6 Surprising Reasons Your Diet Isn’t As Healthy As You Think
With so much interest in health these days, most people try their best to keep a healthy diet. However, there are so many different components of eating healthy, it can be hard to tell if we are really doing it right.
Information is always changing, and everyone’s body’s are different, so it’s no surprise that sometimes we get it wrong when it comes to our eating habits.
“Most people will say that they ‘eat pretty healthy’ because they choose the low-fat salad dressing or low-calorie juice,” says nutrition coach Michelle Pfennighaus. “They know they are making some conscious choices to be healthier. But they forget how often they eat out, grab a vending machine snack, or indulge in sweets and alcohol.”
Most of us don’t have a nutritionist to watch our every move, so we don’t have someone there to let us know how we are doing when it comes to our diet. If you’re trying to ensure healthy eating habits, consider these six surprising reasons your diet isn’t as healthy as you think it is.
1. You’re Buying Diet Foods
You might think diet foods equal healthy foods, but you might want to think again. “Low-fat, low-calorie products are often full of chemical sweeteners and additives,” says Pfennighaus. “They are highly processed products that do not deliver the nourishment the body needs.”
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2. You’re Eating Hidden Sugars
Maybe you stay away from dessert and soda, but that doesn’t mean your diet is free of sugar. “Most people don’t know that there’s sugar in their peanut butter, salad dressing, breakfast cereal (even the organic kind!) and soy milk,” says Pfennighaus. “It’s easy to accidentally consume two or three Snickers Bars’ worth of sugar each day.”
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3. You Only Pay Attention To Calories
All calories are not created equal. “Calories from Big Macs and calories from spinach are not the same,” says Registered Holistic Nutritionist Sophie Gray. “When we opt for whole foods, we are able to eat an abundance of them because they’re coming from high quality and nutritious sources. Fast foods and diet foods contain processed and empty calories that provide no nutritional value to our bodies.”
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4. You Ditch Carbs
“Just like how not all calories are the same, neither are carbohydrates,” says Gray. Carbohydrates that are good to remove from your diet include baked goods, white bread, pastries, bagels, and donuts. “However, fruits, vegetables, natural whole grains including rice are carbohydrates we want in our bodies,” she says. “Our brain runs mostly on carbohydrates, explaining why those who avoid them struggle with erratic mood swings.”
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5. You’re Always Doing Fad Diets
Sure, your friend may have lost 10 pounds doing the Paleo diet, but these trendy ways of eating are only a temporary solution. “We are told by the media that we need to remove something from our diet to be healthy, and that’s not the case,” says Gray. “Calories are fuel, and there are three macronutrients (carbs, protein and fats) for a reason.”
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6. You’re Avoiding Fats
For years, fat was lauded as the nutritional enemy, but recent research shows that fat is an important part of a healthy diet — and it doesn’t actually make you fat! “Your brain is 60% fat, after all, says Pfenninghaus. “And brains don’t run on I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter.”
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