Feel like it takes an advanced degree to decipher what food are actually healthy and what foods are just marketed as healthy? I’ve been getting tons of questions about what foods are ok to buy and what to steer clear of so I thought I’d revisit this article I came across this article from Roots Juices a while ago.
10 Foods That Are Disguised as Healthy
Most agave is highly processed. As a result, the bottled version doesn’t remotely resemble the agave plant. Agave is also high in fructose. High fructose sweeteners of any kind can cause mineral depletion, liver inflammation, insulin resistance, and obesity. Instead, try coconut sugar, which is less processed and contains a scant 9 percent fructose.
Here is a great article about why agave isn’t an all natural sweetener. Here are some other great alternatives.
- Stevita liquid extracts
- Grade B maple syrup
- Organic coconut palm sugar
- Raw, organic honey
- Sorghym syrup
- Organic maple sugar
2. Gluten-free sweets
“Gluten free” doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. Many gluten-free products are still high in refined sugar, and are often made with high-glycemic grains like corn, rice, and potato starch. Your best bet is to make your own gluten-free baked goods with high-nutrient flours, like almond or coconut, using natural sweeteners, such as raw honey or pure maple syrup.
3. Boxed cereals and granola
Cereal and granola are often just boxes of sugar disguised as health foods. Which means they can give you a sugar spike and crash, instead of keeping you properly nourished. You’re better off making your own using gluten-free oats, nuts, seeds, and fresh berries
4. Popcorn (or non-organic corn)
The vast majority of corn in America is genetically modified. Plus, microwave popcorn bags are lined with chemicals, and the butter is totally artificial.Upgrade by using organic popcorn kernels. You can pop ‘em on your stove with coconut oil and sea salt, or in an air popper.
5. Soy milk
Soy is one of the largest genetically modified crops in the country. And while organic soy milk is a better choice than regular dairy milk, it’s still highly processed, a common allergen, and hard to digest for many people. Organic almond milk or unsweetened coconut milk are better options.
6. Enhanced Water
Watch out! Many of these are essentially sugar water, regardless of how many vitamins they pack in. Keep things simple: Plain or sparkling water with a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime is best.
7. Low-fat crackers
Most crackers on the market are high in refined oils, sugar, salt, and gluten. The low-fat versions are even worse, because they have to add sugars and chemicals to make up for the taste of the fat. Read ingredient labels thoroughly, or use whole foods to make equally crunchy (but way-better-for-you) snacks, like kale chips.
8. Whole wheat bread
In addition to being packed with gluten, whole wheat bread is often sweetened with high fructose corn syrup, just like white bread. Take a look at the ingredient list on your supermarket bread, and you’ll likely be surprised at how long it is! If you want a bread sans processed sugar (and chemicals), try making your own—or go for Ezekiel.
9. Pasteurized fruit juices
The cartons and bottles of juice sold in the supermarket and served in restaurants contain tons of sugar. (We’ve spied up to 48 grams per 16 oz. in some!) Plus, pasteurization removes most of the beneficial nutrients. A better option? Go to a juice bar for a raw, cold-pressed option or make your own green juice or smoothie from scratch.
Here are a few Sporty Afros Affordable Juice recipes.
10. Fruit-on-the-bottom yogurt
Many fruit-added yogurts are full of sugar or corn syrup, meaning you can ingest 30 grams (that’s a day’s worth of sugar) even before your 9:00 a.m. meeting. While organic yogurt is definitely better in terms of dairy quality, it’s important to choose an unsweetened version and add your own berries. Goat and sheep’s milk yogurts are often easier for people to digest than cow’s milk. Sugar and dairy can also cause acne, studies show, as well as a host of other health issues. Keifer and coconut yogurt are also becoming popular alternatives as well.
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