They seem innocuous enough and form part of one meal or the other every single day. And yet, they’re exactly what’s stopping us from shedding the excess flab. Here are five everyday foods that make us fat:
Breakfast Cereals: The processed breakfast cereals, whatever health claims they have, are loaded with sugar and refined carbs, which are fattening in nature. Consumption of these spikes blood sugar levels instantly and then brings about a dip, which usually ends up in food cravings.
For your morning meal, choose instead something which has fibre and protein like eggs and veggies for nutrients and satiety.
Whole Wheat Bread: The whole wheat in whole wheat bread is pulverised into fine flour, which makes it a high glycaemic index food. This increases blood glucose levels too and as fast as refined sugars do.
Include millets in your diet in its place. Millets are high in fibre, protein-rich and also have a low glycaemic load.
Low-Fat Yogurt: Yogurt is often considered to be a healthy food, and it is. But low-fat yogurt is more unhealthy than high-fat curd. To make low-fat yogurt, the fat is removed. This tastes awful and so the low-fat yogurt is pumped in with sugar, fructose corn syrup or some other artificial sweetener to make it as delicious as it is. Recent studies show that saturated fat is actually harmless, so low-fat yogurt has had the good stuff removed, only to be replaced with something that is much, much worse.
So eat real, full-fat yogurt and avoid the low-fat variety.
Salad Dressings: Vegetables are good for you since they’re loaded with nutrients, antioxidants and soluble fibre. Thus salads make for some very healthy meals. However, a lot of people don’t like the bland taste of vegetables, so they add dressing to their salads. The problem with most commercial dressings is that they’re made with ingredients like soybean oil and high fructose corn syrup, which leads to weight gain. They can also be very high in calories and it is easy to consume a lot, which leads to overweight and obesity issues.
It is much better to make your own dressing with extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, lime juice and some spices, which is certainly a healthier option.
Fruit Juices: Fruit juices are often perceived as healthy. Well, they’re not always. Sometimes “fruit juice” is actually just fruit-flavoured sugar water. There may not even be any actual fruit in it, but just water, sugar and some chemicals that taste like fruit. Even real fruit juice is fruit with all its goodness extracted. Whole fruits do contain some sugar, but it is bound within the fibrous cell walls, which slows down the release of the sugar into the bloodstream. But fruit juice is different, there’s no fibre, no chewing resistance and nothing to stop you from downing massive amounts of sugar in a matter of seconds. The sugar content of fruit juice is actually very similar to sugar-sweetened beverages like Coca Cola.
So eat whole fruits, but avoid fruit juices if you’re trying to lose weight.