Living in the first world country gives us a wide variety of food to choose from. However, with the advance of technology, no one can say that the food that is produced today is healthy or healthier for our body.
We all have heard that consumption of meat can be unhealthy because farmers are injecting the animals with hormones to make them grow faster and bigger. As a result, milk from cow is also just as questionable. The list goes on.. But sometimes it's simply just that the food itself doesn't contain much nutrients except for calories. While calories are great, but pending on the activity of the individual, it isn't always recommended.
Here, there are a few foods that nutritionists have made a note of and we should also be careful. Generally, may nutritionists will avoid these foods. They are avoided because it doesn't give us much benefits, but instead it may actually bring us more harm than good. There is one thing that does not change from the ancient time to present day: the simpler the food is, the healthier it is.
Just keep in mind: as few ingredients as possible.
Veggie Patties that many eat to avoid meat, but what remains unknown is that frozen patties use more fillers to create the burger-like texture. There aren’t as much vegetables in the patties.
Packaged Turkey is an item many buy out of convenience. While turkey is a healthy and good that has lean protein, the big culprit here is the sodium. For some packaged turkey, a 2 oz serving can contain as high as 1/3 of your daily recommended sodium intake. Look for low sodium turkey, less than 350 mg sodium per 2 oz serving.
Energy Bars are another popular items for those who are busy and on the go and extremely crazed today. Unfortunately, come of these bars contain more sugar and calories than some candy bars. More importantly, protein bars are just processed chemicals. If it’s tough to avoid, then choose those that are fewer than 200 calories and 20 g of sugar per serving.
Bran muffins are another item that is tasty, but it’s not as healthy as we thought. This is not to be confused that bran is healthy, just not when mixed in with sugar, flour, and fat. Pending on the size of the muffin, it may contain more sugar than a donut. It would be better to make your own with whole wheat flour and substitute applesauce for butter.
Multigrain bread has such a catchy name. Simply because it has the word multigrain. Other catchy words include ‘wheat’ and ‘7 grain.’ The issue is many of these breads are made with refined grains that lacks fiber of whole grains. Refined grain can make one’s sugar spike faster after consumption. Then the spike of sugar will lead to cravings.
Flavored instant oatmeal just sounds like a complicated name. However, whole grain topped with other healthful sides like granola, flax, berries and nuts is a healthy breakfast. The problem falls in the flavor packets that contains a whole lot of sugar and sodium.
Reduced fat peanut butter sounds like a healthy choice. And we live in such a anti-fat world that people try to avoid all fat. However, fat from peanuts are healthy! Seems that those who ate an ounce a day had a 20% lower risk of dying than people who didn’t. Always stick to the regular peanut butter with less sugar and full of health benefits.
Couscous if really just tiny pasta that of a refined grain similar to white pasta. Therefore, just like other flour items, when buying couscous always look for whole-wheat pasta otherwise opt for quinoa.
Sushi is not as healthy as we would like. What is of a concern is that it contains quite a bit of rice in them, on top of this, there is a need to eat quite a few to get full since the amount can be small. Having one California roll is the same as having two sandwiches filled with imitation crab meat. Spicy tuna is like adding another 1.5 tuna sandwiches with full-fat mayo. This info is based on the nutritionist Rachel Beller from The Biggest Loser.
Rice cracker is another popular diet snack. Both rice cracker and rice cakes are indeed so airy and light, but they are high in carb and lack fiber, protein and contain high sodium. They are carb-dense food and can alter the balance of one’s gut flora and trigger potential inflammation. One rice cake of 9g is 80% carbs. A fun fact: a small potato weighing 170 g, that people avoid for it’s carbs, contains only 23% carbs!
Rice milk is really just a fluid from rice that will naturally contain high carbohydrates and low protein and calcium. If one can take dairy, then it is better to have organic cow’s milk for all it’s nutrients (containing calcium, potassium, vitamin A, D, B12, riboflavin, and magnesium). For alternatives other than cow’s milk ,choose soy and almond milk.
Train mix, a snack that is commonly suggested by nutritionist. It seems like a perfect snack containing both protein and fiber. The key isn’t the mix, it’s how it was prepared. Supermarket versions are often packed with not-so-nutritious add-ons like ‘yogurt’ covered raisins, deep fried fruit chips, sesame sticks or salty nuts. This snack is a perfect energizing and healthy choice, just make it yourself!
Pretzels has been a ‘healthy’ snacks for many moons now. And it does seem like it since it has less calories and fat. The ingredients contain white flour, yeast, salt, oil, and corn syrup. Therefore, it’s healthier to just snack on whole wheat flour, whole grain crackers, soy crips, or popcorn.
Spinach wraps and pasta are really just the name. It contains so little spinach within. It’s better off if one just have a whole grain wrap or pasta then add actual spinach to get ample amounts of B vitamins, fiber, iron, and calcium.
Banana chips are actually an unhealthy snack due to their inferiority to their original fruit source. Plain banana provides fiber, potassium, vitamin and fewer calories and fat.
