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8 Health Halo Foods That Are Far From Angelic

“Organic”

Food labeled as “organic” isn’t automatically the healthiest option. While organic foods can be healthful and contain fewer pesticides, organic versions of junk food are still filled with sugar, sodium, and fat. 

Don’t cast aside all other principles of healthy eating when buying organic.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

8 Health Halo Foods That Are Far From Angelic

8 Health Halo Foods That Are Far From Angelic

https://www.everydayhealth.com/columns/bonnie-taub-dix-nutrition-intuition/8-health-halo-foods-that-are-from-angelic/

everydayhealth.com

8

Key Ideas

100 Calorie Packs

These pre-portioned packages usually contain little to no nutritional value, and people often eat more than one.

Instead, prepare your own 150 calorie snack by combining almonds and your favorite dried fruit for a good combination of healthy fats, protein, and carbs.

100% Wheat Bread Or Brown Bread

That doesn’t mean they are made of 100% whole grains. All 3 components (endosperm, germ, and bran) of a grain must be present for it to be classified as a whole grain.

Yogurt

It’s made by adding bacteria to milk, which can soothe several gastrointestinal ailments. But highly sweetened yogurts are like candy in a container instead of a valuable dose of dairy.

Opt for Greek yogurt, which is thicker in texture, and also contains double the amount of protein and less sugar than most yogurts.  

“Natural”

This term is not yet regulated or clearly defined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), so it has no true meaning.

Baked Chips

Chips are not the most nutritious option for snack time, but baked versions usually contain less fat than traditional varieties. But, this drop in fat can be offset with increased sodium and sugar.

Bake your own veggie chips at home. 

Granola

Unless you're going on a hike, you are unlikely to need all the concentrated fat and sugar that comes with it.

Instead, opt for cereal with whole grains listed as the first ingredient on the shortest list you can find, and use 5g as your marker: you want less than 5g sugar, but at least 5g of fiber, and no more than 5 grams of fat.

Agave Syrup

A popular sugar alternative and touted as a “healthy sweetener.” it doesn’t cause as great a surge in blood sugar levels as sugar does but it has more calories and shouldn’t be used in unlimited quantities.

“Organic”

Food labeled as “organic” isn’t automatically the healthiest option. While organic foods can be healthful and contain fewer pesticides, organic versions of junk food are still filled with sugar, sodium, and fat. 

Don’t cast aside all other principles of healthy eating when buying organic.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Organic junk food is still junk food
Organic junk food is still junk food

From a macronutrient perspective, organic junk foods are often identical to their conventional counterparts. 

They tend to be equally high in sugar and low in pro...

Organic isn't always healthy

Many organic brands tend to cater to a health-conscious crowd, meaning they’ll often use less processing or healthier ingredients to appeal to their consumers. But the organic label alone does not guarantee this.

The “health halo” effect
It refers to a scientifically researched phenomenon in which certain claims, such as “low fat” or “made with organic ingredients” can lead us to assume a food is healthier or lower in calories. 

one more idea

Best foods don’t have labels
Best foods don’t have labels

Because they are just one ingredient: avocado, lentils, blueberries, broccoli, almonds, etc.

There is no "best diet"

The “best” diet is a theme: an emphasis on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and plain water for thirst. 

That can be with or without seafood; with or without dairy; with or without eggs; with or without some meat; high or low in total fat.

The "Age" of vegetables
The best vegetables are likely to be fresh and locally sourced, but flash frozen is nearly as good (as freezing delays aging). Those “fresh” vegetables that spend a long time in storage or transit are probably the least nutritious.

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The Paleo Diet

The Paleo Diet is an effort to go back to eating how we’re biologically designed to eat, allowing us to tap into our genetic potential and start living healthier immediately.

Lose weight on the Paleo Diet
  1. Eat fewer calories than you burn every day.
  2. Eat mostly real food if you want to be healthy.
  3. Do those two things consistently for a decade to KEEP the weight off.

When you only eat real food and avoid all unhealthy food, you’re more likely than not going to run a caloric deficit – and thus lose weight.

Eat the following:
  • Meat – GRASS-FED, not grain-fed. 
  • Fowl – Chicken, duck, hen, turkey.
  • Fish – Wild fish, as mercury and other toxins can be an issue in farmed fish
  • Eggs – Omega-3 enriched cage free eggs.
  • Vegetables – As long as they’re not deep-fried, eat as many as you want.
  • Oils – Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil – think natural.
  • Fruits – Fruits have natural sugar, and can be higher in calories, so limit if you’re trying to lose weight.
  • Nuts – High in calories, so they’re good for a snack only.
  • Tubers – Sweet potatoes and yams. Higher in calories and carbs.

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Natural

The term is not formally defined by the Food and Drug Administration. But, the government agency doesn't object to the use of the term if the food does not contain added color, artificial...

Organic

The term organic doesn't necessarily mean healthy, as evidenced by organic candies and baked goods. Once again, when buying packaged food, the real litmus test is the ingredient list.

The Organic Seal indicates that food was produced without industrialized substances and under humane conditions. It goes from “100% organic” to "Made With Organic Ingredients"(the product was made with a minimum of 70% organic ingredients, with restrictions on the remaining 30%, including no GMOs.)

