Eating healthy can sometimes be tougher than it sounds. Because even if you’re committed to cutting the junk food out of your life, it’s easy to end up sabotaging your own diet without even realizing it.
Sure, you load up your grocery cart with fresh, organic foods every week. And that’s fantastic. Keep up the good work!
But it turns out it’s often the staples, those items we keep our pantry and fridge stocked with without even a second thought, that are doing the damage.
Don’t let these foods destroy your eating healthy efforts
Want to take your health to the next level? Following are five sneaky diet destroyers which you should stop buying today.
1. Canned veggies:
If canned vegetables are a staple in your pantry, you’re not alone. Experts say they’re in 98 percent of American kitchens.
Now if those cans were considered an “open in case of emergency” type of food, that wouldn’t be too concerning. Like popping open some green beans when you forgot to pick up fresh ones for a recipe, for example.
But according to a survey, eight out of 10 Americans don’t make it through a week without cooking with canned foods. Which means for the majority of us they’re a regular habit. And they’re likely replacing fresh, far healthier options.
Canned veggies are subjected to a rigorous cooking process that strips them of many of their nutrients. Vitamins, minerals and even fiber can end up being removed along the way. Which is why their nutritional value typically pales in comparison to the fresh versions.
But that’s not the only problem with canned vegetables. Many manufacturers load their canned produce up with added junk sodium and sugar to make those overcooked veggies a bit more palatable.
And then the lining of many of the cans is a real problem. Most canned foods still come lined with the creepy, hormone-disrupting chemical, BPA. And that BPA doesn’t stay put, either. It leaches into the food inside the can. Which means it ends up inside you too.
Stick with fresh veggies whenever possible. And if your budget needs a little boost… or you like to have emergency food on hand… head over to the frozen section. Frozen veggies make a healthier, budget-friendly option. Just be sure to check the labels for any hidden additives to be sure you’re still eating healthy.
2. Fruit drinks:
Fruit drinks, fruit punches and fruit cocktails are some of the most popular beverages on the supermarket shelf. The grandkids love them. And they seem like a healthier option than soda.
The trouble is they aren’t. In fact, a serving of many of these fake juices has as much as—or even more—sugar as soda. They’re typically loaded up with high fructose corn syrup or sucralose. Some even contain canola oil.
Switch to water or homemade tea. Or make your own fresh fruit infused water at home. Mash up berries, peaches or other in season fruits and add a squeeze of your favorite citrus fruit juice.
If you prefer bubbles eating healthy is still possible. Just make your own sparkling water at home. We like the Crystal Home Sparkling Water Maker, which uses glass bottles. You can find it online and in stores
3. Bottled tea:
Drinking tea is an incredibly healthy habit. It’s packed with free-radical fighting antioxidants. And tea is tied to a ton of health benefits from fighting flab to supporting healthy blood sugar.
So I’d never discourage you from keeping it on the menu. The trouble is bottled teas only bear a passing resemblance to the real deal.
For example, bottled teas typically have less than a tenth of the flavonoids you’d get by brewing up a cup of fresh tea from loose leaves or a tea bag. And the remaining antioxidant benefits in the tea after it has gone through heat processing and bottling fade away over time.
And then there are the damaging added sugars, chemicals and artificial flavorings you’re getting in every sip.
Leave the bottled teas on the shelf and brew your own. You’ll get all the tea benefits with none of the unwanted additives. Plus it just tastes better.
4. Trail mix:
I get it. Trail mix seems like a good option. An easy, grab-and-go snack that sounds healthy.
Unfortunately, it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The dried fruit is a concentrated source of sugar. The chocolate is seldom a healthier dark variety. And there’s typically far too much of it. And depending on the mix, the nuts could be coated in unhealthy sugary toppings.
The nuts alone are a great option. Or feel free to snack on a couple of squares of dark chocolate. And instead of the sugary dried fruit in trail mix, pick up some portable fresh fruit, such as bananas, apples, or berries.
5. Egg whites:
When you opt for egg whites, or even worse egg substitutes, instead of the whole egg you’re robbing your body of valuable nutrients. Egg yolks are brimming with vitamins A, B12, D, E and K. They’re also loaded with omega-3 fats, antioxidants, folate and far more choline than the whites alone.
And if you’re worried about their cholesterol content, don’t be. Whole eggs are not bad for your heart health. The cholesterol in eggs won’t significantly raise your “bad” cholesterol. And in fact, eating more eggs could raise “good,” HDL, levels.
Drop the egg whites and opt for the whole egg instead.
Don’t let these five sneaky diet destroyers sabotage your efforts at eating healthy. Scratch them off your shopping list TODAY.