8 Foods to Avoid

There are some foods out there that seem harmless, and you probably pick them up innocently, maybe even thinking they’re good for you! Avoid these foods, and you’ll be better off. Let’s find out what they are.

Light/Diet sodas

Wow, yes, what a great place to start. Light or diet fizzy drinks, now popular the world over, are not a healthier option than the sugar-filled variety. They contain chemicals that are seriously bad for your health, and most people don’t know how harmless they are.

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Aspartame, for example, can cause headaches, dizziness, mood changes, vomiting or nausea, tummy pain and cramps, diarrhoea, seizures or convulsions, memory loss and fatigue!

Sweetened soy milk

Lactose-intolerant people often reach for the soy milk as an alternative to milk. However, soy contains phytoestrogens, which are plant compounds which act like oestrogen in the body. Studies on animals show that soy phytoestrogens can cause breast cancer. Another study showed that when infants were given soy formula, their blood oestrogen levels went up to be around 20,000 times the normal rate.

Current thinking is that it’s ok to consume soy, but it should have been fermented first. 90% of soy is thought to be genetically modified. If you do purchase it, choose the organic variety, so you’re not supporting the GM industry and it’s more likely to be safe.

Granola

Granola is like crunchy muesli, so muesli is also included in this category. Muesli is often sold in health food shops and many people think it’s healthy. However, no so fast! We really need to look on the side of the box to understand if this is a healthy choice or not. Many mueslis and granola products are actually full of sugar, just like cereal.

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The sugar might be hidden in the dried fruit – sometimes they cover it with liquid sugar, which then dries and hardens. Ideally, your muesli should contain some oats, dried fruit and nuts and/or seeds. You could even buy these ingredients and tailor your muesli to your health needs and flavour preferences!

Bagels

Bagels are delicious. They really are. I suppose that’s why they’re so popular. But watch out. Just one bagel can provide between 3 and 6 servings of grains! Many peeps who choose to lose weight by reducing their carb intake may go way over their quota with just half of one of these delicious round things. If you are going to indulge, eat half a bagel, top it with protein-rich foods and make sure it’s whole wheat.

Sushi

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I know, I know, I’m sorry. Sushi is a favourite. Maybe it’s your favourite food. The main thing to watch out for is quality. That’s it. Just make sure it’s not supermarket-bought! The best idea is to make your own. Sound like fun? If you do, you can add less rice and more veg, can’t you? Also, sushi rice is often made with sugar added. Ouch. Try and go for sashimi where possible, ask for less rice, and always choose the seaweedy sushi – seaweed is full of vitamins, minerals, protein and fibre!

Frozen foods

Unless we’re talking about peas, you’re best off avoiding frozen food. Yes, it’s not as convenient on some levels, but freezing and then microwaving your food, for example, just kills it. Dead. Aim to go shopping twice a week, buy organic, and you’ll be getting a lot more nutrients for your money!

White rice

White rice is essentially just an empty calorie bonanza. Since rice is naturally gluten-free, it seems like a great choice for people who are sensitive to wheat, but choose the white variety and you’re going to miss out on all the beneficial fibre and goodness removed from brown rice to make it white.

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Essentially, when you know it’s not the most amazing thing to eat if you’re trying to eat low-carb, or diet, you’re golden. Limit portion sizes to a fist-sized portion and load up on other high fibre foods at the same meal. Go crazy with the broccoli and salad, and save your portion of rice for last.

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