We all know that junk food is something to avoid, right? Yet, most of us don’t know there are some sneaky junk foods that seem innocent but are far from being healthy. The junk food we are talking about is different from the infamous ones like chicken nuggets, hamburgers, French fries, chips, cookies, etc.
Here’s a list of junk food that are labeled as healthy, but are actually unhealthy.
The foods mentioned in this section are not the ones that are naturally gluten-free like fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, etc. The foods that are actually threatening your health are packaged ones. They are high in calories, sodium, and saturated fat. They are highly processed, containing lots of sugar which can lead to very rapid spikes in blood sugar. These products are not very nutritious and may have the same negative effects on your health as gluten-containing foods.
If you’re avoiding gluten on your diet, opt for fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, or homemade popcorn next time you crave a snack.
Vegan junk food
There are lots of processed vegan foods on the market, often sold as convenient replacements for non-vegan foods. Fake meat products like vegan bacon or sausages are examples of that. The problem with these products is not about them being vegan, it’s about them being highly processed. They can be considered junk food because they are filled with suspicious ingredients, such as processed soy protein, canola oil, caramel coloring, and xanthan gum, which can not be considered highly nutritional.
If you follow a vegan diet, try to add beans, lentils, fermented soy, nuts, and seeds to your meal plan to avoid eating highly processed vegan snacks.
Most of the fruit juices you buy from the store aren’t really made of fruit. They are basically liquid sugar with coloring and flavor additives.
Even if you’re drinking 100% natural squeezed fruit juice, it’s still not the optimal choice. Because even natural fruit juice is very high in fructose (fruit sugar) and very low in fiber, which will spike your blood sugar.
Ready-to-use salad dressings
Most people don’t like the way salad tastes on its own. They feel the need to add some flavor to the leafy greens and there’s nothing wrong about it unless they are pre-prepared with lots of additives. Most pre-prepared salad dressings contain preservatives, trans fats and various artificial chemicals that are bad for the health and also not-so-healthy oils like canola and soybean. Olive oil usually appears far down on their ingredients list, which means it makes up a little part of the dressing.
If you like your salads with dressing, prepare them at home and use ingredients such as extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil, balsamic or apple cider vinegar, and lemon juice. Adding some top-quality mustard is also an option.
The bottom line
No packaged food is that healthy, but most of us who live in big cities are always in a hurry. Packaged foods can be life savers for those who live at a fast pace. So, if you’re going to buy packaged food, make sure you read the ingredients thoroughly. Avoid buying that product if there are any unfamiliar ingredients in it.
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