5 surprising foods a health conscious person should never eat
Most people are aware that they need to avoid the usual starch or gluten rich foods, like bread, burgers or noodles. What most people fail to see is that some foods that are supposedly healthy end up doing more harm than good. If you do want to have a healthy diet, you have to forgo the following convenient foods that appear healthy.
The box of muesli that you bought thinking that it is healthy has around 500 calories per serving! additional sugar is what makes most commercially available muesli palatable. You might as well eat a plain doughnut if you are going to consume the amount of calories that each serving of muesli offers.
2. Energy bars
Many people mistakenly feel that energy bars fall under health food. In reality, energy bars are loaded with processed soy along with high quantities of sugar and salt. While being processed the soy loses most of its nutritional values and ends up producing a chemical called hexane. Hexane is highly controversial since in certain doses it is a neurotoxin.
3. Light yoghurt
The selling point of light yoghurt is that it cuts down on the calorie content of the yoghurt. What most people fail to see is that when the calories are stripped from the yoghurt it does not remain flavourful. To make it palatable, artificial flavours are added. These additional chemicals negate the point of opting for light yoghurt in the first place.
Unless you are making your own salad you cannot be certain of how healthy it is. When you buy a pre-packed salad or order salads at restaurants you are not exactly ordering healthy. To enhance the taste of the salads a lot of unhealthy additions, especially in the form of dressings, are made which exterminate the whole point of having a salad in the first place.
5. Store-bought smoothies
You might be putting in nothing but the right fruits and vegetables into your homemade smoothie. Do not expect the store bought ones to be the same. To enhance the flavours, a lot of additional elements go into the product. Some smoothies that you buy can even have up to 1000 calories which you unknowingly intake.
If you do want to have a healthy diet and include these foods then it is best to prepare them at home. Keep track of what you are eating without blindly trusting the labels on the boxes.
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Packing a healthy lunch, whether for work or for school, is always a good option if you want to stay fit and healthy. Working for long hours can take a toll on your health. You should eat foods which are low in calories and fats; try and eat more veggies and fruits. Eating your lunch outside everyday can result in an upset stomach whereas home-made foods are both tasty and healthier. Here are some foods, which you should definitely consider for a healthy you.
- Sandwiches: Cheese and tomato sandwiches are a great source of protein; especially cottage cheese, as it is an awesome low fat source of protein. Tomato is good for your skin and also prevents cancer. You can also consider a healthier version by swapping mayonnaise with avocado as it is full of healthy mono saturated fats.
- Salads: Salad, especially green salad, is one of the healthiest foods you can pack for lunch. It is simple to make and is a great appetizer as well. You can also add flavour to your salads by adding lots of fruits and vegetables that you like to eat.
- Eggplant Pizza: Instead of having the greasy one, you can make your own vegetarian pizza including your favourite vegetables. You can also opt for whole wheat pita pocket rather than the heavy pizza dough. And diced eggplant acts as a rich source of fibre and potassium.
- Chicken Wraps: These are one of the best, if you are in a rush and want to eat something spicy and healthy. Chicken is also a rich source of protein; you can add some ketchup to lend some extra flavour to your wraps. You can also include frozen corns, lettuce leaves and peas if you want.
- Fruits: If you want to maintain a healthy diet, you should surely include fruits in your lunch. It decreases the appetite for the actual meal. The fructose present in the fruits gives an energy boost and the fibre creates a feeling of fullness. Since most fruits are high on dietary fibres and low on calories, they help to keep your weight in control.
To increase food production to match the growing population, chemicals are used to accelerate the amount of produce obtained from the land. However, the chemicals soon show their harmful effects. Though used in very minor quantities, over a period of time, their cumulative effect has detrimental effects on the consumers. Especially in homes with children, the aged, and the health conscious people, the concern about the harmful effects of conventional foods has grown quite a bit over time. That is where the concept of organic foods gained momentum.
Organic foods are produced by using approved techniques, promoting recycling of resources, which are not harmful to the environment and preserve biodiversity. These are foods which are grown without the use of chemicals, be it synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, hormones, or prophylactic antibiotics.
There are permissible levels of chemicals defined by food agencies whose limits when exceeded can cause harmful effects with prolonged use such as birth defects, respiratory problems, reproductive issue, etc. So the question you need to ask is - if pesticides are used to kill insects, can the same do any good to the human body? Also, you must consider the quantity and if it is within the permitted limits.
