Healthy food myths

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It’s that time of year again when we all promise ourselves that 2014 will be our healthiest year yet. In a bid to lose those Christmas calories people flock to the stores to buy healthy versions of their favourite foods. This is a much more difficult task than we anticipate when faced with all the lies and myths surrounding those supposedly “healthy” foods. This article aims to reveal the truth about those foods and lead the way to healthy happiness!

Going through school with bad skin, teenagers are constantly reminded of the consequences of eating chocolate and its effect on spots. You’ll be glad to hear that chocolate can be as good for you as fruit – sometimes even better! This is excellent news for chocolate lovers everywhere. When compared to “super-fruits” such as blueberries and pomegranates, dark chocolate was found to contain more antioxidants and also helps battle wrinkles and disease.

All companies are aware of the power of advertising, and Activia are no different. Their misleading packaging has led consumers to believe that it is one of the healthiest yoghurts around, making claims that it helps with digestion and lowers cholesterol. This may be the case, but this “healthy option” contains two types of sugar, and to top it all off, they apparently boil insect wings to get the right colouring! The “light” version of Activia contains sugar but this style also contains two artificial sweeteners. There are a lot of unnecessarily unhealthy ingredients in Activia for a product that tells you to “look after yourself from within”. However, there is evidence to suggest that yoghurt helps cure bad breath, so don’t give up on other yoghurts just yet, just read the packaging carefully.

For years, the media has been informing us of the dangerously high levels of sugar in Coca Cola, but many other drinks contain similar amounts or more sugar than Coke. Many fruit juices contain as much sugar as Coca Cola, and eating the actual fruit is ten times healthier than drinking the juice. According to nutritionists, smoothies are also a new danger in the fight against obesity as they contain as much sugar as a large coke, whilst the juicing process removes fibre and nutrients that would be found in a fruit or vegetable. The natural fruit sugars in smoothies can also add hundreds of extra calories to your daily intake, making it one of the most unhealthy fruit drinks around. Similarly, the refreshing drink Sunny D is notorious for making headlines with its ingredients. The day-glo liquid presents itself as a natural alternative to orange juice, but it turns out that this magical concoction is nothing more than sweetened water. The majority of the drink consists of water and corn syrup and, whilst the drink claims to have 100% of our daily Vitamin C allowance, it is much healthier to have a medium orange or a multivitamin.

It’s easy to believe what it says on the packaging about the product having “no trans fat” or “100% of your daily Vitamin C requirements” but remember there are always healthier alternatives and the packaging does not always tell the truth. It’s easy to get caught up in the big writing and not read the small text. Hopefully, these truths have helped to abolish some of those healthy eating myths, but there are plenty more out there so keep your eyes peeled!

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