I recently posted “4 Foods You Think Are Healthy, But Aren’t” and it was one of the most popular posts I’ve done to date. Since I only included 4 foods in the last post (and there are clearly more on my mind), I thought I’d do a Part II! If these posts make you feel overwhelmed with meals, and feeling like there’s nothing you can eat that’s actually healthy, don’t forget that I’ve got a pretty big list of recipes on my site now that are all Nutritionist approved and oh so HEALthy! 🙂
When I do a presentation on healthy eating or give advice on breakfast, I use Kashi cereal as an example of why you should ditch cereal and switch to smoothies. I like to use Kashi because it’s generally thought to be one of the ‘healthier’ cereals. Check out the nutritional contents of a bowl of Kashi cereal compared to my FAVE breakfast smoothie. What I want to emphasize is the sugar difference. Much like the Clif Bars that I posted about last week, there is more protein & fibre than a lot of foods, but if it’s still got 20+ grams of sugar, which is a LOT! To further this argument, a form of cane syrup is the 3rd, 5th and 6th ingredient.
I’ve actually had friends proudly tell me that they start their day with a Fat Free Activia. This is an interesting one for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the term fat free, which I will also talk about in the salad dressing below, does not necessarily mean healthier. Fat is what often gives a food its flavour, and when you remove the fat, you need to put something else into it to give it flavour. In this case, it’s an artificial sweetener.
Secondly, this type of yogurt is a source of cow’s milk dairy. You might think (as I did at one point) that you’ve been blessed to be able to digest cow’s milk dairy; but I question if this is true as approximately 75% of North Americans lose the enzyme “lactase” to digest lactose after infancy. Maybe it’s not an upset stomach, but it could be adult acne, eczema, or even headaches that are symptoms of your lactose intolerance.
Lastly, fat is a super important part of our diet (and more and more research is showing fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar does!) Instead of Activia, I would recommend kefir (which is so fermented that it’s easier to digest), plain coconut or goat’s milk yogurt.
If you’re not in Canada or the US you might not know these 2 brands, but the principal holds. These juices are in the produce section of stores, rather than the regular juice section, and are marketed quite well I have to say. I constantly pick them up in the hopes it’s a true veggie juice, and am always disappointed. First of all, being in a green package makes you assume vegetables (or it does for me).
Then, looking at the back of the bottle, the ingredients are NO different to regular fruit juice. There are 28g of sugar in a cup of Naked Juice – and ya don’t just have 1 250ml cup, by the way. I will say, Bolthouse is less at 19g, but the #1 ingredient is still fruit juice.
Nothing beats a homemade juice, or simply a homemade salad to get your veggies!
Looking at the salad dressing aisle at the grocery store is enough to make your head spin. Prior to my nutrition education, I always went for the Kraft “Light” Balsamic, or whatever the “fat free” version was. Much like the Activia yogurt, this wasn’t a smart decision. The dressing of a salad is what gives it flavour, and if you’ve removed the fat, what on earth is giving it the flavour? Yep, you guessed it: lots of fake food, like caramel colour, disodium guanylate, natural flavour and calcium disodium EDTA.
My recommendation is to mix together the following SUPER easy salad dressing: EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, tamari, dash of maple syrup or honey, salt & pepper. You’ll be set, and have a completely pure salad dressing.
*Disclaimer: I tried my darndest to find Kraft’s ingredients on it’s website so you could see an image of it and couldn’t!*