Local

There is no formal national definition for the term local. What local does not mean is organic or more nutritious, which is something many believe.

2 more ideas

Don’t Believe Healthy Labels

Don’t let your guard down when you see items labeled with healthy-sounding terms and don’t assume there is a correlation between things without proof. Know what you are eating by paying c...

Research On The Health Halo Effect
  • This effect often leads to consumers confusing “low fat” with “low calorie”, which results in the overconsumption of the former.
  • When choosing between similar products with different names, consumers prefer products with healthier-sounding names.
  • If you are eating at a restaurant you believe is healthy, you assume that the food choices you are making are healthy as well.
  • People who think their meal is healthy are more likely to add side dishes, drinks and desserts, resulting in over twice as many additional calories.
  • Items marketed by firms known as socially responsible stewards are assumed to be better and healthier products.
The Health Halo Effect

Happens when we overestimate the healthfulness of an item based on a single claim, such as being low in calories or low in fat.

This halo effect makes us more comfortable to eat more than we otherwise would if a product is promoted as low in fat or calories.

No clear benefits of coconut oil
No clear benefits of coconut oil

There are many claims being made about coconut oil being some kind of superfood, wonderful for lots of different things, but we really don't have any evidence of long-term health benefits.

Better on the skin that in your food

Health organizations tend to discourage the use of coconut oil.

The American Heart Association says it's better on your skin than in your food, and it recommends that no more than 5% or 6% of your daily calories come from saturated on - 13 grams per day. 

Limiting coconut oil use

You don't have to absolutely avoid coconut oil, but rather limit the use of it or replace it.

The American Heart Association advocates replacing coconut oil with "healthy fats" such as polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats, like those found in canola and olive oils, avocados and fatty fish.

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"Healthy: Dark Chocolate

Mars Inc. - the company that has brought us M&M's or Snickers - sponsored 140 peer-reviewed scientific papers starting from the 80s. Mars controlled the research agenda and only funded the posi...

Not really good for your health

The biggest health claim is that cocoa lowers blood pressure, but no study has proven that it reduces the risk of heart disease or attacks. And considering the added sugars it probably does more harm than good. 

The Mediterranean Diet

The diet is abundant in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and olive oil. 

It features fish and poultry—lean sources of protein—over red meat. 

Red win...

Research suggests these benefits:
  • Improved weight loss
  • Better control of blood glucose (sugar) levels
  • Reduced risk of depression
  • Associated with reduced levels of inflammation, a risk factor for heart attack, stroke and Alzheimer’s disease
How to change over to a Mediterranean Diet

Start small. Follow the strategies below, and make it a habit.

  1. Switch up your oil to extra-virgin olive oil, which is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. Drizzle it on finished dishes like fish or chicken to boost flavor.
  2. Eat More fatty fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel. 
  3. Eat veggies all day long.
  4. Phase in "real" whole grains that are still in their “whole” form and haven’t been refined.
  5. Snack on nuts, like almonds, cashews, or pistachios. 
  6. Enjoy Fruit for dessert. Also keep fresh fruit visible at home to snack on.
  7. Sip (a little) wine.
  8. Instead of gobbling your meal in front of the TV, slow down and sit down at the table with your family and friends to savor what you’re eating.
The reasons we crave junk food
  1. The sensation of eating the food: what it tastes like, what it smells like and how it feels in your mouth.
  2. The blend of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates t...
How craving are stimulated artificially
  • Salivary response: the more a food causes you to salivate, the more it will cover your taste buds.
  • Rapid food meltdown: this tells your brain that you’re not full, even though you’re eating a lot of calories.
  • Calorie density. junk foods are designed to convince your brain that it is getting nutrition, but to not fill you up.
  • Memories of past eating experiences: When you eat something tasty, your brain registers that feeling and will bring it up in the future.
Building better habits means changing your environment

Most people think that building better habits or changing your actions is all about willpower or motivation. But your environment has an incredible ability to shape your behavior.

Nowhere is this more true than with food.

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Understanding how long food lasts
Understanding how long food lasts

Should humanity face a nuclear apocalypse of worldwide war, we need to understand which foods might be safe for survivors to eat, and how long the foods will last.

To understand this, we ne...

Why foods go bad

Most foods spoil because of the growth of microbes. Preserving food is an attempt to limit microbial growth. Food can be preserved by drying, salting, chilling, or storing in air-tight containers.

  • Drying is the most effective because microbial growth is inhibited.
  • Salting is effective because it removes moisture, creating an environment where microbes cannot survive.
  • Sugar coating can prevent bacterial cells from functioning correctly.
  • Storing in air-tight containers is less effective because there are probably a lot of microbes on the food before you put it in the container. Some microbes are anaerobic, meaning they don't need oxygen.
Food preservatives

Preservatives are used in foods to extend their shelf lives. One of McDonald's Big Mac in Iceland is an example of a long-lasting processed food. It has been on display since 2009, in a glass box. Preservatives that has been discontinued by McDonald's are:

  • calcium propionate that prevents mold growth on bread.
  • sorbic acid that also inhibits mold from cheese
  • sodium benzoate, which inhibits the growth of bacteria in the Big Mac special sauce.

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