When you see the words superfood, organic, all-natural and gluten-free do you let your guard down and deem the product healthy?

How many times have you been suckered into buying something you didn’t like or need simply because of the marketing buzzword?

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Let’s debunk some popular foods that create what we call the “health halo effect”, where food marketers imply that products are healthier than they actually are.

Kale

Don’t get me wrong. When kale is eaten in its wholesome form, it is, indeed, a healthy vegetable.

In recent years, however, products with kale are popping up in grocery aisles, from crisps to crackers, popcorn, cold-pressed juices and more.

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When kale is presented in pre-packaged foods, such as in the form of kale crisps, you are also eating a whole load of sodium and fat as these kale crisps are typically blended with added flavours to mask the natural bitterness from kale.

Tip: If you are craving kale crisps, you are probably better off making your own so you can control the amount of oil, salt and flavours added.

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Avocado

While an avocado is packed with healthy monounsaturated fats and vitamin E, having too much of it may contribute to weight gain.

In fact, one fruit typically has 322 calories and 29 grams of fat.

If you love avocados, keep having it as part of your healthy diet, but don’t overindulge

If you follow a 2,000-calorie diet, eating one avocado a day alone already meets a third to a half of your recommended daily fat intake.

Avocado oil is not any better either. It is one of the healthier oils on the market, but that does not mean you should be drowning your foods with it.

Tip: If you love avocados, keep having it as part of your healthy diet, but don’t overindulge.

Keep your portions in check.

Gluten-free

 

How I start my days most mornings. Oats are so good for you and filling! Not to mention, an affordable staple for all! Check out my approach to oats below. You can mix it up the night before (if you need to save every minute) or first thing in the morning (if you don’t care to think that far ahead). Either way it’s a fast an easy breakfast that’s ideal for busy lives and even on-the-go. The seed blend was inspired by @lonijane—I’ve been using it for a while now and I love it! Now let us know, how do you do oats? . Soaked Oats . 1 cup rolled oats 1 cup unsweetened almond milk 1 tbs seed blend 1 tbs nut butter of choice Drizzle of pure maple syrup Dash of cinnamon Fresh fruit of your choice to top . Combine oats, coconut, maple syrup, chia seeds, and cinnamon in a bowl. Add almond milk. Allow to sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Top with nut butter and fresh fruit. Enjoy! . Seed Blend . 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes 1/2 cup @gardenoflife chia seeds 1/2 cup @gardenoflife flax seeds 1/2 cup buckwheat groats 1/2 cup sesame seeds 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds 1/2 cup sunflower seeds 1/2 cup hemp seeds . Combine all seeds together in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator. . . . . . #vegan #breakfast #recipe #oats #refinedsugarfree #glutenfree #plantbased #nutrition #forksoverknives #plantstrong #dairyfree #health #healthy #veganfood #food #foodie #eat #vegetarian #fitness #fitvegan #overnightoats #oatmeal #wholefoods #wfpb #lifestyle

A post shared by Follow me to better health... (@candicelynnfitvegan) on Aug 21, 2018 at 7:03pm PDT

You may have heard through the grapevine or read on the internet that a gluten-free diet helps with weight loss and makes you feel better.

Unfortunately, gluten-free products are not any healthier than foods that contain gluten.

The gluten-free products that you come across in your local grocery store serve a purpose: they are made specifically for individuals who are clinically diagnosed with gluten sensitivity and those who live with Coeliac disease.

If you are trying to manage your weight, engage in regular physical activity and choose conventional foods by watching your food portions, choosing leaner meats and poultry and including more legumes and vegetables as part of your diet

These individuals cannot tolerate gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, bulgar, couscous, semolina and rye.

Instead of using these grains, gluten-free products use alternatives such as rice, potatoes, tapioca and soya.

Tip: If you are trying to manage your weight, engage in regular physical activity and choose conventional foods by watching your food portions, choosing leaner meats and poultry and including more legumes and vegetables as part of your diet.

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Organic

A food product that is labelled organic also does not mean it is more nutritious than its conventional counterpart.

The term organic refers to the agricultural practices used rather than the health and nutritional benefits of the food.

Cheese and crackers, small handfuls of trail mixes and plain yogurt with fresh or frozen fruits are some healthier snack and post-workout food options

For example, organic potato crisps are still potato crisps. They contain similar amounts of fats and sodium as conventional potato crisps.

Tip: Choose organic foods for ethical reasons.

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Energy bars

Energy bars are packed with nutrients, but they are also filled with added sugars and fat.

If your intent is to eat it as a snack rather than to refuel after an intense workout, you may want to plan how you would burn off the 200 or more calories packed in the energy bar.

Tip: Cheese and crackers, small handfuls of trail mixes and plain yogurt with fresh or frozen fruits are some healthier snack and post-workout food options.

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