Learn about five diet & nutrition mistakes made by many

1. “Low Fat” or “Fat Free” foods are probably not good for you.

There are a ton of products on the market that advertise as being “low fat” or “fat free”. There are some products out there that naturally fall into these categories, such as rice cakes or fruit. Those foods are fine, what you want to look out for are things that would normally have fat, but have been engineered to have reduced fat or no fat. Things like cookies, breakfast bars, brownies, etc. These items have probably had a ton of processed & artificial ingredients added to them so as to replace the texture of the missing fat.

Also it’s very important to realize that “Low Fat” or “Fat Free” foods can still make you fat. Fat is more easily stored in the body and will probably hit your thighs quicker than other sources of calories, but protein & carbohydrates contain calories which will convert to fat as well. So if you’re eating something that is “fat free”, but has 300 calories per serving, you’re really not doing yourself many favors.

2. Not all yogurt is healthy.

Yogurt is often advertised as a healthy alternative to other more fattening products. You’ll often see yogurt commercials advertising flavors like key lime pie, cheesecake or chocolate mouse. The truth about these products is that they are loaded with sugar, artificial flavors & colors, preservatives, gums & stabilizers up the wazoo. While some may claim they have “live and active cultures” rarely will they ever tell you how much.

If you want a healthy yogurt, look on the ingredients list and make sure there is no fake stuff in it. Look for flavors that are easy to incorporate naturally like fruit flavors, vanilla or honey.

3. Juice is no better for you than soda.

So you’re in a rush & looking at the vending machine for something refreshing. You want something healthy so you go for the fruit juice instead of the soda. You’re making a healthy choice right? Wrong! The truth is juice has very little going for it in the health department. The problem only becomes greater when you realize that a lot of juice has been adulterated from it’s pure form. Read the label, you’ll be shocked to see added sugars, artificial colors & flavors & even weird sounding stabilizers. Then take a look at the calorie content and compare it per serving to soda. You’ll be surprised that in some cases certain juice drinks exceed the caloric content of popular soda drinks.

Also important to realize is that most juice drinks have been concentrated & pasteurized destroying a lot of the original nutrients. These nutrients are added back in later, but only certain vitamins like A, D & C are added & usually a paltry amount. You would probably get twenty times greater the vitamin level by taking a quality multivitamin everyday.

4. Sugar is really no better for you than high fructose corn syrup.

High fructose corn syrup has gotten a bad wrap over the last couple of years as it creeps into more & more products. While scientific studies have been split about the health impacts, many feel it’s a leading contributor to things like obesity & diabetes. I personally avoid HFCS products as much as I can, perhaps due to the possible health effects of HFCS, but I’d also avoid most of those same products if they had cane sugar instead.

Weather you get your calories from sugar or HFCS it doesn’t really matter a whole lot. If your sweetener intake is too high, it will be bad for your health. As of late many products have advertised that they are made with pure cane sugar or that they no longer have HFCS in them. Unfortunately due to the sweetness level of cane sugar compared to HFCS, usually those who had HFCS in their product previously use more cane sugar to match the original sweetness level. This can result in a product that actually has more calories & in the long run is probably less healthy for you.

Conclusion: Just because a product doesn’t have HFCS in it anymore, doesn’t mean it’s any healthier.

5. 100% daily recommended values are not enough

Maybe you’ve seen products advertise that they contain “100% of your daily Vitamin C” or your kids breakfast cereal is fortified with vitamins & minerals. Most of the time when something is “fortified” with vitamins & minerals it’s usually a fraction of the daily recommended values(DRVs) set up by the Food & Drug Administration.

I think it’s great we at least have minimums, but most people should be getting many many times greater dosage than the daily minimums. You should probably be receiving nutrients about five-fold the minimum dosage. Especially important are Vitamin D (mood, skin, digestion), Vitamin C (energy, immunity) & Vitamin B12 (energy, nervous system).

Just because a product has 100% of something doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you. Getting your vitamins from a high quality supplement or fresh fruits/vegetables is the best way to go rather than those that have been added into processed food.