As I continue preparing to take my Group Fitness Instructor Exam, I realize that nutrition plays an integral role in contributing to or detracting from fitness. In recognizing this fact, I am interested in learning more about which foods are healthy and which are not so that my clients can maximize their fitness potential. Unfortunately, some foods that are advertised as healthy really aren’t. Here are three of them that you should know about:
1. Reduced Fat Peanut Butter.
In her discussion of unhealthy foods, Melanie Warner notes that when we remove an integral component of a food, we have to replace it or deal with the reality that it won’t taste right. She goes on to point out that when manufacturers remove fat to make peanut butter healthier, they compensate by adding sugar in. For example, simple versions of peanut butter contain two grams of natural sugars per serving. And while regular Jif has three grams of peanut butter, the reduced fat Jif has four. In discussing why taking in this sugar is unhealthy, Warner points out that science indicates that sugar is worse for us than fat while also noting that the fat in peanuts is actually beneficial for us because it’s monounsaturated.
2. Vitamin Water.
In discussing why vitamin water is unhealthy, Melanie Warner notes that “A bottle of regular Vitaminwater delivers a walloping 32 grams of sugar (versus 70 grams in soda).” She goes on to point out that the vitamins the water contains-such as B3, B1, C, and D-are industrially produced rather than natural. Finally, she notes that most of us are attaining these vitamins already through either fortified foods or vitamin supplements. Yet what we’re not getting is fiber and antioxidants. Since this is the case, Warner argues that we’d be better off drinking a regular glass of water and subsequently consuming an orange as opposed to “chugging a sugary, orange-flavored vitamin pill.”
3. Meats With No Artificial Preservatives.
In their discussion of unhealthy foods, ABC News notes that Oscar Mayer stated that they will no longer use artificial preservatives in their “Selects” line of deli slices and hot dogs. ABC News goes on to point out that while the removal of chemicals such as sodium nitrate and potassium chloride is a good idea, that doesn’t make the foods healthy. The reality is that processed meat is unhealthy. For example, a daily serving of salami or bacon can increase your risk of death by 20%.
If you are interested in maximizing your health, you should be aware of the fact that every food which is advertised as being healthy is not. In analyzing the list above, consider whether any of the listed foods are currently a part of your diet. If they are, you should strongly consider removing them so you can maximize your health. Good luck! :)
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Three Supposedly Healthy Foods That Really Aren’t