When you think of unhealthy foods you probably think of greasy pizzas and huge portions of fries but, according to UK nutritionist Helen Bond, some of our favorite “healthy” snacks might not be as sweet as they seem…
#1. Breakfast sandwiches.
Not too surprisingly, Helen warns us to stay away from meat-stuffed, white-bread rolls: “They contain processed meats high in saturated fat. This is not something you should be eating on a daily basis.”
She suggests swapping your bacon for an egg roll and, if you’re feeling wild, swap that white bread for brown or wholemeal.
#2. Fizzy drinks (even diet ones).
“By drinking sugar-filled drinks to excess, you will be adding lots of unnecessary “empty calories” to your daily diet and getting little nutritional value in return,” says Helen.
For your flavor fix, Helen recommends herbal teas or livening up water with lemon or lime juice or mint.
Think swapping your Coca Cola for a smoothie is the healthy choice? Think again. “Most [smoothies] purchased in shops and supermarkets are very high in calories, with added whole-milk yogurt, syrups, sugar and even peanut butter and chocolate,” says Helen.
Plus the juicing process used to make some smoothies removes fibre and nutrients found in the whole fruit, so, for a healthier smoothie, try simply throwing your favorite fruits in a blender.
The trendy snack growing in popularity as it’s delicious and guilt-free isn’t quite the healthy fix we’ve been lead to believe, according to Helen: “The air-popped one is healthy — it’s when you begin adding things to it that it becomes a problem.”
She recommends avoiding popcorn flavored with butter and sugar, so keep your eyes peeled for “the naughty types”.
#5. Canned soup.
While we salute your efforts to prepare yourself a quick and nutritious lunch, Helen thinks you should be vigilant as there can be all kinds of nasties lurking in that can.
“Some canned soups are quite salty,” she says, “[And] they contain all the additives and preservatives and colors.” So opt for low-salt canned soups or, even better, make your own.
#6. White bread, pasta, and rice.
White bread has often been stripped of essential nutrients and bleached during milling to make it look nicer, but you’re always better sticking with good ol’ brown bread.
“This means that they are digested quickly and so you’ll get a quick rise in your blood sugar and energy levels, followed by a crash. Then — you guessed it — you’re hungry again.”
#7. White chocolate.
Many nutritionists actually recommend eating small amounts of dark chocolate as cocoa contains flavonoids that protect your body’s cells as well as your brain and heart.
But the white stuff doesn’t contain any coca so it’s basically just a sugary processed (delicious) mush. Sorry white chocolate.
So there you have it, the foods trusty nutritionist Helen Bond will never touch. We hope we haven’t ruined your lunch too much.