is only partly correct. Yes, it has good fiber, protein and iron content. But, it’s sugar and fat content is far higher than you would find in other so called unhealthy foods. Depending on which company’s granola you eat, it can have more saturated fat than McDonald’s fries and more sugar than coke. According to some experts, a small cup of granola can have nearly 600 calories, 30 grams of fat, and 24 grams of sugar. This makes processed granola completely unsuitable for those looking to lose weight.
And, if you are too much in love with granola to give it up, you will be better off making one on your own. Mix rolled oats with unsweetened dried fruit and nuts. Drizzle some honey over it and sprinkle cinnamon powder. Bake for 45 minutes.
Over the last couple of years, egg beaters have gained immense popularity. Driven by incisive advertisement campaigns, the popularity of egg beaters has increased to such an extent that people prefer them over real eggs. The biggest USP of egg beaters is that it is very low in cholesterol. However, unless you have a cholesterol problem, the yolk of real eggs pose no real danger to your cholesterol levels. In fact, the egg yolk is one of most nutrient dense food items out there, whereas, synthetic vitamins are added to the egg beaters to boost its nutrient density. Also, the egg beaters are made from factory farmed eggs and are heat pasteurized to last longer. And, heat pasteurization can easily kill nutrients and alter formula of important amino acids.
Of course, it tastes great and makes every dish even more delicious. And, you have been in love with it ever since you started dipping your fries in it and drizzling it over your favorite burger. However, you aren’t aware how easily the calories and sugar in the ketchup can accumulate. A single tablespoon of ketchup has up to four grams of sugar and 20 calories. Though, this might not seem too much, but people are often in habit of dousing food items with up to four to five tablespoons of ketchup. And, as you might have noticed, it adds up to unhealthy amount of sugar. And, coupled with the calories of the food item you are eating, the overall calories count can stack up too high for those looking to lose weight. Additionally, it contains high fructose corn syrup, which among other things is known to increase appetite and in long term, can lead to health problems such as obesity and diabetes. If you really want it, go for one with no added sugar, chemicals or HFCS.
Juice is just a healthy word used for a sugary beverage. The beverage industry has spent millions on advertisement campaign to dress juice as a healthy drink that is loaded with nutrients. Although, the nutrients part is correct, but it is not necessarily healthy for you. The juice is loaded with calories that won’t fill you up, but will fill you out. The juices don’t have the fiber content of the fruit that keeps you full for longer period and improves the digestion process. Some experts point out that fiber is arguably one of the biggest reasons behind consumption of fruit. Additionally, the fruit juice can be bad for your tooth enamel. One study has found that the orange juice can wash away enamel on your teeth. Drinking fruit juice for five days is enough to reduce the hardness of tooth enamel as much as 84 percent.
And, if you are drinking processed fruit juice, it might be better if you refrain from it now onwards. The processed juice is rapidly pasteurized and heat treated to increase their shelf life. This heating process destroys the nutritional value of the juice and the digestive enzymes as well. Also, most antioxidants are heat sensitive and can decrease by up to 15 percent every time, a fruit juice is heated. And, don’t get me started about the preservative chemicals, they add to increase the shelf life of the processed juice.
The cold cereal is extremely popular as a breakfast choice. You can eat them on the go and are extremely convenient. And, the crunch makes them particularly delicious. However, it is not fit for you. Most cold cereals are laden with carbs and sugar, which will over time fill you out. Most cereals are produced using a process called extrusion. In this process, the cereal grain is mixed with water to create a sludge, which is then forced out of tiny holes at high temperatures and pressure to create different cereal shapes. Then, they are sprayed with a coating of sugar and oil to make them crispy and crunchy. In this whole process, most of the nutrients are destroyed and additional sugar is added. Even, the synthetic nutrients added to the sludge are altered.
Also, the cold cereals have GMOs, which according to a research are responsible for causing increased allergies, digestive problems, liver problems, issues with fertility (even sterility), and several other issues.
