Cereal

It’s time for a breakfast revolution!

Many people start their day with cereal, but this should change. Most cereals are nothing more than junk food. Over half of all cereals marketed to kids have more sugar per cup than three Chips Ahoy cookies.1 Not many people eat cookies for breakfast. Some cereals are nothing more than a bowl of cookies covered in milk. Although many cereals taste good, they are high glycemic foods. This rapidly spikes your blood sugar levels and leads to cravings. Cereals can be especially dangerous and even hazardous foods for diabetics because of the high sugar content.

Sugar isn’t the only problem. Without the cartoon spokesperson cereal is really not that appealing. It's highly processed grains stripped of naturally occurring vitamins and minerals then covered in sugar, artificial additives, coloring, and preservatives. How healthy does that sound?

Many of the “natural” cereals aren’t much better. Cereal is almost always created through a process called extrusion. Extrusion destroys many of the nutrients and fatty acids. It also degrades the vitamins so you don't get the full array of nutrition in whatever they are making your cereal out of.

Many cereal packages make claims that cereal is a healthy food. Be wary. Read the label carefully to determine the exact ingredients, particularly at the sugar content. If you don’t recognize or can’t pronounce most of the ingredients buy something else.

 

Sports drinks are not a health food

Sports Drinks

Let's call them what they really are. Colored sugar water or colored artificially sweetened water. Don't just take it from me. The British Medical Journal (BMJ) published several articles revealing the facts about sports drinks. They recommend not wasting your calories or money on sports drinks. 2

Why? For most people, sports drinks are not only a waste of money, they actually make your health worse. These drinks are filled with artificial, unhealthy ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, sodium, artificial colors, and flavorings.

The American College of Sports Medicine reports that the electrolytes and carbohydrates in sports drinks are beneficial only for individuals who engage in prolonged vigorous physical activity, particularly in warm to hot temperatures.3 This means that if you're not dripping with sweat you probably don't need a Gatorade.

Although individual products vary, sports drinks typically only contain water, electrolytes, and carbohydrates (sugar). That sugar is often hidden under names like: high fructose corn syrup, fructose, sucrose, sucrose syrup, brown rice syrup, cane juice, maltodextrin and more. They are all sugar!

Sports drinks typically contain 50-90% of the calories found in soda and most people don't even realize it.4 Often people are unlikely to reduce the calories elsewhere in their diet to compensate.5  For most people, consuming water before, during, and after physical activity provides all of the necessary hydration they need.

 

Energy Bars

Energy bars are often no better than sports drinks, essentially overpriced junk food. Most are comprised of cheap proteins, sugars, hydrogenated oils and slew of artificial ingredients.

You probably know that candy bars are not good for you. Energy bars aren't much better. Most give you a quick sugar boost without much lasting nutrition. This boost then makes you crash and you feel hungrier than ever before. This happens because your not giving your body the nutrition it needs.

To make sure the next bar you eat isn't a glorified candy bar masquerading as a healthy food, check the ingredients. If you don’t recognize of can’t pronounce most of the ingredients pick something else. Make sure the top ingredients are healthy real foods like almonds, chia seeds, apples, banana, cacao, goji berries, turmeric, ginger, walnuts, pecans and more.

 

Salad dressing is not a health food

Store Bought Salad Dressing

Unfortunately, salad dressing companies use the entire arsenal of bad fat, salt, sugar, and artificial ingredients. The number one ingredient in most salad dressings is either canola oil, corn oil, sunflower oil, soy oil, cottonseed oil, or vegetable oil. Every single one of those oils are bad for you. Why do they do this? Because those oils are much cheaper than using only healthy oils like pure extra virgin olive oil, avocado oil, or mct oil.

Numerous studies show that the undesirable polyunsaturated fatty acid content of these vegetable oils are detrimental to health. They recommend switching to different types of fats including the traditional cooking fats like olive oil or ghee as it is extremely beneficial to health.6

Since products containing less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving aren’t required to disclose this on the label, many salad dressings also contain harmful trans fats. Just in amounts at 0.49 grams or less. Look for warning signs like, “partially hydrogenated,” “shortening,” or “interesterified.” Those could all be trans fats in hiding.

So what do you do with this information? Most salads need a dressing. Your in luck. It’s easy to make your own salad dressing once you know a couple of tricks. Think in terms of three things: base (healthy oils), acid (vinegar or citrus), and seasoning (anything you want). Combine ingredients that you love from these groups together and find your own unique creation. My favorite homemade dressing is olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and a dash of honey.

 

low fat food is not health food

Low Fat or Fat Free Foods

The low-fat craze has been one of the most damaging dietary fads in history. The entire hypothesis that fat clogs arteries was built on bad science.7,8,9  Unfortunately this myth has become ingrained in our culture.

Our bodies need healthy fats. Without them we suffer. Fats fill our hunger pains and provide the proper fuel your brain needs to thrive. Plus when you take the fat out of food it leaves them tasteless and unappealing. What happens next? Companies add sugar, sodium, and artificial chemicals to make up for the lack of taste. But this doesn't make the food any healthier. It actually makes the food worse for your health.

Your body does not function well without fat. It's because fat is needed for the proper functioning of cell membranes, the immune system, heart, brain and other organs. Many vitamins are fat soluble. This means they need fat otherwise you don't get the benefits. Vitamins A, D, E, and K, require fat for proper absorption.

High quality fats enhance the taste of nearly everything. Add fat back into your next meal and watch your health and mood improve.

 

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REFERENCES
1 KIDS’ CEREALS PACK MORE SUGAR THAN TWINKIES AND COOKIESHTTP://WWW.EWG.ORG/NEWS/NEWS-RELEASES/2011/12/07/KIDS%E2%80%99-CEREALS-PACK-MORE-SUGAR-TWINKIES-AND-COOKIES
2 THE TRUTH ABOUT SPORTS DRINKS HTTP://WWW.BMJ.COM/CONTENT/345/BMJ.E4737
3 AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SPORTS MEDICINE POSITION STAND. EXERCISE AND FLUID REPLACEMENT. HTTP://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/9303999
4 A NEW PROPOSED GUIDANCE SYSTEM FOR BEVERAGE CONSUMPTION IN THE UNITED STATES. HTTP://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/16522898
5 FLUID ENERGY--WHERE'S THE PROBLEM?HTTP://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/17126624
6 CHOICE OF COOKING OILS--MYTHS AND REALITIES.HTTP://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/10063298
7 THE FALLACIES OF THE LIPID HYPOTHESISHTTP://INFORMAHEALTHCARE.COM/DOI/ABS/10.1080/14017430801983082
8 A HYPOTHESIS OUT-OF-DATE http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12507667
9 BLOOD CHOLESTEROL IS NOT CAUSALLY RELATED TO ATHEROSCLEROSISHTTP://CARDIOVASCRES.OXFORDJOURNALS.ORG/CONTENT/28/4/575.SHORT