Eating clean is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions people make.
While this is an amazing goal to work towards and stick to in 2017, there are some foods we consider to be healthy that health experts say aren’t and may be preventing you from shedding those extra pounds.
Leading experts Rob Hobson, Rhiannon Lambert and Lily Soutter revealed to the Daily Mail six types of foods and drinks they wish we will all stop eating in 2017:
It’s light, addictive and delicious but is the chips alternative good for you?
Nutritionist Rob Hobson told DM that although popcorn is marketed as a guilt-free snack, it contains “over 450 kcals per 70g bag, as well as being loaded with salt.”
According to World Action on Salt & Health, eating foods high in salt can cause sodium and water retention - which is an excess buildup of salt and fluid in your body. High salt in your diet could be preventing you from losing weight and over time could increase your risk of heart disease and liver cirrhosis.
Natural alternatives to processed white sugar include maple syrup, agave syrup, stevia, honey and coconut sugar to name a few.
While clean eating experts have suggested you swap refined sugars for natural ones, Rob said “Whether it's coconut sugar, honey, agave, maple syrup: they are all still sugar. Whilst these may be a better alternative to table sugar, they still need to be used sparingly. There is no healthy sweetener.”
Rhiannon told DM regular sugar usually contains 50 per cent fructose and little do people realise alternatives such as agave can contain anywhere up to 90 per cent fructose.
In the long-term, fructose “can contribute to insulin resistance, causing major increases in long-term blood sugar. This will increase the risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes,” Rhiannon said.
If you’ve ever heard someone say coconut water is more hydrating than water, unfortunately you’ve been misinformed.
Not only does coconut water contain about 45 calories per cup compared to no calories in water, but according to a 2012 study, coconut water provides little to no difference in hydration compared to water.
Despite this, coconut water is still a huge trend but Lily hopes getting the message across that the drink is packed with sugar will subsequently fade it away from the shelves in 2017.
“Did you know that the average 330ml carton of coconut water has more sugar than a Krispy Kreme doughnut? And it’s so easy chug down within seconds. Unfortunately, the additional potassium and other electrolytes you receive from this beverage simply do not outweigh the negatives that come with the additional sugar,” she revealed.
Instead of glugging down the sugar-laden drink, why not try infusing water with fresh fruits instead?
Unless you’re an elite athlete who needs extra protein for muscle growth, protein bars are a no go.
According to Lily, for the average person protein bars are calorie-rich and contain “nutritionally void, low-quality ingredients” which can “lead to weight gain, and are hard for the body to digest.”
Why not make your own homemade version filled with goodness, like these delicious nutrient-packed cacao coconut protein bars.
When tempted by ice cream, you may think you’re opting for the healthier option when choosing frozen yoghurt instead, but you could actually be opting for more sugar than the original treat.
“The cold truth about frozen yoghurt is that it often contains more sugar than ice cream, because in order to get rid of the tart taste, companies often have to add additional sweetness,” Lily told the publication.
And that’s excluding all the toppings… “It just goes to show that low fat doesn’t always mean healthier,” she said.
Making your own at home is not only going to be healthier but it’s super easy and quick to make. Try blending yoghurt with banana, berries or mango in icy pole containers and pop them in the deep freeze. Yummo!
Unless you need to cut gluten out of your diet for medical reasons, Rhiannon doesn’t recommend you abandon the protein. If you do, “you will run the risk of missing out on some vitamins and other essential nutrients,” she said.
"Many gluten-free products available tend to be quite low in iron, calcium, fibre, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate,” she said, adding that gluten-free foods would be tasteless without the high amounts of sugar, salt, and other additives that are in them.
Now that you know what’s really in the foods some may believe to be “healthy,” why don't you make 2017 the year you cut down on popcorn, natural sweeteners, coconut water, protein bars, froyo and, please, just rid all gluten-free foods from your diet! They’re so 2016.