November 27 2015

by Tehzeeb Lalani

In: Food fads

Fat free! is it?

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Have you ever been deceived and/or betrayed? By a lover, by a friend, by your boss (promised a salary hike and a better position but refuses to make eye contact with you now), by your tailor (promised he would have your Kurta ready in 48 hours but the material is still sitting in the corner-in the bag you got-as untouched as a virgin). Point being, there may be varying degrees but come what may, isn't it the absolute worst feeling in the world?

Sadly, we are continually deceived by the health industry as well and every time you may think you're purchasing 'slimming' foods because that's what the label says (oh, naive you!), that may in fact be far from the case. Thus, here we are to your rescue! Knowledge really is powerful you know? Below is a roundup of 10 common foods we think are healthy but really aren't.

1. Low-fat/skim/1 or 2 percent milk

Why isn't this healthy?

i) Fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamin A, D, E and K) will not get absorbed in the absence of fat
ii) Since whole milk is denser in calories, you reach the satiety point quicker. With the slimmed down milk versions, you could keep chugging and still feel unsatisfied and restless

2. Granola bars that arenít homemade

Why isn't this healthy?

Anything that comes from a packet will require either excess sugar, salt, fat or preservatives to conserve its shelf life. Thus, much better to opt for more natural foods as mid-meals such as fruits or nuts

3. Baked chips

Why isn't this healthy?

Yes, the chips are baked with less oil but extra preservatives are added to give it that crunch we enjoy so much. Also, the sodium content in the baked varieties is higher which could lead to blood pressure and fluid retention a.k.a. the bloated feeling you loathe so much

4.  Margarine

Why isn't this healthy?

A popular saying goes "Trust cows more than chemists." Margarine is a replica of butter. Butter is prepared naturally whereas margarine synthetically. Margarine contains less of Vitamin K, CLA and omega-3 compared to butter and has a dangerous type of man-made fat called trans fat

 

5. Low-fat cookies

Why isn't this healthy?

If they are low in fat, they double up on the sugar and preservatives to retain shelf life. If you must indulge, then you're better off making a batch of homemade cookies and having those once a week or less as opposed to purchasing a pack of low-fat cookies and nibbling on it daily for weeks until your next trip to the grocery store

 

6. Diet soda

Why isn't this healthy?

Diet soda are sodas which replace sugars with artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharin etc. These sweeteners tend to increase hunger which leads to excess eating thereby causing weight gain. A lot of research also links them to increased risk of acquiring cancer

 

7. 100 calorie snack packs

Why isn't this healthy?

Recent research has taught us that a calorie is not a calorie. At the end of the day, snack packs are 'packaged' and thus, even though low in calories, not high enough in nutrients. A banana would be a much better, natural, nutritious 100-calorie snack to opt for

 

8. Diet khakra/diet chevda

Why isn't this healthy?

Labeling a food as 'diet' doesn't automatically make it healthier. Don't get fooled by these labeling gimmicks. On the contrary, each time you see the word 'diet' or ''slim' being used on a packet, you should get skeptical. Anything truly healthy (think carrots, apples) would never feel the need to label itself so. If fat is removed, sugar is added. If both are removed, preservatives are not added. Best to stick to the simpler stuff wherein you are assured that chemicals and preservatives aren't added or excess elimination of a specific ingredient hasn't taken place

 

9. Fortified orange juice

Why isn't this healthy?

A whole fruit is always better since the fiber content is retained. Also, there is always a risk of freshly squeezed juice getting oxidized owing to environmental factors such as heat. Oxidization is a process which would cause loss of nutrients thereby rendering the juice consumption pointless

 

10. Packaged fruit juices

Why isn't this healthy?

High in sugar, added chemicals and preservatives and very low in nutrients, freshly squeezed juices or whole fruits are always a better bet in terms of nutrient content

Shop wise and stay fit!

 

Lots of love and health,

 

Tehzeeb