Wednesday, May 7, 2008

7 Over-Rated Foods

JoLynn from The Fit Shack left me a comment that is so true about food. She said...
"I agree in general that we cannot put our health completely in someone else's hands -good example is with food....just because it's on the shelf (and even approved by FDA) does NOT mean that it's healthy and safe for you".

This post fits in perfectly to JoLynn's comment. This article is from Ediets

They've compiled a list of the seven most overrated foods. Read on and see...
you might be surprised at some of the ones that made the list.

1. Energy Bars: "Energy" is code for calories. They may as well label most cereal/snack bars as "calorie bars." Most are closer to candy bars, containing 150 to 300 calories, with varying amounts of fat, sugar and salt, artificial coloring, flavoring and preservatives. Some bars contain trans fat.

If you insist on eating energy bars, read the label and choose one whose first ingredient is "whole grain," with at least 2 to 3 grams of fiber, no trans fat and a maximum of 1 gram of saturated fat.

2. Fruit Juice: The label reads "100 Percent Natural," so how can juice be overrated? It takes about five whole oranges to make about 4 ounces of orange juice -- a measly half-cup -- and you'll normally gulp it down in about four seconds. Peel and eat one, maybe two oranges, and you're full. Plus, you'll get a jolt of energy from natural fructose and fiber to fill you up. Now, that's an underrated bargain.

3. Protein Powder: If a little is good, is more better? When it comes to protein, no. The idea that you can build muscle by eating more protein has been discounted repeatedly. eDiets Chief Fitness Pro, Raphael Calzadilla, says, "Although protein in the correct amounts is vital for muscle growth, too much protein can have the opposite effect from what you're looking for. The body can only use so much protein, and excessive protein can actually convert to glucose. The key is actually to take in sufficient amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats." That will fuel your workout, which is what will build those muscles you're looking for.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar: A recent upswing in popularity for this old "home remedy" shows how people are always looking for the "magic bullet" for weight loss. Drinking apple cider vinegar won't make you lose weight, but it's so disagreeable it may make you lose your appetite for food. Overrated and unappealing.

5. Red Meat: Although a little lean beef (a 3-ounce portion of lean sirloin) fits well into most healthy diets, large portions of fatty steak means saturated fat, cholesterol and calories. The American Cancer Society reports that those who eat the most red meat, including beef, pork and processed meat products, have a 30 to 40-percent higher risk for colon cancer compared to only occasional meat-eaters. For men, replacing most of your red meat with fish reduces risk for some cancers, including prostate cancer. Everyone can benefit from including at least a couple of servings weekly of omega-3 fatty acid-rich fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerel. Also healthful: skinless poultry and plant-based meals rich in beans, legumes and whole grains.

6. Sports Drinks: These liquids carry labels with dynamic colors and strong-looking athletes, but anything labeled "energy" makes my hair stand on end. Remember, "energy" is code for calories, and sports drinks are usually (very) expensive, sugary water with additives, artificial colors and preservatives. If you're an endurance athlete, intensively exercising for more than 1 hour, a liquid fortified with a bit of sodium and sugar can help replenish your electrolytes and glycogen stores, but otherwise, eight to 16 ounces of water, sipped before, throughout and following your workout, and an orange and a handful of salted peanuts after your workout to replenish will do the trick.

7. "Natural" Sweeteners: Many people think sugar is a "bad" food, but honey, fructose or maple syrup are actually good. Although "natural" sweeteners may taste better than white sugar, they're all nutritionally about equal. That is, natural sweeteners don't provide enough nutrients to make much of a difference health-wise. Natural or refined, nutritive sweeteners such as sugar, honey or maple syrup all have about 16 to 20 calories per teaspoon. Portion size counts, especially when you're watching your calories.

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