5 common food that you think might be the healthiest choice; MAYBE NOT

Before I start, I would just like to clarify that whatever information you are about to read about food and nutrition here are mainly based on research and findings under the American Council on Exercise; so yeah…I didn’t randomly pluck these information from the sky.

1ST LOW FAT PEANUT BUTTER

We often feel that having anything with the label ‘low-fat’ is good, however that apparently is not the case for peanut butter. Peanut butter supposedly provides healthy fat to our diet, however low fat peanut butter reduces the amount of healthy fat we get; not much of a reason to go low fat now don’t you think?

In low-fat peanut butter, about 1/4 of healthy fat is removed while sugar and sometimes salt is added. The calories you consume is almost the same and with that though I rarely say this to people but…TAKE THE FATS!!! Go for natural peanut butter.

 

2ND MULTIGRAIN BREAD

While research has found that consuming more whole grains can help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer while also serving as a great source of vitamin E, iron and fiber, most people incorrectly assume that multigrain and seven-grain breads must do the same. Unfortunately, many of these products are often not 100% whole grain, and in some cases, they contain no whole grain whatsoever.

Here are the facts, most seven-grain and multigrain breads are made from refined, white flour with a sprinkling of other grains; these breads are just as processed and refined as white bread, they are usually devoid of fiber and spike blood sugar quickly, only to create the same crash that a sugar high does when it wears off leaving you hungry very quickly.

SO WHAT DO YOU DO?

Opt for wholesome whole grain breads that state that they are made from 100% whole grain or 100% whole wheat flour. To avoid picking up an imposter, avoid any products that list the words “enriched” or “refined” anywhere on the package or in the ingredient list.

3RD SEA SALT

To salt or not to salt? That is the question. Many of us are led to believe that sea salt is more natural than regular table salt, it must be healthier.

However, Gina Crome, MPH, RD who is also an ACE-certified personal trainer, clarified that “sea salt and regular table salt are fairly identical nutritionally,” so essentially they have the same amount of sodium. “Because sea salt crystals are bigger than table salt crystals however, the same volume of sea salt doesn’t take up as much room as the table salt would, and thus, has a little less sodium,” said Miller. But as Crome has seen firsthand, the false belief that sea salt is “healthier” than table salt often leads people to use it more liberally, and thereby consume more total sodium.

4TH FRUIT JUICE (Packaged ones)

100 percent fruit juice may not be as healthy as you think. Michelle Murphy Zive, MS, RD, said “even with ‘only’ fruit juice, there is usually added sugar in the form of fructose (fruit sugar). “For instance, apple and grape juices – which can be the ‘only’ juice or added  to 100% fruit punch – have higher amounts of fructose than other fruit,” she said.

So screw the commercial fruit juices, go home take a blender and blend your own juice or easier, JUST EAT A WHOLE FRUIT!

5TH PROTEIN BARS AND SHAKES

If you are ever so curious to read the ingredients on a protein bar or shake, you may have noticed a laundry list of words that look like they are more suitable in a chemistry textbook instead of a food label. The bars are usually 200 calories each with around 10-15 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat, 5 grams of fiber and 20+ grams of sugar. Julie Burks, MS, RD, CSSD, Semper Fit Dietitian and ACE Lifestyle and Weight Management Coach, stated that while the average protein bar or shake doesn’t sound so bad at first glance, these products are processed and contain stabilizers, preservatives, and other ingredients that may not support health. (She cautioned that the second and third ingredients are usually some form of sugar).

I drink protein shakes myself but have significantly reduced my dependency on them. It is alright to consume them on occasion; after an intense workout, but not 5 times a day! Opt for natural sources of protein.