"Healthy eating" is definitely on the rise with more people increasingly preferring so-called "healthy" food items in the market.
But are these foods actually as good as we imagine they will be or just "labeled" healthy? Many are choosing what they eat blindly rather than wisely.
From sugar-free sweeteners to vegetable oils to breakfast cereals, here are seven food products that aren't really healthy.
Stay away from these 7 fake "healthy foods"
What's in the name?
What about vegetable oils?
Vegetable oils are generally marketed as healthy or heart-healthy oils.
But some experts say vegetable oils go rancid (unpleasant smell/taste) at higher temperatures and are the worst for cooking.
They have "unnatural" levels of poly-unsaturated fats and Omega-6 fatty acids along with chemicals, additives, pesticides, etc. which have been linked to immunity-related diseases, infertility, hormonal troubles, obesity, and heart, liver, and kidney damage.
Are artificial sweeteners really healthy?
Many health experts say that artificial sweeteners, the sugar free ones, are extremely unhealthy.
Some contain Aspartame, which is known to induce cancer. Check the product label and avoid those containing Ascuflame-K, Aspartame, Sucralose, and Agave Nectar, which are not good for your health.
Instead of these artificial sweeteners, honey and stevia are natural and healthy alternatives to sugar.
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Is there anything really healthy about cereals?
Many people recommend cereals for breakfast, saying they are the best choice for one's health. They include corn flakes, wheat flakes, muesli, etc.
However, some dieticians claim otherwise; they say cereals only have high sugar content (20-30% sugar per 100gms), processed grains, additives, and sodium salts.
They say many nutrients disappear while processing and manufacturers add sugar to make them tasty.
Fried potato chips are bad; what about the baked ones?
We all know that fried potato chips are really unhealthy; so, baked chips are being marketed as the healthier alternative to deep-fried chips.
Baked chips' packets usually claim they contain 65% less fat. However, experts say both kinds of chips contain almost the same amount of calories.
Studies also show that baked chips have more starchy carbohydrates that are unhealthier than vegetable oils.
Is microwaved popcorn healthier than regular popcorn?
There is a myth that microwaved popcorn is a perfect alternative to the regular air-popped or stovetop popcorn, but it is not!
While marking stovetop popcorn, we can adjust the amount of butter, oil, or salt, which is not the case with packaged microwaved popcorn which also contains trans-fat.
Three cups of regular popcorn has 126 calories whereas pre-popped Smartfood popcorn has 290 calories.
Bottled iced tea, the culprit!
While there is nothing bad about tea, which is an excellent source of polyphenols (antioxidants), bottled iced tea is the worst enemy of those switching to "healthy foods".
Bottled teas contain a lot of sugar; it is difficult to find no-sugar ones. Also, they don't contain polyphenols, meaning you would be missing out on the primary reason to drink tea in the first place.
Consuming frozen packaged meat
Many health experts say that freezing meat would affect its health properties and nutrients.
Frozen meat loses its nutritional value. Frozen meat contains potentially dangerous chemicals that are used as preservatives to help it last longer.
Some studies say that frozen meat can particularly cause pancreatic cancer.
Frozen foods are not necessarily unhealthy but restricting their use in emergencies is advised.