•Continued from last week…
Present day realities, where the frenetic pace of life compels people to fit several things into their daily schedule makes them oftentimes leave home very early and frequently do not find time to eat normal breakfast or even good meals at lunch, drives most individuals to consume fast foods and other fast foods. For a good number of people too, junk food is their regular fare not because they lack time to eat better stuff. They just love junk foods. And many other people eat certain foods that are not ordinarily classified as junk of fast foods. The fact remains that not food materials are good for the health of the body. To lose weight and prevent some chronic illnesses, there is clear need to religiously avoid certain foods. Last week we presented the first part of a list of 20 foods that are generally unhealthy — although most people can eat them in moderation on special occasions without any permanent dam- age to their health. The list also offers alternatives.
9. Gluten-free junk foods
Studies done in the United States show that bout one-third of Americans actively trie to avoid gluten. Yet, people often replace healthy, gluten-containing foods with processed junk foods that happen to be gluten-free. These gluten- free replacement products are often high in sugar and refined grains like corn starch or tapioca starch. These ingredients may trigger rapid spikes in blood sugar and are low in essential nutrients. Choose foods that are naturally gluten-free, such as unprocessed plant and animal foods.
10. Agave nectar
Agave nectar is a sweetener that’s often marketed as healthy. However, it’s highly refined and extremely high in fructose. High amounts of fructose from added sweeteners can be absolutely disastrous for health. In fact, agave nectar is even higher in fructose than many other sweeteners.
Whereas table sugar is 50 per cent fructose and high-fructose corn syrup is around 55 per cent, agave nectar is 85 per cent fructose. Stevia and erythritol are healthy, natural, and calorie-free alternatives.
11. Low-fat yoghurt
Yoghurt can be incredibly healthy. Nonetheless, most types of yoghurt found in the grocery store are bad for you. They’re often low in fat but loaded with sugar to compensate for the flavour that fat provides. Put simply, the natural fats found in most yoghurt have been replaced with an unhealthy ingredient.
Additionally, many types of yoghurt do not provide probiotic bacteria as generally believed. They’re often pasteurized, which kills most of their bacteria. Choose regular, full-fat yoghurt that contains live or active cultures (probiotics). If possible, buy varieties from grass-fed
12. Low-carb junk foods
Low-carb diets are very popular. While you can eat plenty of whole foods on such a diet, you should watch out for processed low-carb replacement products. These include low-carb candy bars and meal replacements. These foods are often highly processed and packed with additives. If you’re on a low-carb diet, aim for foods that are naturally low in carbs, which include eggs, seafood, and leafy greens.
13. Ice cream
Ice cream may be delicious, but it’s loaded with sugar. This dairy product is also high in calories and easy to over- eat. If you eat it as a dessert, you’re usually piling it on top of your normal calorie intake.
It’s possible to opt for healthier brands or make your own ice cream using fresh fruit and less sugar.
14. Candy bars
Candy bars are incredibly unhealthy. They’re high in sugar, refined wheat flour, and processed fats while also very low in essential nutrients. What’s more, these treats will leave you hungry because of the way that your body metabolizes these sugar bombs. Eat fruit or a pie“ce of quality dark choco- late instead.
15. Processed meat
Even though unprocessed meat can be healthy and nutritious, the same is not true for processed meats. Studies show that people who eat processed meats have a higher risk of many serious ailments, including colon cancer, type-2 diabetes and heart disease.
Most of these studies are observational in nature, meaning that they can’t prove that processed meat is to blame. However, the statistical link is strong and consistent between studies. If you want to eat bacon, sausages, or pepperoni, try to buy from local butchers who don’t add many unhealthy ingredients.
16. Processed cheese
Cheese is healthy in moderation. It’s loaded with nutrients, and a single slice packs all the nutrients as a glass of milk. Still, processed cheese products are nothing like regular cheese. They’re mostly made with filler ingredients that are engineered to have a cheese-like appearance and texture. Make sure to read labels to confirm that your cheese contains dairy and few artificial ingredients.
Eat real cheese instead. Healthy types include feta, mozzarella, and cottage cheeses. Many vegan cheese alternatives can also be good choices.
17. Most fast food meals
Generally speaking, fast-food chains serve junk food. Most of their offerings are mass-produced and low in nutrients. Despite their low prices, fast foods may contribute to disease risk and harm your general wellness. You should especially watch out for fried items. As a result of mounting pressure, many fast-food chains have started offering healthy options.
18. High-calorie coffee drinks
Coffee is loaded with antioxidants and offers many benefits. Notably, coffee drinkers have a lower risk of serious diseases, such as type-2 diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
At the same time, the creamers, syrups, additives, and sugars that are frequently added to coffee are highly unhealthy. These products are just as harmful as any other sugar-sweetened beverage. Drink plain coffee instead. You can add small amounts of heavy cream or full-fat milk if you desire.