Thursday, March 22, 2012

Health Foods that are not as Nutritious As We Thought and How to Create Healthy Solutions

Many foods that we thought were good for us have more sugar and calories than we originally thought. However, using the following tips, you can transform them into healthier choices:

Yogurt – While it contains calcium and healthy bacteria, the fruity kinds have up to 26 grams of sugar. This sugar typically is in the form of jam, which is more concentrated than fresh fruit. To moderate the sugar level, while not sacrificing taste, try plain yogurt and add your own fruit or berries. Also, if you choose to get the fruity kind, check the labels to see if it contains more than 12 grams of sugar; this is sugar that you don’t need.
Whole Grain Bread – While whole grain contains more fiber and nutrients than white bread, many brands of whole grain bread only contain 1 tablespoon of whole grain while it is masked as having 100%. Food coloring or molasses are possible additives that make the bread look healthier, but also add unnecessary sugar. To ensure that you are reaping the benefits of eating whole grains, make sure the label on the bread says whole wheat and look for 100% whole wheat.

Fruit smoothies – While they are rumored to be packed with protein, calcium and other nutrients, they are packed with sugar and calories. A typical blueberry smoothie contains 4 cups of blueberries; while this is all natural sugar, it is still way more than the body needs. Your best bet is to make your own using soy or almond milk and a cup of berries of your choice. It is recommended that if you do drink them, you keep the calorie count down to 400 or less. So, if the nutritional information is available, it is a good idea to do a quick check and if possible, avoid those with an ice cream base.

Bran muffins – They contain a lot of healthy fiber, but when sugar, eggs and oil are added to the mix, it increases the fat and calorie load. If you are at a coffee shop, read the label before purchasing; make sure it has fresh fruit and does not contain added sugar. The normal serving size for a muffin should be the top of a light bulb; most muffins are twice that big – in that case, cut the portion in half or better yet, make your own, substituting yogurt for sugar. Another option is to substitute an English Muffin with peanut butter and fruit for an added protein boost.

• Fat Free Salad Dressing – While it may be low in calories and fat, many of the good, healthy oils that are good for your heart are replaced with unnecessary sugars. You can make your own low fat salad dressing using the simple combination of olive oil and vinegar or mustard, honey, oil and vinegar for a tasty honey mustard vinaigrette.• Vitamin water – It contains lots of healthy vitamins, but like the others, also contains heavy amounts of sugar. As an alternative, take a multi-vitamin and skip the extra sugar. When selecting juices, dilute them to reduce sugar intake.

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