Things you thought were unhealthy versus things you didn't…

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Things you thought were unhealthy versus things you didn't…

Sometimes the best things in life aren’t always what they seem.
1. Dried Fruit
Just because it came from something good doesn’t mean it will always be so in any other form than the original. Dried fruit may still have fibre, but sugar and sulfur have been thrown into the mix to help it last for months in your cupboard. Some dried fruit even has three times more calories than the original. In saying that, there are healthier options of dried fruit, just look for the alternatives that have no added sugar or sulfur.
2. Soy Milk
Sure, soy milk is an excellent source of protein, fibre and good fats, has B vitamins and is low in unsaturated fat (you’re probably thinking, what can possibly be wrong?) but it can actually be harmful to fertility and affect reproductive development (particularly in men). Extensive studies have been done on the effects of the phytoestrogens in soy milk, and while it’s still argued, one study (Can Phytoestrogens Cause Infertility? Published in the Arbor Clinical Nutrition Updates) showed a 19 per cent drop in testosterone and a significantly lower sperm count. It’s also worth noting that the flavoured soy milk varieties adds about 10 grams of sugar and 50 calories to each cup you drink, pass on that!
3. Wheat Bread
Wheat is a bit of a craze in the carbohydrate world, but so many products labelled as wheat aren’t the real deal. It’s easy to add wheat to any old bread or cereal, but if it isn’t 100% it isn’t doing anything for you. “Wheat bread” can contain enriched flavour which essentially means the nutrients are stripped from the bread to give you the wheat taste, or seeming benefits. So look for 100% wheat or fibre-rich options like multi grain.
4. Sushi Rolls
Now we’re not talking about the traditional salmon or tuna roll, as there are actually some nutrients on offer, but it’s the westernised versions to steer clear of. Let’s crunch some numbers… a salmon roll with rice and seaweed is approximately 120 calories, but a Philadelphia roll with salmon, cream cheese, spicy mayo and hot sauce can be up to 500 calories. Lesson? Stick to the traditional stuff or sashimi.
Saying no to the things you love is hard, but good news, as these five items can be taken off that list.
1. Canned/Frozen Vegetables
Anything preserved usually sends off alarm bells, and so it should, as most often than not its been packed with unhealthy additives and preservatives to give the convenience of lasting a year. You can now purchase low sodium varieties and rinse excess sodium off in a colander before use and many nutrition experts agree that the vitamin and mineral content of fresh, canned and frozen veggies are about the same. Who knew?
With every minus of coffee there seems to be a plus. The teeth staining and bad coffee breath is a given, but recent studies have found coffee to be one of the best sources of flavonoids, aka things that help improve heart health and protect cells from the natural negative effects of aging. Coffee may also help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. This is all in relation to moderate coffee drinkers (nothing in excess of 3-4 cups a day) and is best seen for organic drinkers.
Okay, so movie popcorn isn’t healthy. Sorry to burst the bubble on the excited popcorn lovers who thought that would be the case. Popcorn, sans any additives/flavours etc, is 100% whole grain and three cups tallies up to an easy 100 calories. It’s also a great source of phytonutrients (almost twice that found in fruit) which are good for nourishing and helping your body (aka supporting your immune system and rebuilding damaged cells). Obviously the best are the air-popped, organic varieties.
Potatoes are loved by many but they often get a bad rap, but it’s more about how potatoes are actually prepared. An average sized potato has just 170 calories and is a great source of potassium and fibre, potato skins also provide heart health and anti-cancer benefits. So keep the skin on, avoid frying or baking and you may just get away with eating those golden little wonders.