What daily habit seems healthy but is in fact unhealthy?

Artificial sugar is possibly the most unhealthy additive you can consume on a daily basis..

It’s very unfortunate that many consumers are brainwashed by the claims and false nutritional ratings on products that are in fact, worse than a junk food alternative. It’s saddens me that we leave it up to marketing ploys to decide what snacks and foods in supermarkets will be nutritionally viable to feed ourselves and our families.

There are many habits in which people are conditioned to believe are healthy, when in fact they are anything but. That’s why this particular question really hit home for me. I was one of those consumers believing the hype. Now I’d like to share some insights with you throughout my endless journey towards abundant health and optimal body composition.

6 myths that are actually bad for you

  1. Drinking diet soft drinks to bypass the sugar content. The real deal about these drinks is that they alter the flora in your gut, leading to reduced blood sugar control. Diet soda actually could increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes! It also increases your risk of heard disease and stroke. Researchers also say that artificial sweeteners in soft drinks may prevent us from associating sweetness with caloric intake. Because of this, we may crave more sweets, tend to choose sweet food over nutritious food, and gain weight. I may also add that these kinds of soft drinks can be quite addictive, so please beware! All these hidden agendas within artificially sweetened soft drinks, definitely should make you want to turn towards having a glass of water instead. I highly recommend the water!
  2. Eating low fat foods in hope it will help us lose body fat. These are basically junk foods in disguise. High fat foods generally have a lot of flavour, and taste utterly delicious. When this is stripped away, you have the low fat alternatives that are bland and just blah! Therefore, they must be replaced with sugar, artificial flavours and additives. This causes large blood sugar spikes, causing the body to release large amounts of insulin. Messing with your insulin levels guarantees increasing body fat and also, finding it hard to lose weight. Opt for the high fat foods instead (making sure they have no added sugar in them)
  3. The gluten free is healthy mentality, which is anything but healthy. Most gluten free foods are riddled with sugar, additives and also a host of inflammatory markers. The reason being is that the ingredients they need to take out (gluten and yeast) which are allergens, need to be replaced with something of similar value. Usually, that’s a host of things such as quinoa, rice flower, buckwheat etc. Unfortunately, to add more flavour, there has to be sugar and or other sweeteners used instead. This is why a lot of coeliacs have problems with diabetes over time. Consuming these foods have everything to do with this. If you are riding the gluten free path, I recommend staying away from any packaged mixed foods. Make your own, and monitor what goes into them.
  4. Consuming too much protein for your body type. Just because protein is thermogenic and builds muscle, doesn’t mean you can eat an abundant source of it. The excess is still stored in the body as fat, while the surplus of amino acids is excreted. A 2016 study found that weight gain was significantly associated with diets where protein replaced carbs, but not when it replaced fat. What an interesting fact that is! This is why pure keto is so popular (but that’s for another question)
    Too much protein can give you either bad constipation, or diarrhoea, especially if you are lactose intolerant.
    Aim to eat your recommended portion size, which is that of your palm. Anymore than this, and you run the risk of the excess being converted into fat.
  5. The fruit juice consumption epidemic seen to be healthy and nutritious. Fruit juicing causes an overconsumption of the fruit, which means a lot more sugar than you need, whilst eliminating the pulp which contains fibre. Overconsumption of fruit juice is linked to weight gain and health issues. As this is a non nutritionally viable substance, it leaves you feeling even more hungry, leading to overconsumption without reducing your appetite. You are better off eating the actual fruit instead, or opting for some sugar free iced tea that contains slices of fruit, lemon and lime wedges.
  6. The artificial sugar alternative that is actually detrimental for your health when used long term. These types of sweeteners are found in the supermarket isles claiming it’s a low calorie, highly sweetened sugar alternative. Yet it does a lot more damage than we actually realise. Scientists have shown the link between chemical sweeteners and increased appetite, as well as diabetes and heart disease, when these are part of your diet long term. It’s very much the same kind of symptoms as the diet soft drink alternatives, basically because they use the same sweetener alternatives. Therefore, you experience a double whammy when you consume soft drinks, and other beverages with artificial sweeteners. Your best bet is to stick with plant based sweeteners (like Stevia) and opting for small portions of honey or maple syrup, when sweetening a food. Remember too that dried fruit is filled with sugar and should be consumed with caution.

Remember to always pay attention to the listed ingredients on anything you decide to purchase. Do not believe the hype of marketing and supermarket ploys. Stay on top of it all by paying a lot of attention to the things you buy, and consume on a daily basis.

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