Just because your meal contains the word ‘salad’ in it does not mean it is healthy. The biggest mistake that most people make while trying to lose weight or become healthier is that they assume that all salads are healthy option. Pre-prepared tuna salads, turkey salads and chicken salads are full of hidden fats. The low fat dressing that you sprinkle on your salad is also loaded with calories in the form of sugar. Mayonnaise, French dressing and salad dressings are full of calories.
The thumb rule is to make your own salads by using fresh ingredients. Instead of readymade dressings, prepare your dressings using basic and light ingredients such as lemon, vinegar or olive oil.
Smoothies are healthier option if you prepare them using fruits and low fat milk. However, traditional smoothies contain high amounts of sugar, ice cream and at times fattening yogurt. Skip the store-bought and make your own smoothie instead. Next time before you guzzle that ‘low fat’ smoothie or that bag of ‘fat free’ chips, don’t forget to read the list of ingredients.Flavored yogurt
Just like smoothies, flavored yogurt can contain high sugar and dairy ingredients. Plain sugar-free yogurt is actually healthy for you, and is a good source of calcium. However, flavored yogurt contains sugar, which actually slows down the process of absorption of calcium in the body.
If you are looking for sweetness in your yogurt, add honey or all fruit spread to your plain low fat sugar free yogurt. You can also opt for fat-free Greek Yogurt, which is low in fat and sugar and loaded with proteins.
Many people eat energy bars or granola bars as mid-meal snack. However, what they do not realize is that these energy bars are loaded with sugar, saturated fat and high fructose corn syrup. Some energy bars are also called protein bars as they provide you good amount of proteins (and calories too). This does not mean you should completely avoid all bars. Look out for low-sugar and low carb variety that you do not consume hidden calories.Diet soda
For those watching calories, diet sodas are a good substitute for their high calorie siblings. However, several studies have found that diet sodas actually cause you several health risks if you are not careful. The artificial sweeteners like aspartame are mainly responsible for causing health related issues of diet sodas. Therefore, next time you feel thirsty, drink plain water or coffee for a quick energy buzz.
Just because the word ‘lean’ is associated with your food does not mean that it will help you lose fat and achieve healthy weight. Most of the lean meat or frozen foods are loaded with high sodium content. This substitute ingredient, although low in fat, is detrimental to health when taken in high quantities. Instead of picking ‘Lean Cuisines’ from grocery store, choose fresh produe.
Many advertisement tout juices as a healthy way to start your day. No doubt, fruits and vegetable juices are healthy, but only when they are prepared fresh at home. Readymade juices contain concentrated amounts of fructose syrup, which is responsible for several metabolic disorders.
Many people have this misconception that margarine is a healthier option than butter as it contains less amount of fat. But, margarine contains trans fat (saturated fat), which can lead to several heart diseases.
Whether it is bran muffin or white flour muffin, muffin are miniature cakes that are high in butter and sugar. Though you can substitute traditional muffins with bran ones, but watch out the quantity.
Sports drinks or energy drinks like Gatorade are rich source of electrolytes, and also contain high amount of calories. So, if you are not working out, skip sports drinks and take healthier options.