10 Heathy Foods That Aren't Really Healthy (No. 6 Will Surprise You!)

After the copious amounts of Thanksgiving pumpkin pie and Christmas turkey we’ve consumed over the past few weeks, it’s time to draw our attention to what we’re eating going forward. January seems the like perfect month to cut out the high fat, calorific, sugar-laden sweets and treats, and our diet can transform how we feel about ourselves. There’s no time like the first month of the year, right?

As you know, here at Organica we’re all about organic self-care and self-nourishment and we believe that treating our bodies in a natural and positive way lends itself to a healthier and happier overall self. That includes everything from what we moisturise with, to what we smell to what we eat. We believe Mother Nature knows best when it comes to what we treat our body with, and the more organic and natural the product we’re consuming is, the better it is for our health, skin and soul.

So, you’ve finished the last chocolate, and licked the bowl of the leftovers. Before you hit the healthy food aisle at the store, is what’s on your list really that good for you? It’s amazing how many items can be labelled as “healthy” but actually be the opposite. 

Well, the Organica team have done the trialling and testing on the 10 most popular “healthy food” items you might have planned to pop in the cupboard, and really looked at the label when it comes to their nutritional value. We want to empower you this 2020 to nourish and nurture yourself in the most natural way, so let’s take a look at what we’re really collecting in our grocery cart. 

1. Protein Bars

Energy bars and protein bars may look like they’re a great, healthy snack on the go or after a work out. They’ve got chunks of fruit, nuts, rolled oats and maybe even some dark chocolate - yum! However, lots of protein bars contain as much sugar as a candy bar! So you're only getting a few grams of protein hidden in high sugar and trans fat content (usually from high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils) - not good! Try to source your protein from whole foods only like eggs, meat, fish, legumes and beans.

2. Vegetable Chips 

Now here’s where the labels get sneaky. More often than not, veggie chips are actually just potato chips loaded with starch and corn flour, with some vegetable flavoured powder sprinkled in for that invitingly vibrant coloring. They’re often salted heavily too, and then fried to mimic regular chips. 

Make sure the vegetables are listed first on the ingredient list of vegetable chips, then you know the primary content is an actual vegetable.

3. Low-Fat Salad Dressing 

Low-fat dressings tend to substitute the fat with added sugar, salt, corn syrup, and all other kinds of additives. It’s time to stress the fat is not the enemy! We need fat to help us absorb vitamins A, E, D and K into our body which are vital for our skin and general health - how many skin care products have you seen adorned with Vitamin E advertising? The best bet with dressings is to make your own so you know exactly what’s going in there! Spruce up your greens with fresh herbs, spices, and olive oil. Delicious!

4. Nut Butters 

Now, not all nut butters are bad. A spoonful of almond or peanut butter can be a simple and effective way to add protein and healthy fats into your diet - and they taste great! But some nut butters, even when branded as natural, can contain added sugars or trans fats. Trans fats are harmful fats that increase bad cholesterol in the body. When buying, make sure the only ingredient listed is the nut then you know it’s actually natural – but make sure to moderate your portion size here. A single tablespoon of nut butter can contain around 100 calories!

5. Hummus 

Hummus from the store is usually laced with lots of salt and trans fat. Some types of hummus can contain more salt than four packets of salted chips! Find a recipe and make your own - it’s actually easier and quicker than you think!

6. Popcorn  

This go to snack has shed it’s movie-only reputation and now dominates the healthy snack aisles! But this is where moderation is key - if you eat a big bag of salted popcorn in one sitting, you’re going to be over loading the body with sodium. High doses of sodium can lead to high blood pressure, so make sure you’re controlling how much corn you’re popping.

7. Yoghurt Parfait 

Many fruit layered yogurts contain a lot of sugar, and many don’t really contain any fruit. Try an unsweetened full-fat yogurt like an organic live dairy yoghurt, or coconut/almond based yogurt and top with some fresh fruit. 

High sugar diets can lead to break outs and pimples which can lead to lower self-esteem and mood. If blemishes are a problem for you, have you tried our hypoallergenic, cold-pressed Organica Rosehip Seed Oil? It’s loaded with skin-enriching vitamins that nourish, lift and tighten pores, reduce any redness and calm blemishes. This soothing, fast-acting oil can fight spots & quickly settle sensitive skin. It’s a wonderfully natural product that encourages a healthy, all-natural glow.

8. Juices & Smoothies 

An easy way to get in your five-a-day, right? Wrong - those cold-pressed fruit juices are packed with sugar. Juices also strip the fibre from fruits and vegetables and we need fibre because it protects us against the effects of fructose (sugar) due to its slower absorption. Home made smoothies are a much more wholesome choice because they keep the fibre intact which helps us feel fuller for longer. Ideally, your smoothie should only contain one serving of fruit and the rest should be made up of vegetables.

9. Multigrain Bread 

Multigrain breads simply indicate that the bread contains multiple grains. Unfortunately that means they might have been processed to the point that they’re pretty much the opposite of natural!

Refined grains are heavily processed. The germ, which contains the vitamins, fibre and minerals, and the bran will have been removed. This means all that’s left is basic carbohydrates which spike your blood sugar. In turn, that leaves you at risk of unwanted weight gain if you’re eating this kind of bread. 

So, look for breads that are whole: whole rye, whole wheat, whole oats. This shows that the bread has been processed less meaning it’s more natural, so better for you.

10. Gluten-Free Labelled Foods 

Gluten provides the chew. Whether that be in pasta, a muffin or bread. Unfortunately, many gluten-free treats are filled with just as many empty calories as their gluten containing competitors to make up for the loss of texture and flavour. Manufacturers will just include other fillers like sugar, trans fats, and other chemicals. If you have coeliac disease, of course, gluten-free products can be life saving - literally! But natural is always best - reach for an apple, a handful of nuts or a hard boiled egg instead of a gluten-free biscuit. We all know we’re just tricking ourselves into thinking we’ve made a better choice!

Final Thoughts

Everything in moderation. If you ban yourself from a muffin completely, all you’re going to think about is how much you want a muffin. Your body really is your temple, so treat it how you want it to be treated - naturally, organically and wholesomely to really feel a difference in yourself and your health.

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