But you just can’t seem to lose weight, or worse, your doctor tells you that your cholesterol is high, your blood pressure is high. Some mornings, you wake up groggy. Most days, you’re tired by three.
Don’t cancel your gym membership, instead open your refrigerator, check your cupboards, chances are you’re eating one of these dubiously healthy foods that can actually make you fat, even sick.
- Yogurt - culprit number one simply as it is deliberately sold as a healthy food. The egregious yogurts I am referring to are the conventional, brands advertised on television (the most familiar being the one of the brunette that keeps weighing herself, until she’s finally a size 0, ready for the beach. Nonsense). Yogurts should taste tart. If it tastes like ice cream, it contains added sugar and other “enriched” ingredients. Good yogurt is healthy and you should eat one a day. See BestCovery.com for the brands of yogurt I recommend.
- Cranberry Juice – you might think you’re doing good for your bladder when in fact you’re drinking purple sugar water. Pure cranberries are sour — lemon sour. You wouldn’t be able to drink a teaspoon without squirming, let alone a glass. The added cranberry contained in these popular brands are insufficient to claim any medicinal or preventative value. Do yourself a favor, if you want to avoid a bladder infection with cranberries, opt for capsules. Or drink plain water.
- Diet Soda – diet anything. If you take the fat out, you are removing flavor, so you must replace it with sugar, and in this case, the sugar too is fake. If it contains any of the following, chuck it: aspartame (Nutrasweet), sucralose (Splenda), Saccharin (Sweet’nLow). These are all artificial sweeteners made in a lab. It says on the packaging that it kills animals. Sure, those animals were fed a diet of artificial crap, but so are a lot of people. Stevia sweetener was just recently approved by the FDA and is made with plants. I use it in my coffee. It is an acquired taste. My favorite is Navitas Naturals.
- Energy Bars – before you munch on one of these, check the fat calories. You’re eating a candy bar. What’s the energy, here? Protein. But why sacrifice your waistline for a quick rush? Get your protein from whey or hemp. Put some in your water bottle. Some true energy bars (nutrient dense and loaded with fiber, vegetables and other superfoods): Vega Whole Food Vibrance bars, Garden of Life’s Organic Perfect Food bars and Pure bars.
- Soy Milk – marketed as a dairy substitute, the benefits of soy milk are weak. Non-fermented soy products can cause a variety of health problems if consumed in large quantities (as in cereal, lattes or with dinner). Soy milk also contains the same insulin substance found in milk, which has been linked to breast cancer. Opt, instead for hemp (I like Manitoba Harvest and Living Harvest brands) or almond milk.
- Cereal – an American breakfast staple and a bachelor’s turn-to dinner, a bowl of cereal is quick, easy and not that great for you. Cereals that claim to help you lose weight and lower your cholesterol probably aren’t. Most people consume cereal with milk or soy milk, negating any of the health and weight loss benefits. Try flax flakes, or make your own cereal at Me and Goji.
- Mineral Water – don’t think that you’re body is absorbing the minerals contained in mineral water; they’re simply too coarse. Sometimes, the minerals in mineral water is sodium, which should be avoided with people who suffer from high-blood pressure. The best waters are unaltered, mature spring water, preferably artesian.
- Milk - additives, hormones, preservatives, steroids and is pasteurized. Pasteurization obliterates all of the nutrients, enzymes, vitamins and denatures the protein content. Why would anyone want to drink this stuff? Calcium? You get calcium from vegetables. Eat at least six servings a day.
- Peanut Butter – ever load up your protein shake with peanut butter, thinking you’re getting even more protein? Try fat. Especially if you get your shake at smoothie shops, gym bars and other shake places. Real peanut butter is made with peanuts and peanuts aren’t sweet. Peanut butter is indeed good for you, but you won’t find any benefits consuming conventional brands (and the protein content is minimal). See BestCovery.com for the brands of peanut butter that I recommend.
- Bran Muffins – muffins are miniature cakes (and it still counts even if you just eat the tops, like Elaine did on Seinfeld). Skip the Starbucks muffin and get the protein plate or order their oatmeal.