1 of 7 – AGAVE SYRUP
Agave Syrup Is often proclaimed as a healthy alternative to artificial sweeteners. Even though it is a natural sweetener it is made up of mostly fructose. Fructose is the main sugar substance in the majority of fruits. The body’s main ad preferred energy source comes from glucose. Agave syrup contains more fructose than high fructose corn syrup. Agave syrup also has little to no additional nutritional value to it. When the body breaks down fructose it turns the energy into stored fats. The stored fats from fructose often end up as unwanted belly fat. Along with the weight gain agave syrup also can lead to other health issues – heightened blood sugar levels, increase in bad cholesterol, increased blood pressure and insulin resistance. Even though agave syrup is from a natural source it is a highly refined chemically produced sweetener.
Healthier Alternatives: 100% Pure Maple Syrup, Raw Organic Honey
2 of 7 – DIET SODA
Diet or not Soda is not good for you. Diet soda may seem like to go to choice because it often has 0 calories in comparison to 140 calories for most non diet sodas. The real issue is with the artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Artificial sweeteners have very potent flavors often overpowering real sweeteners. This can dull your taste buds to naturally flavored foods and sweets. Artificial sweeteners also trigger insulin production in the body which leads to fat storage and weight gain. Diet soda also has no nutritional value; it can be linked towards headaches, causing cancer, bone loss, and tooth decay.
Healthier Alternatives: Water, Carbonated Water
3 of 7 – PRETZELS
Pretzels are primary made from enriched wheat flour with little to no nutritional value. Pretzels are also high on the glycemic index being made of mostly carbs; it will spike your blood pressure levels after consumption. They are a lower calorie alternative to chips, but they pack a ton of sodium. One serving of pretzels has about ¼ the daily recommended amount of sodium. Eating too much sodium increases your risks of high blood pressure.
Healthier Alternatives: Pita Chips, Kale Chips, Roasted Almonds
4 of 7 – SPORTS DRINKS
Sports drinks seem like a great idea after a long exercise to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes. This is not the case though; sports drinks are often consumed without working out or as a hangover cure. Many sports drinks contain two thirds the amount of sugar as sodas. This additional sugar can lead to a spike in insulin levels and weight gain. A primary sweeter in many sports drinks is also high-fructose corn syrup. High-fructose corn syrup has been tied to obesity, heart disease, cancer, dementia, liver failure, tooth decay and more.
Healthier alternatives: Water, Fruits, Coconut Water
5 of 7 – POPCORN
Microwave popcorn is a low calorie snack on the surface, but the health benefits end there. Popcorn is exposed to dangerous chemicals. The bag is lined with perfluoroctanoic acid this is the same toxic chemical found in nonstick Teflon pans. Once ingested it stays in the body for long periods of time. This chemical has been linked to cancer, infertility, and many other diseases in lab animals. Another troublesome chemical found in popcorn is diacetyl which has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, and other brain tissue penetrating plaques. Microwave popcorn also has a high sodium content and contains trans fats.
Healthier Alternatives: Homemade Popcorn, Cauliflower Popcorn
6 of 7 – SOY MILK
Soy Milk is often talked about as a healthier alternative to milk. Soy contains high levels of goitrogens; compounds that inhibit the thyroid’s ability to utilize iodine correctly. This can potentially lead to thyroid problems down the road leading to low energy and a weakened immune system. Soy has also been linked to increased estrogen levels in humans. The majority of soybean crops contain high levels of GMO’s and pesticides. Soy production is also very hard on the land where soy is produced, soy crops suck all the nutrients out of the land without giving any back.
Healthier Alternatives: Coconut Milk, Almond Milk, Hemp Milk
7 of 7 – FROZEN DINNERS
Some frozen dinners seem like the healthy choice when you have a time crunch, but they are loaded with fats, preservatives, salts, and sugars that negate any benefits from having lean meats, vegetables, or low calories. Many frozen dinners will just sabotage your weight loss efforts. If you are not worried about a high sodium diet you might be able to get by with select frozen dinners. You should look for specific brands Healthy Choice, Lean Cuisine, Weight Watchers, and Smart ones.