Have you ever noticed that healthy eating isn’t necessarily leading to weight loss? Some foods which are disguised as nutritious, sugar-free, and fat-free, could actually be containing other nasties which lead to imminent weight gain.
Don’t believe us? SHESAID enlisted the help of Australia’s number one fitness guru, Guy Leech, to discuss the food trends that we should be avoiding for weight loss.
With so many “juice cleanses” on the market it’s hard not to think that drinking juice all day is good for you. Guy points out, though, that even 100 per cent freshly pressed juice still contains a heap of sugar and hardly any fibre when compared to whole fruits.
“Try to keep your juice drinking to one cup per day,” he advises. “Particularly when paired with fresh vegetables, juices are a great way to consume nutrients, however sipping on juice all day is a really easy way to stock up on the calories.”
Another thing to remember is that pre-packaged juices are nutritionally similar to soft drinks, so the best way to consume juice is by juicing your own fruit at home. That way you know exactly what’s in it.
If packed with the right stuff, smoothies can be a great way to consume a whole lot of nutrients in the one hit. However, smoothies can go from good to bad real fast warns the fitness guru. “Just like making your own muesli, it’s better if you whip up your own healthy smoothie from home,” he advises. Many store bought smoothies contain ice-cream, high sugar yoghurt and even artificially flavoured syrups.
Raw food diets
“I’m all for eating food in its most natural state,” says Leech. “Raw food diets are generally very fresh fruit and vegetable heavy and discourage the consumption of processed foods, which is excellent,” he adds. Guy points out, however, that cooking food can be more nutritious and at times even safer.
“The lycopene in tomato and the beta-carotene in carrots are released during cooking,” he insists. “Furthermore, cooked foods can be easier to digest and cooking meat and fish kills certain bacteria that could otherwise result in an upset tummy or in extreme cases, food poisoning.”
Almonds are full of nutrients such as vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron and calcium and are reported to help lower cholesterol and improve digestive health, needless to say Leech is a huge fan of them. Likewise, he considers almond milk to be an excellent cow’s milk alternative, especially for using in smoothies and as an accompaniment to homemade muesli. He does, however, warn that there are a couple of drawbacks.
“Almond milk doesn’t have as much calcium or protein as cow’s milk,” he points out. “Processed almond milk can also be packed with extra sugar and preservatives, so make sure you read the ingredients and nutrition panel carefully,” he advises. Fresh is always best though, so Leech recommends buying a nut milk bag, blending up some fresh almonds and making your own nutritious almond milk from home.
Cleverly marketed to the health conscious crowd, muesli can be packed with goodness while also being chock full of fat and sugar. “Many people think they’re doing the right thing by swapping up their sugary cereals or fatty fried breakfasts for a portion of muesli in the mornings,” says Leech.
And, according to the health guru, the type of muesli on the shelves today provides a poor choice for those looking to shed fat and maintain a healthy weight. Instead of giving up muesli completely, Guy suggests making it yourself.
Images via Gimme Some Oven, Raw Food Lifestyle, Health Fitness Revolution