Many of the foods we eat today would be unrecognizable to people even a hundred years ago.
While some, like whey protein powder, are arguably pretty beneficial in some circumstances many of these ‘new foods’ are actually proving to be hazardous to our health.
If any of these 5 ‘foods’ are in your kitchen they are probably slowing down your weight loss AND making you less healthy at the same time!
1. Sunflower/canola oil
For decades various health organisations have preached the gospel of these two cooking oils. We have been told they are heart-healthy, lower in fat, better to cook with than butter and so on.
If you did some research into how these unstable oils are made ‘fit for consumption’ you would find out that they are bubbled through hydrogen gas in order to stabilize their chemical structure – the process is called ‘hydrogenation’.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my food to come with included chemicals for stability’s sake… Sounds unhealthy right? Absolutely! Apart from this these oils are still completely UNBALANCED from a nutrition point-of-view as they contain way too many polyunsaturated fats and too few monounsaturated and saturated fats.
These oils may as well be poison. Why do we get told we should use them? Because they are abundantly available and cheap to manufacture.
What to use instead? For cold application (ie. salad dressing) use cold-pressed virgin olive oil. For cooking with heat use coconut or macadamia nut oil.
Sugar – the white or brown crystalline kind, not the type in fruit! – has received an increasing bad rap lately from all sides, with people calling it more addictive than cocaine and shouting for it to be scheduled as an illegal drug.
While I’m not sure that this is a balanced or rational approach to dealing with the problem – everybody likes a sweet every now and then – I do believe that if you’re using sugar regularly in your home you’re going to struggle to lose weight. And it’s TOTALLY unnecessary.
You don’t NEED to add sugar to anything that is part of your daily nutrition routine. You don’t NEED to sweeten your tea or coffee. You don’t NEED to sweeten your already sweet breakfast cereal.
The processed foods we buy in supermarkets already contain so much sugar that adding more is nutritional suicide.
What to use instead? Use a month of your time to get used to not sweetening your food and drinks. They are supposed to taste the way they do.
3. Juice and/or soda
Juices and sodas are incredibly calorie-heavy and high in sugar without containing any fibre and, in the case of soda, any nutritional value.
There are many people out there who are trying to lose weight who are struggling because they are drinking an extra day’s worth of calories every day without even realising it when the calories in their sweetened tea, coffee, juice and soda is tallied up.
If you must drink something flavoured drink pure fruit juice, but water it down to 1 part juice, 2 parts water.
What to use instead? When you’re thirsty, drink water. When you want a hot drink, drink unsweetened coffee or tea. If you want an alcoholic beverage drink red wine, whiskey or brandy (without a mixer).
4. Low-fat milk and margarine
Although these products aren’t really the same, I’ve lumped them together because they are hurting you for the same reason. They are foods where the goodness has been taken out and replaced with chemicals for the sake of getting rid of fat.
‘Low fat’ products are NOT simply stripped of fat. They are not able to exist that way, so when the saturated fat is taken out it must be stabilized by adding chemicals.
What to use instead? Long story short, eat it the way God made it. Milk is milk, it has fat in it. Likewise with butter. Use the real thing.
5. Store-bought sauces
Things like tomato sauce, sweet chilli sauce, mustard, salad dressings, mayonnaise and chutney have one thing in common… Lots of sugar, lots of salt.
That’s why they taste so ‘good’. I’m not saying never use these again, but I would advise that they are used sparingly if you’re trying to shed some kilo’s. Adding a big dollop of sauce to a meal adds on many unnecessary calories to your meal, and they come in the form of sugar, salt and chemicals that are nutritionally empty.
What to use instead? Learn to use spices on your food to eliminate sauces wherever possible and learn to make and use home-made salad dressings from olive oil and balsamic vinegar.