Organic foods have been proven to be more beneficial relatively, since they are more nutritious, reduce allergies, digestive infections, reduce the risk of cancer, etc. However, bear a word of caution in mind. There are no long-term studies to prove this aspect.
Also, it is advised not to overdo on the 'organic' part. A lot of times, there are organic junk foods available also. And then there are the organic foods which are produced in one part of the world, and are shipped over long distances. Do they really retain their nutrients and benefits over this duration? That needs to be answered.
Another thing to consider is the cost effectiveness of buying organic products. Because they take their natural cycle time to grow, the growth rate is slower and therefore they are expensive. Affordability becomes a question again, and you may think if such foods can be conveniently purchased by all?
The trick is to use locally grown, seasonal fruits which are easily available and grown without using much chemicals. You can be assured of their freshness and the reduced use of chemicals in this case.
Use organic for sure, but please be careful not to fall for it all the time with all the products.
Excessive fat in the body can cause a host of health complications such as diabetes, blood pressure, gout and disorders related to the gallbladder. However, there are certain food types that can help you achieve a healthy body with optimal fat levels.
Some foods that aid fat loss are:
- Greek yoghurt: This type of yoghurt contains higher amounts of protein and fewer carbohydrates as compared to regular yoghurt. It will help you feel full for a longer duration and prevent over snacking.
- Green tea: Apart from its antioxidant properties which are beneficial to the body, it also raises the metabolic rate in the body to burn calories. Catechin is a compound present in green tea that aids in removing belly fat.
- Chili peppers: They contain a compound containing capsaicin that helps in boosting metabolism which in turn burns fat.
- Chicken: Chicken mostly consists of lean protein that requires more calories to digest as compared to digesting fats and carbohydrates. Lean protein also help build muscle in the body which burn more calories when the body is at rest.
- Cinnamon: Cinnamon aids the body in transporting the sugar into the cells so that it can be used as energy and not stored as fat.
- Eggs: Eggs are considered to be a type of super food as they contain plenty of minerals and vitamins. Eggs also contain protein that helps in feeling full for a longer duration.
- Non starchy vegetables: Non starchy vegetables such as carrots, squash and zucchini contain fiber that help you feel fuller. They also contain very less carbohydrates so they do not add much calorific value to the body.
Oranges are a winter favorite and one of the most loved fruits around the world. The fruit is low in calories, it is good for the skin, the nervous system and the digestive system and it also lowers the risk of many diseases. It can be also included in our diet in several ways- from a morning snack to exotic desserts. Here are a few benefits of oranges:
1. They are good sources of vitamin C - Humans are unable to produce vitamin C endogenously, which is essential for our body and so it needs to be included in your diet. Vitamin C reduces inflammation related to arthritis, muscle injuries and also helps in reducing the risk of heart diseases by blocking the oxidation of cholesterol. Oranges are very rich in vitamin C along with other nutrients like vitamin B9, vitamin A, calcium, and potassium.
2. They are an excellent source of fiber - Fiber-rich fruits like oranges have been proven to moderate the levels of blood sugar after a meal because of their natural sugar- fructose content. For this reason, diabetic patients can also have oranges without worry. Moreover, the roughage present in the fruit reduces chances of constipation and diarrhea.
3. Help prevent cancer - The fiber content in oranges can also play a significant role in keeping cancer-causing chemical components away from the colon. Moreover, vitamin C helps build the immune system so as to resist cancer cells. The antioxidants may also help with breast cancer, skin cancer, stomach cancer and lung cancer.
4. Improves the quality of sperm - A vitamin called folic acid, which is present abundantly in oranges, helps to improve the quality of human sperm and the locomotive abilities. Folic acid also protects the sperm from most kinds of genetic damage.
5. Can prevent loss of hair - Production of collagen, which is one of the most important proteins in our body, is done with the help of vitamins, especially vitamin C. Collagen keeps the tissues in the hair together. So, oranges and other foods rich in vitamin C can help keep a healthy growth of hair even in your old age.
6. Checks the formation of kidney stones - Juice of citrus fruits like orange can increase the pH value of urine and can lead to increased excretion of citric compounds from the body. This reduces the possibility of the formation of calcium oxalate stones in the kidney considerably.
7. Promotes brain development - Vitamin B9 and folic acid keep the brain healthy. The polyphenols in orange help in accelerating the learning and memory functions of the brain and facilitate neurological development in the fetus.
Related Tip: Almond vs. Walnuts - Which nut is best for you??