Bakes beans is unhealthy due to the ingredients added to make it: sugar, syrup, and molasses all adding up to an unnecessarily high calorie count. Add regular garbage, kidney, and pinto beans to a salad and it would be fabulous pizzazz.
Bottled green tea is another healthy drink that has been sabotaged into sugar packed beverage. Green tea in itself has high antioxidants, but when packaged into a bottle for the sake of increasing sales it has depleted the natural tea of it’s ECGC, the agent responsible for cancer prevention, and weight loss.
Honey has been around for thousands of years, since the existence of bees. It has been used as sugar substitute for many circumstances including tea and baked goods, generally a substitute of white sugar. So yes, honey is a form of sugar.
The difference between honey and sugar lies in the fact that honey contains both vitamins (vitamin B6, vitamin C, folate, niacin, and riboflavin) and minerals ( calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, and zinc). Additionally, it contains low levels of amino acids, fiber, protein, and selenium. Honey provides energy, fiber, sugar, and even water.
Honey gives many levels of benefits including reducing the risk of cardiovascular disorders. Studies show that honey may help reduction of cholesterol levels, and as a result, it will lower the increase of plasma glucose levels when compared with sugar.
Honey is thought to mobilize the stored fat, therefore provides energy for one’s daily activities and help the gradual decrease in weight loss. Further relieving from the problems of obesity.
Along with the ability to mobilize the stored fat, it helps to increase HDL (good cholesterol) in the body. In turn, it will reduce the strains it brings to cardiovascular ability to a regular physical activity routines and balanced diet. With the increase of good cholesterol and using the stored fat, this brings one to have less worries about atherosclerosis, or the risk of heart attack / stroke during a morning run. Studies suggest that if one takes a daily dose of 5 grams of honey and mix it with lukewarm fluid: water and or lemon juice and or tea they can receive the benefits of honey.
Honey contains 26 amino acids along with vitamins, minerals, and these properties provides the ability to strongly regulate our metabolism where food intake is digested, assimilated, then utilized properly with fat converted into usable energy. As a result improving overall health.
Many will consume honey lemon water in the morning as a weight loss program. The vitamin C (ascorbic acid) cleanses and increases the liver function and speeds up fat metabolism. Lemon increases the function of fighting free radicals, which is the function of glutathione, and this will increase one’s immunity.
Another combination that is widely popular for weight loss is honey with cinnamon and warm water. Mixing 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder, 1 tablespoon of honey in 1 cup of lukewarm water, then consumed on empty stomach.
Cinnamon powder will regulate the blood sugar and the metabolism of glucose. This helps weight loss because when we have a high blood sugar it can lead to an increased storage of fat in the body. Therefore by regulating blood sugar level, it can boost the results of weight loss.
Some use the hibernation diet by ingest 5 grams of honey right before going to bed. During the night honey stimulates the liver function and eases a number of stress hormones in the body.
Another benefit of honey improves digestion that reduces static weight in one’s digestive system. Consequently, consuming it about an hour after dinner will help digestion if particularly helpful after a large meal.
While honey has shown help with weight loss, but everyone’s body condition varies. It is essential to consult a doctor and monitor carefully. It is also important to exercise regularly to increase burning calories to achieve a healthy diet result.
Living in a land of abundance means we have the opportunity to choose what we would like to eat, because it is filled with many choices for consumption of food. However, this doesn’t mean that they are good choices. More importantly, just because the ingredient is a healthy food item, it does not mean the byproduct outcome will be healthy.
Below are a few items that is highly popular and consumed but not at all a great choice for our body.
Crossiants are flaky and buttery that goes really well with morning coffee/ latte. However, they are loaded with white flour and fat, which doesn’t leave you satiated at all.
Low Fat Yogurt is thought to be healthy and very common breakfast choice. However satisfaction comes from chewing, and yogurt doesn’t leave much for chewing. Instead the sweetener will spike your blood sugar without dairy fat that leaves you full.
Muffins are tasty, and ranked right up there with cake for it’s taste. Unfortunately it doesn’t contain much nutritional value in them; especially when they are made with white flour, sugar and fat. Empty calories will not satiate one’s hunger.
White Rice is a stable in the Asian household, however, it is always accompanied with other dishes. Accompanied with poultry, fish, and vegetables it becomes a very healthy meal. But if consumed with just white rice alone, it will spike one’s blood sugar and leave them to crash quickly. Instead, choose basmati or brown rice.
Egg Whites is a common item listed as a health food item, and breakfast as well. But without the yolk of the egg, it quickly loses it’s calories and leaves one unsatisfied. Simply because the yolk contains the complete protein that is essential for the body’s use to built cells. (Recent study shows the fat and cholesterol in a whole egg isn’t likely to be bad for you.)
Cereal with artificial sweeteners are commonly taken for breakfast, but it has reduced sugar. Artificial sweeteners affects your blood sugar by spiking it and will leave one hungrier. This is simply because the body is looking for calories that it needs, therefore one will be hungrier than before eating.
Fruit Juice is another item that brings quite a bit of misconception. While fruits are healthy for the body, the juices often just spikes one’s blood sugar but leaves them very unsatisfied. This is because the fiber of the fruits has already been taken out in the process of making the juice itself. And the fiber int he fruits is beneficial by slowing down the blood sugar going into your bloodstream.
