Top 5 Healthy Foods You Should Avoid
Welcome to Doctors’ Notes, our newest contribution from Urban Health correspondents (and husband and wife) physicians Dr. Rob and Dr. Karla Robinson. The dynamic duo will be fielding questions about health, as it relates to African Americans. Please feel free to send them questions via firstname.lastname@example.org. We promise to keep it anonymous.
With the national focus on the obesity crisis and the importance of healthy eating, so many of us are now trying to do our best to find the healthiest snacks and treats for ourselves and our loved ones. The problem is, many of us have been fooled into thinking we are doing our bodies a favor with “healthy” food options that actually tend to have tons of hidden fat, sugar, and calories.
Here is a list of some common “healthy” foods that you just might want to think twice about:
We’ve all heard that wheat is better than white, but did you know that all wheat was not created equal. Some wheat breads are actually full of processed flour, added sugars and are missing the critical nutrients you were expecting. A better option is to go for 100-percent whole grain to make sure you are reaping all the benefits.
When faced with a choice of entrée, most would think a salad trumps all. This may not be true. The fact is that the lettuce, tomato, and added veggies aren’t the problem it’s the loads of dressing, fried meats, and candied nuts that can cause a simple dinner salad to contain 700 calories or more. A better choice is to opt for light dressing on the side, grilled meat instead of fried, and skip the sweetened nuts.
Very misleading at times, foods labeled as sugar-free seem to be healthy, but on closer inspection they may not be the best choice. These sugar-free items are often full of added fat to enhance the taste that is otherwise lost by removing the sugar. Unfortunately, “sugar-free” foods are often a go-to item for snacking diabetics. Not so fast! “Sugar-free” doesn’t mean carbohydrate-free, and these facts often can still have a huge impact on blood sugar readings. A better choice would be to opt for treats with the healthy natural sugars found in fruits and veggies — in moderation.
Similar to the sugar-free foods, these processed foods claiming to be fat-free are often full of extra sugar, salt and calories to compensate for the fat that’s been excluded. Again, go for the natural option and choose healthy fruit and veggie snacks when the munchies arise.
Seeming like the healthier alternative to sugar-laden regular sodas, diet soda seems to promise delivering on our caffeine “fix” without all of the added calories and sugar. However, studies have shown just the opposite. In fact, consumption of diet soda has been shown to be an appetite stimulant and has been linked to weight gain. Choose instead to drink water. It’s the best thirst quencher — and it’s what your body craves anyway.
It’s a health thing…we’ve got to understand!
About the Doctors: Dr. Karla and Dr. Rob are the founders of Urban Housecall, a multimedia health and wellness resource, and also hosts of the Urban Housecall Radio Show. For more from the doctors, visit their website at www.urbanhousecall.com, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter @urbanhousecall!