Flavored Coffee Creamer
The flavored coffee creamer should be avoided at all costs as it does more harm than the flavor is worth. It has partially hydrogenated soybean oil, which has trans-fat. This synthetic trans-fat is responsible for the variety of problems ranging from inflammation to fat accumulation. Other side effects of hydrogenated soybean oil includes high cholesterol which leads to hardening of the arteries that ultimately can bring on a heart attack. Then, there is a case of presence of high fructose corn syrup, which is loaded with fructose and glucose. This is different from the sucrose as the body finds it difficult to break it down and slow breakdown leads to their accumulation as fat in the body. Add artificial sweeteners, carrageenan and artificial coloring to the equation and you get one of the most unhealthy food items that should be avoided. Even milk cream is a better option than the flavored coffee creamer.
If there is anything that could fill you out faster than regular fries, it is cheese fries. The regular fries are well known for the very high fat content. They are loaded with the saturated and trans-fats that increases the risk of obesity. It also raises the level of cholesterol in your blood, which increases your risk of heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. A single serving of deep fried fries contain around 24 grams of fat. And, to make matters worse, these unhealthy fries are topped with salty, greasy and processed cheese. Even, if you aren’t on a diet or looking to shed weight, the cheese fries are still not suitable for you. Unless, you want to have a glorious pouch pack, then you are good to go. And, as long as you are at it, grab a creamy milkshake as well.
Hot dog is the first thing that comes to the mind, when we talk about grilling. This fast food item is a firm crowd favorite. Whether it is a baseball match, or barbecue on Sunday, the hot dog is popular for the either. But, it is not ideally suited for those looking to shed fat or remain fit. The hot dogs are energy dense food, which means they have a high amount of calories per gram. A single regular size hot dog has around 300 calories. So, even one hot dog can sky rocket your daily calorie intake. Also, usually, the hot dogs are prepared using the white bread that has low fiber content. Fiber is very important for those looking to lose weight as high fiber foods keep you full for longer period of time and assists in keeping the blood sugar level even, which in turn minimizes cravings for sugar. You can remedy this particular problem by switching to the whole wheat bun. However, there is no help in tackling the high fat and high sodium content of the hot dog.
This creamy and chocolaty spread has been marketed as a healthy food item that can satisfy your sweet cravings. However, the healthy part is far from truth. In fact, one brave mother has even sued Nutella for misleading the public into thinking that Nutella is a “healthy product.” The claims of Nutella being a healthy product seems particularly absurd, when you consider the fact that two tablespoons of Nutella has around 21 grams of refined sugar. And, so much sugar isn’t good news for those looking to shed weight or remain in shape. However, the sugar part still can be managed. The other ingredients of Nutella make it a very unhealthy food item. Nutella contains hydrogenated palm oil, which means, it surely contains trans-fat. Also, it contains skimmed milk powder, which is not a natural product.
In short, Nutella has a high energy density and low nutrient density, which means, it has lots of calories and very little nutrients. However, if you still don’t want to give up on your favorite spread, then you can opt to make Nutella at home. Here, is a very good article by Huffington Post that can help you in doing so.
The cheese puffs are simply magical. First they crunch, then they melt in your mouth. And, their distinct sweet, smooth and salty flavor makes them absolutely delicious. But, if health is your concern, especially weight, then next time you visit grocery store, walk straight past them. Not only it is packed with chemicals that give it a distinct flavor, it is also extremely addictive. Also, it is made up of so much air that the brain gets confused and fails to recognize when the stomach is filled. Due to this, you often end up consuming more calories, which leads to additional calories being stored as fat.
In case you are feeling hungry between the meals, you can go for a greek yogurt or a fruit salad. And, if you want a crunch in your snack, then go for the Freekeh, which is a cereal made from roasted green wheat. Per quarter cup serving, it has only 140 calories, zero sodium (which you would find in abundance in cheese puffs), four grams of fiber and six grams of protein, which makes it extremely healthy.