Beware of Some Supposedly Healthy Foods

Alimentos supuestamente sanos
Many of the foods in supermarkets that are advertised as "low fat" or healthy options are actually hiding high amounts of calories, fats, sugars and salts. The following are some examples of supposedly healthy foods:

1. Granola

Granola bars and cereal (muslix) are typically made with large amounts of sugar and added fat. For a healthy cereal option, combine whole- grain oats with raw unsalted nuts, seeds (sesame, sunflower and flax), fresh berries, powdered cinnamon and a dash of honey

2. Energy Bars

The consumption of energy bars is a growing trend amongst athletes. It is important to know that some brands have even more sugar than a can of cola while others contain compounds called sugar alcohols which can be associated with multiple gastrointestinal side effects such as abdominal pain, bloating and gas. Many brands also contain high levels of saturated fats. Energy bars provides quick energy but this affect may wear off quickly leaving you feel more lethargic than before.

3. Fat-Free Foods

When fat is removed from foods, most of the flavor is also often removed. In order to counteract this, food manufacturers replace fat with sugar, sweeteners, thickeners and salt which may ultimately result in a less healthy and even a higher caloric option than the original fat containing product.

4. Diet Soft Drinks

Studies at the University of Texas Health Science Center have shown that the more diet soda a person consumes, the greater their likelihood of becoming overweight. Diet soft drinks are full of artificial sweeteners that alter the body's natural ability to control calorie intake. The most commonly used are aspartame (E951), saccharin (E954), acesulfame-K (E950) and sucralose (E955). There is a long list of negative effects associated with these artificial sweeteners.

In article "Negative Side Effects of Many Artificial Sweeteners" I detail some of the sweeteners and point out some of the negative side effects associated with them.

Note: Although most artificial sweeteners have been shown to be harmful to health, some have been shown to be relatively safe to consume: maltitol (E965), mannitol (E421) and sorbitol (E420).

5. Dried Fruit

Fruit is mostly water, so if you remove the water, what is left is mostly sugar. It's fine if we eat this in moderation but to put things in perspective, as an example, just a small handful of raisins contains 22 grams of sugar.

6. Sushi

Sushi usually consists of rice cooked with fish and raw vegetables. Most sushi is made with white rice and often contains only small amounts of fish. White rice is a high glycemic index food. This type of food promotes the rapid rise in blood sugar and insulin levels, which is followed by a rapid drop in both. This leads to a large increase in appetite, and as a result, although sushi is healthy in the direct sense, one may tend to overeat. Some types of sushi, however, contain large amounts of added salt (especially if taken with lots of soy sauce).