There are some so-called foods which I really don’t think any of us should be eating, at least not on a regular basis.
And, I know for a fact there are lots of dietitians and other health care professionals out there who will wholeheartedly disagree with me on some of these foods.
However, I read a vast array of material, and try not to be overly swayed by one side or the other, and I simply cannot reconcile myself to the fact that certain foods are “safe” to consume regularly, despite what manufacturers tell me.
I find over and over again that foods peddled to dieters are consistently the most unhealthy items. If you are dieting, you may be of the opinion that you need to eat mostly diet products.
Well, I disagree… what you should be eating is whole, natural foods, that is, lots of vegetables, some fruits, lean meats, fish, dairy, unsalted nuts, and small amounts of wholegrains. That is what I call a healthy diet for weight loss.
If you’ve been going around the supermarket, checking labels for words like “diet,” “light,” and “low fat,” chances are you’ve been eating your fair share of unhealthy ingredients, in your attempt to lose weight. Let me give you a quick rundown of the worst offenders.
Top 5 Unhealthy Diet Foods
1. Diet soda
I have to admit I don’t recommend any soft drinks on a regular basis, but diet drinks are the slightly worse, for different reasons, than regular soda.
Although diet drinks have fewer calories and less sugar, research suggests that they may actually prevent weight loss — the very opposite from what you’d expect to be happening.
Research suggests that people who drink diet sodas may actually gain weight instead of losing it. Researchers, from the University of Texas Health Science Center, found that those who drank two or more diet sodas per day had waist size increases that were six times greater than those who didn’t drink diet soda.
One possible reason for this is that people think they can eat more if they drink diet soda, and so overcompensate for the missing calories. Other studies have suggested the artificial sweeteners may be to blame.
Artificial sweeteners are actually thought by some to make you feel more hungry than natural sugar, so it’s best to avoid these ingredients, where possible.
I recommend smaller amounts of natural sugar over artificial sweeteners — just don’t go overboard with that either. Sugar contains around 16 calories per teaspoon, and can certainly affect your weight loss success, if you consume too much.
2. Light Salad Dressings
Try to get into the habit of checking the nutritional labels on any processed foods you are buying.
Perhaps, in an attempt to aid your weight loss, you have been purchasing products which state “light” on the label. For the most part, these do contain less fat and calories than a similar full fat dressing. However, light dressings are often very high in sugar (sometimes high in fructose corn syrup, too), and many contain artificial sweeteners.
The best option is to make your own salad dressing using fresh ingredients like lemon or lime juice, with olive oil, and seasoning. It’s delicious and much more healthy!
Smoothies have emerged over the last few years as a variable “health” food. However, they are not always good for you, and in many cases they are very high in calories, fat and sugar.
If you are having a smoothie, make sure it is filled with whole fruits and vegetables, reduced fat milk or plain yogurt, and skip common ingredients such as chocolate and syrups.
Smoothies are super easy to make at home, too. My favorite is to blend up a frozen banana, baby spinach leaves, raspberries, some milk, and a little natural yogurt — just remember a serving is pretty small, only 1 cup at a time.
4. Flavored Yogurt
Yogurt is a wonderful weight loss food. I recommend that you eat one cup of it every day. However, once again, the choice you make at the grocery store can be make or break.
Many of the flavored yogurt on the market are packed full with sugar and artificial sweeteners. Instead, go for a plain yogurt, which has live bacteria in there, too, and add your own fresh fruit at home, for extra sweetness and flavor.
Read my previous article on eating dairy products for weight lose.
5. Processed Diet Foods
The inner isles of the supermarket are chock-a-block with processed foods, which are aimed at the unassuming dieter. Again, you need to check the nutrition label on these foods, to find out if they really are as healthy as the front of pack claims them to be.
The best choice you can make are foods which have a short ingredient list, and relies on whole foods, rather than ingredients which you don’t recognize, and/or cannot pronounce.
What are some of the most unhealthy diet foods you’ve come across?