Health Food Imposters and alternatives
Just because it's gluten free doesn't mean it's healthy. Many advertised gluten-free products catch attention as it is often thought that gluten-free is a healthier choice. Although these products are important options for celiac and gluten-intolerant individuals there is often hefty amounts of sugar and fat in some baked goods.
Alternative: Look for muffins with whole ingredients and no added sugars
Product: Gluten-Free Karma’ffins Chocolate Banana 1 muffin has no added sugar, 130 calories and 2.5 grams of fat. It also contains 7grams of fiber, 7grams of protein and is made with fruit and vegetables. Compare with gluten-free chocolate muffin 300 calories, 27grams of sugar and 14grams of fat (5grams saturated)
Many brands contain additional ingredients that are not health promoting. Sugar and food coloring depress the immune system. Vitamins should be free of fillers so the body can maximize absorption of important nutrients.
Here are some ingredients to avoid in a multivitamin:
FD&C Blue #1
FD&C Red #40
FD&C Yellow #6
Product: Progressive Multivitamins for Men and Women do not contain and artificial ingredients or sugar
Fat-free salad dressings
Contain a mega dose of sugar along with additives and food coloring. It is actually important to have healthy fat (oil) with your salad greens to absorb important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.
Alternative: Choose a salad dressing with a good quality oil like olive or hemp oil and a health-promoting vinegar like unfiltered apple cider vinegar
Products: RawFoodz Dressings are made with olive oil and apple cider vinegar and come in a range of flavors. They are free of preservatives and artificial ingredients.
Flavored Vitamin Water/Sports Drinks
With as much as 33 grams of sugar and 200 calories flavored water can contribute to blood sugar instability and weight gain. Many also contain unhealthy artificial colors and flavors.
Alternative: Reach for pure water and flavor naturally with lemon or fresh mint for proper hydration. For a sports drink try coconut water as it contains natural electrolytes sodium and potassium. For a flavored water look for one with natural ingredients.
Products: Hint Flat Water assorted flavors, Waiola Coconut Water
They may have less fat, but there is often a hefty amount of unhealthy additives and empty calories. These chips can create a stronger desire for snacking as they are low in fiber, which doesn’t keep you full for long.
Alternative: grab whole grain air-blown popcorn. Four cups of air popped organic popcorn has 7grams of fiber and no preservatives. Dress with olive oil and sea salt for a great flavor. Reach for zesty kale chips for another healthy option.
Products: Organic Air blown popcorn, BeNourished Kale Kickers
Contains artificial sweeteners that are 200 times sweeter than regular sugar making you crave more sweets and other carbs. Those who consume one diet pop a day have a greater risk of heart attack and stroke and tend to have thicker waistlines.
Alternative: try sparkling water with lemon or sparkling water alternative with natural ingredients.
Product: Sparkling water with lemon, Hint Sparkling Water in variety of flavors
Miranda Malisani, RNCP