Your guide to the top supermarket have-nots
Making healthy choices starts with your food shopping. Skip these 5 foods at the supermarket that are secretly sabotaging your health goals and try my suggestions of what to choose instead to help you stay healthy all week long.
Flavored Yogurt & Smoothies: These guys are high sugar versions of an item that used to be good for you. Healthy dairy options should be giving you the good stuff you need (protein) and less of the stuff you don’t need (sugar) to help you stay satisfied and focused. So, skip al the pre-flavored items and instead look for plain Greek or Icelandic yogurt and keep sugars to under 10grams per serving, and add in your own fresh or frozen berries for some sweetness.
Low-Fat Foods: Foods that are “low-fat” or “reduced fat” are often higher in sugar and salt than their original versions to add in flavor that they took out by removing the fat. Don’t fear the fat, always choose the full-fat versions of dressings, condiments, sauces, nut-butters, and stick to you 1-2 tablespoons.
Juice: I’ve talked about this one a lot, but it needs repeating! The concentrated sugar in juice is higher in calorie and lower in nutritional value than the whole fruit version. It does not matter if it says “100% juice”, “cold-pressed”, or “fresh squeezed” it is all the same when it comes down to nutritional value. Ditch the juice and eat the whole fruit instead, you’ll be getting fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals, while also feeling way more satisfied and refreshed than the glass of juice. Skipping sugary beverages, in general will help you lose weight and maintain a healthier weight long term. This also goes for soda, bottled coffee, and bottled teas, look for zero grams of sugar on these labels.
Bottled Salad Dressings: salad dressings can be loaded in salt, sugar, and saturated fat. They are also almost always used in excess of the 1-2 tablespoon serving size that they should be, making your otherwise healthy salad completely backfire on you. Instead top those greens with avocado, lemon juice, or a tablespoon of olive oil to add healthy fat and flavor.
Gluten-Free Foods: For the 1% of American’s with celiac disease, gluten-free alternatives are a great and essential swap for your favorite snacks. But, if you are buying gluten-free items because you think that are healthier for you, you are very wrong. To make up for the taste, gluten-free foods have a lot more sugar, salt, and saturated fat than their gluten-containing counterparts. Choose the original versions, look for items that have 100% whole grain as the first item on the ingredient list, and opt for foods that are naturally gluten-free without alterations, like vegetables, fruit, and lean protein.