White bread contains no nutrient as it contains no fiber or nutrients of whole grains which makes one feel full. An easy solution is to just eat the whole grain bread instead.
French fries are made with potatoes, which are healthy when baked or boiled and very satisfying to one’s hunger. Potatoes are very much a healthy food item on the planet. However, once they are fried up in oil then covered in salt, they lose all their power. Additionally they have more fat and salt than plain potatoes.
Alcohol is a staple for socializing. However, it opens up one’s appetite for gluttony. Studies show when drinking alcohol, one is more likely to eat more calories. That steamed fish and broccoli dinner now will become burgers with French fries.
Doughnut is as known, “sugar bomb.” It is just filled with sugar and not a single nutrient. As expected it will spike up your blood sugar without any nutritional value. As a result, one will be hungry in no time.
Soda contains lots of calories and sugar! Those who drink soda take in more calories in a day than those who don’t drink it. Drinking soda makes one hungry but at the same time prevents you from feeling full in some way.
While these food items are not healthy, some items will be consumed regardless. It is suggested to consume in moderation and also in control. More importantly, exercise would be made stable in one’s lifestyle.
Inflammation happens to everyone and the causes are many. It is a natural body’s reaction to protect itself from irritants, foreign substances, pathogens, and pollutants. Inflammation can happen in any part of the body and from numerous reasons. Inflammation is the body trying to fight off what is foreign, cytokines, histamines, and white blood vessels. Inflammation occurs to trigger an increase of blood flow to the affected area.
When inflammation happens, an anti-inflammatory is essential to bring it down. Anti-inflammatory will ease the discomfort that the inflammation brings. There are many over-the-counter drugs people use, or as more and more people are turning to alternative medicine of alternative medicine: herbs. Many choose anti-inflammatory herb because it can be utilized in many different ways with extensive anecdotal evidence of the benefits it brings.
Let’s take a look at what they are and their usage along with the benefits of each herb.
Tumeric is the strongest anti-inflammatory herb known and the active ingredient within is called curcumin. Tumeric can help reduce irrigation caused by acne, eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea. Additionally, it can help soothe gastrointestinal distress and lower acidity levels in the gut.
Usage: turmeric can be used in cooking as a spice, or a higher concentration of this herb’s benefits would be brewed in a strong turmeric tea. Sometimes, a paste is made to apply on the site of joint pain or inflammation.
Ginger is another very effective herb for soothing inflammation of the stomach lining while at the same time mitigating the allergic response of the body. Osteoarthritis has been shown improvements to those who consume it regularly.
Usage: brewing ginger tea helps to ease stomach upset, using as a spice in food in raw from helps to sooth stiffness and pain throughout the body. Ginger poultice helps acute pain and inflammation from gout/ injury.
Cloves is an extremely potent herb and usually in the form of its essential oil for treatment of chronic pain and inflammation. Eugenol is the property in cloves that functions as a antioxidant to further reduce inflammation in tissues and organ systems.
Usage: Cloves are most commonly used in cooking as a whole leaf, powdered form, or topical form. Treatment is generally for gums and joints.
Sage is known as an effective herb for arthritis, IBD (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), and others. Rosmarinic acid, the active ingredient that makes it anti-inflammatory. Rosemary also has the same active ingredient property.
Usage: Commonly used to brew in a strong Sage tea for respiratory system and stomach lining inflammation. In culinary attempts helps reduce the symptoms of arthritis, headaches, and lowering blood pressure.
Rosemary (as mentioned prior) contains rosmarinic acid, which is researched widely for arthritis symptoms. Rosmarinic acid is helpful to reduce inflammation in the gut and muscle spasms that in turn settles stomach, prevent vomiting, and diarrhea. It would even mitigate Crohn’s disease.
Usage: Usually use in the form of essential oil. But for topical use, the leaves can be made into poultices for inflammation.
Garlic contains allicin, selenium, and rich in sulfuric compounds which are beneficial for anti-inflammation in the cardiovascular system and direct reduction in oxidative stress throughout the body. Selenium is particularly soothing for arthritis symptoms and easing the pain of joint disease.
Usage: a popular spice for cooking, also commonly consumed in raw form. Additionally, poultices are also effective for topical remedies for inflamed joints with pain.
Black Pepper contains pipeline, an active ingredient that is one of the best anti-inflammatory herb. Pipeline is an effective agent in ceasing early inflammatory of the body specifically to acute injuries and immunity. Also great in preventative flare ups for headaches, gastrointestinal, gout and sinus infections.
Usage: Generally used as a spice for food. Then fresh peppercorns soaked in water overnight and consumed in the morning.
Fennel Seeds known for anti-inflammatory for chronic pain and preventing unpleasant gastrointestinal side effects: reduction of chronic pain following physical activity and soothing to regulate acidity levels in the gut will help prevent unpleasant side effects.
Usage: generally used in culinary for cooking, but also grounded for poultices or infusions. Lastly, fennel leaves can be brewed as tea for consumption.