Making healthy choices is what distinguishes a healthy lifestyle from an unhealthy one.  It is a battle that requires self control, determination, and knowledge.  In light of people desiring to make healthier choices, food companies have been trying to market their products as the healthier option.  In their pursuit for more success, companies have labeled their food as “healthy”, but in reality they are not.  In part 1 of this series, you learned that certain juices, granola bars, smoothies, and certain salads are not as healthy as you think.  Here are even more foods and drinks that are secretly unhealthy for you.

Sports Drinks

According to the American Heart Association, the maximum amount of sugar intake a day for men should be 37.5 grams and 25 grams for women.  Although sports drinks like Gatorade have good qualities to them like their high content of electrolytes, the bad qualities may outweigh the good.  According to Healthline, “A 12 oz. serving of Gatorade’s Thirst Quencher contains 21 grams of sugar. But because a regular bottle of Gatorade contains 32 oz., you’re actually getting 56 grams of sugar.”  56 grams of sugar!  That surpasses your maximum daily sugar intake in just one beverage.  Overloading your body with sugar leads to cardiovascular issues, obesity, diabetes, and can even be linked to certain cancers.  If you are trying to lose weight, you would be amazed at the effectiveness of putting down store bought juices and sports drinks, and just drinking water!

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Fat Free Foods

Fat free.  For the longest time, the label “fat free” has been deceptively linked to a healthy diet, thus causing people to eliminate fat from their diets.  What people do not realize is that human bodies need fat.  As contradictory as it sounds, eating healthy fats is necessary and essential to losing weight.  One must know the difference between good fats and bad fats.  Fats to avoid are saturated and trans fats.  Fats you should eat are unsaturated fats like omega-3, omega-6, oleic acid, and linoleic acids.  The truth is that when companies take the fat out of a product, they have to replace it with something else.  That “something else” is artificial sweeteners and chemical-produced ingredients.  Even though artificial sweeteners have helped with weight loss to a certain extent, they have been proven to make one’s taste buds build a tolerance to extremely sweet foods, thus making naturally sweet foods taste bland.  This tolerance also tends to make people despise the taste of less sweet foods and vegetables.  So, instead of shunning fat from your diet, educate yourself and become familiar with good fats that can improve your over all health and lead to weight loss.

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Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is an automatic go-to for health conscious people everywhere.  Even though this snack can be nutritious and healthy, there are a good amount of dried fruits that are almost equivalent to candy.  This is where reading nutrition labels really comes into play.  When buying dried fruit, look at the sugar content.  A large amount of companies have packed their dried fruit with sugar.  Instead, go for dried fruit that has not had sugar added, or be safe and just eat fresh fruit.

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Educate yourself, read nutrition labels, and use common sense when deciphering whether the food or drink in your hand is healthy or not.  You will find out that labeled “healthy” foods are not all created equal.