Seven “healthy foods” that are not healthy - VPA Australia

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Seven “healthy foods” that are not healthy

October 09, 2019 3 min read

Seven “healthy foods” that are not healthy


1. Muesli


If you are trying to keep your calorie intake lower to get in shape for this summer, you might want to avoid muesli. Yes, the wholegrain oats are a great source of fibre and iron, but many muesli options contain a lot more sugar than you would think. Also, Portion size can also play a role, as many recommended servings are far smaller than you realise, and are often much much smaller than a bowl full. If you must have muesli we suggest you avoid toasted muesli or muesli with added sugar (look at the ingredient list), but the best option is to make your own.

2. Flavoured yoghurt


We often see yoghurt as healthy food, wihigh levels of calcium, vitamin B, protein and live good bacteria. While all this is true, not all yoghurts are created equal and many contain significant levels of added sugar in the form of sweeteners. Many on-the-go breakfast options that also include granola or muesli are higher again in sugar content, making them more of a dessert than a breakfast food. We suggest using unflavoured yoghurt and adding your won fruit


3. Juice


Because fruits are rich in natural sugars that are good for you in moderation, when it comes to juice, you’re consuming many more pieces of fruit than you would typically eat in one sitting – without the benefit of the fibre content. In fact, according to the Department of Health, a glass of fruit juice contains the same amount of sugar as a soft drink, around 6 teaspoons.


4. Sushi


Although you can eat healthy low-calorie sushi, the temptation to go for the tasty sushi with the mayonnaise can cause many of us to consume many more calories than we would like to think. Watch out for sushi that contains fried ingredients and avoid the sauces like Kewpie mayonnaise. Stick to the lean meats or veggie options.


5. Sports drinks


Because these sports drinks are designed for athletic performance and not fat loss, they are full of sugar and salts which athletes need to replenish to maintain high performance.  In fact, many popular brands available in Australia contain between 9-19 teaspoons of sugar per bottle, so avoid them.


6. Low-fat and fat-free labelled products


These are the sneaky foods at the supermarket, because yes they are low in fat…but to make up for the flavour they are often full of sugar and salt. Also fat is often good for you, it is satiating so it makes you feel full, so these low-fat foods make you more hungry and then you end up eating more. So don’t avoid good fats, in fact the Australian Government guidelines for fats recommend the regular consumption of polyunsaturated fat (found in fish and nuts) and monounsaturated fat (found in olive oil and avocado) as part of a balanced diet.


7. Restaurant-made and pre-packaged salads


Not all salads are healthy! Of course, the vegetables are healthy, but it is all the extra ingredients that get you. For example, McDonald’s crispy chicken caesar salad contains more calories than two of their cheeseburgers. Many salads trick you because the salad dressing is often full of sugar, making them taste really good…but they are not so healthy. We suggest making your own salads and using salad dressings such as olive oil or lemon.


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