Junk food is easy to spot, right? Pizza, cookies, chips and anything deep-fried is bad for us so we try to eat it in moderation. What if I told you that the grocery store is filled with much more junk food then what originally comes to mind? It just so happens that many of the foods and drinks you may consider “healthy”, may be the culprit for your increased waste line.
Food marketers just may be some of the cleverest people to walk the earth. The way foods and drinks are marketed have very little truth behind what’s really inside or how it effects your body. When you keep purchasing products that claim to be “filled with antioxidants and 15 grams of protein”; your waste band keeps expanding while food companies are bathing in money vacationing in Mexico. It’s time to outsmart the marketing scams and re-evaluate the “healthy foods” that fuel your body.
The next time you’re at the grocery store, consider these 3 hidden junk foods and drinks in disguise and opt for the real nutritional alternative.
- Fruit Juices and Smoothies
Many fruit juices and pre-made smoothies claim to be filled with “antioxidants, vitamins and minerals”, however, the reality of what your drinking is nothing more then sugar water. Juices extract the skins (where all the fiber lies) in fruits and vegetables that help you feel full and replace it with sugar and empty calories. In addition, the fiber found in fruits help slow the digestion of the natural sugars preventing you from sugar highs and crashes.
Your alternative: Stick to the real fruits and vegetables themselves. Eating whole foods will provide you with all the nutrients and fiber your body needs to help you stay satisfied for longer. Try cutting up fresh fruits and veggies and dividing them into single serving bags for easy on the go snacks.
- Protein and Energy Bars
Nearly every energy and protein bar across the shelf boosts of healthy claims, but many times these bars have similar to worse profiles as a candy bar. A typical protein bar contains between 250-300 calories, 15 grams of sugar and 35% fat, right in line with a snickers bar. With all of the sugar that floods your body after consumption, you may feel an initial energy shock. Hoverer, 20-30 min later your blood sugar will drastically drop leaving you hungrier then before.
Your alternative: Eat real, whole sources of protein such as lean poultry, meats, nuts and eggs. Not only are these protein sources half the amount on calories; they also contain less fat and sugar.
- Sports Drinks
Advertisements for Gatorade are flowing with famous athletes to help endorse their products in hopes to increase sales. Truth be told, sports drinks such as Gatorade and PowerAde are designed mainly for those athletes that participate in rigorous exercise (think marathons, triathlons and Olympics). These drinks are loaded with crazy amounts of sugar and sodium to help replenish nutrients lost from excessive perspiration. A measly 12 ounces of sport drink contains 80 calories with 5 teaspoons of sugar. Unless you are a serious athlete in training, your body doesn’t need all the accesses sugar, sodium or calories.
Your alternative: Stick with good old H20. Water is the best way to hydrate your body without any added sugar or calories. If plain water starts to bore you, try adding lemons or mint leaves to help jazz up its flavor.
At the end of the day, choosing whole, natural and unprocessed foods is the best way to ensure your body is getting all the nutrients it needs. The next time you pick a food that you presume to be” healthy”, take a closer look at the nutrition label to determine if its junk is disguise or the real deal.
~Fall in love with taking care of yourself. Mind.Body.Spirit.~