Many marketing campaigns related to food revolve around creating the perception that the food you are purchasing is healthy. Although there are many healthy brands out there, they are often drowned out by the loud voices of brands who are less concerned about the quality of the product, and more concerned about making the sale. With that being said, here are the 5 most common “health foods” that cause weight gain.
Oh, and one last thing… take a look at what a serving size is on the back of the container, see how many grams of sugar are in a serving, and multiply the grams by the number of servings you typically have. You might be shocked at how much sugar you’re consuming.
2. Whole Grain Breads/Pastas- Just because a bread or a pasta is made from whole grain or whole wheat does not mean that it can’t cause weight gain. Breads and pastas are still made from flour which causes large increases in blood sugar (aka glucose in the blood). The problem with large increases in blood sugar, is that insulin (a hormone that decreases blood sugar when blood sugar is elevated) only stores blood sugar in one of three ways… in the liver as glycogen, in the muscle as glycogen, or as fat. Unfortunately, many of us eat larger portions than we should in proportion to the amount of physical activity we get (or don’t get) on a daily basis, thus causing storage of more fat on our bodies.
Quick side note—the same thing can happen with other dense forms of carbohydrate such as rice, quinoa, or potatoes, when eaten in EXCESS. The good news is at the end of this article I will tell you how a balanced meal should look on your plate!
3. Fruit- Now before you send me hate-mail, I’m NOT saying that fruit is unhealthy. However, I am saying that fruit is still broken down as sugar in the blood (glucose), and that when eaten in excess… can cause insulin to store the excess blood glucose as fat… again.
So how much fruit is too much fruit? I would say that more than 2 servings a day is excess for most of people considering the large quantities of packaged products that are consumed on a daily basis. Again, see how many servings of fruit you eat in day. Are you starting to see how the summation of these various carbohydrates can lead to unwanted weight gain?
4. Yogurt- The marketing behind yogurt products is remarkable. How many commercials have you seen with a skinny woman dancing around eating yogurt claiming that it will help reduce your waistline? Many of those big brands that you see advertising how healthy their products are... are actually packed with sugar. Excess sugar in the blood=excess fat on your body. Starting to see the pattern here? Read your labels, and choose options without sugar.
Side note: Milk has a lot of sugar in it too, and is often considered a “health food.” I tend to disagree.
5. Granola Bars/Protein Bars- You guessed it… too much sugar. Period.
So now that I have frustrated the hell out of you, I’m going to leave you with a few simple tips that will help you with cleaning up your eating.
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The Fitness Pyramid