Meet the seemingly innocent foods
that could be harming your health and thwarting your slim-down efforts.
So, you’re eating smart but your wholesome
diet hasn’t helped you slim down or buzz with energy? We may have the answer -
if you’re not getting the results you crave, you could be piling your plate
with the wrong foods for your body. We’re all different, and the diet that
works for one person may not work for you.
the seemingly innocent foods that could be harming your health and thwarting
your slim-down efforts.
So if you’re suffering sore joints, feeling
sluggish or simply can’t shift those last few pounds, read up on The Culprits
that could be standing in the way of your best body ever.
Are you sitting down? Good, because we’ve
got some shocking news to share: tucking into platefuls of veggies might not
lead to glowing health. Of course, vegetables aren’t unhealthy, but certain
types are thought to exacerbate joint disorders such as osteoarthritis and
osteoporosis. Veggies from the nightshade family (named so because they grow at
night), such as aubergines, peppers and tomatoes, contain a compound called
oxalic acid which inhibits the absorption of calcium - an important mineral for
keeping your bones healthy. Nightshade vegetables are also high in an alkaloid
called Solanine which, when consumed in high volumes, has been linked to
inflammation, If you often suffer from joint pain, try cutting these vegetables
out for two or three weeks to see if you notice a difference in your symptoms.
Choose this instead: Veggies from the
brassica family, such as calcium-packed broccoli, are a good substitute for
nightshade vegetables. Serve them with a sprinkle of turmeric, as this spice
contains an anti-inflammatory ingredient called curcumin. And give your meals
and fresh juices a healthy kick with fiery ginger - it’s packed with compounds
called gingerols which help to reduce joint pain.
from the brassica family, such as calcium-packed broccoli, are a good
substitute for nightshade vegetables.
Do you start your day with a tall glass of
grapefruit juice? Many prescription medications, from cholesterol-lowering
statins to some forms of the Pill, interact with grapefruit - when taken
together, the fruit can interfere with the way the drug is broken down. A 2012
study by scientists at Lawson Health Research Institute in London found that
grapefruit interacts with a whopping 43 major prescription drugs. They also
found that eating one grapefruit a day or drinking a 200ml glass of juice was
enough to cause side effects including heart problems.
also found that eating one grapefruit a day or drinking a 200ml glass of juice
was enough to cause side effects including heart problems.
Choose this instead: If you’re taking any
prescription medications always read the labels and cut out grapefruit where
advised. Opt for veg-based smoothies instead of supermarket juices to downgrade
Yoghurt has a (well-deserved) reputation
for easing digestive disorders thanks to its hefty probiotic content. Natural
yoghurt is also a great source of protein and calcium. The bad news? Experts
have linked dairy intake with an exacerbation of seasonal allergies. It’s
thought casein, a natural protein in dairy, may increase mucus production. If
you think you might have a sensitivity to dairy, go without for two weeks to
see how you feel.
Choose this instead: Switch to coconut
yoghurts - these are dairy, soya and gluten free, making them ideal for those
with food intolerances and vegans. Try Coyo Natural Coconut Milk Yoghurt, $2.99
Peanut butter is one of the nation’s
favorite spreads, but many brands are chock-full of salt, sugar and trans fats.
As far as nuts go, peanuts are considered the least healthy as they can contain
toxic compounds called aflatoxins, thought to cause inflammation.
butter is one of the nation’s favorite spreads, but many brands are chock-full
of salt, sugar and trans fats.
Choose this instead: Replace it with raw
almond, Brazil nut or cashew nut butter. These are high in protein, vitamins
and minerals and available from health stores.
If you studiously avoid butter in favor of
vegetable oil spreads in an effort to do your health and waist a favor, your
ticker may be taking a hit. Margarine is made by heating fat molecules to high
temperatures and adding chemicals to change the color to yellow. Scientists at
the National Institute of Health in the US found that eating margarine can double
the risk of heart disease. On the other hand, spreading your morning toast with
butter will naturally increase your levels of vitamin A and ‘good’ cholesterol
- essential ingredients for a healthy nervous system, strong eyes and a smart
Choose this instead: Sidestep vegetable
oil-based spreads next time you’re doing your supermarket shop and look out for
organic, unsalted butter instead. Organic butter is churned from milk produced
by cows that have been reared outdoors.
Wheat bran is often billed as a wonder food
for healthy bowels. Although this breakfast staple is high in insoluble fiber -
the kind you need to bulk up waste products and send them out of your system -
it has an abrasive action on the insides of your gastrointestinal tract (think
rubbing sandpaper on your insides). Not surprisingly, this interferes with
digestion and can leave you feeling heavy and bloated. Wheat bran is also a
mass - produced product, grown on soil which is relatively low in minerals,
resulting in a product with few health benefits.
bran is often billed as a wonder food for healthy bowels.
Choose this instead: Swap your bowl of bran
flakes for a healthy bowl of quinoa porridge, made with a dairy-free milk such
as almond or coconut milk, and serve it with a sprinkle of mixed seeds and
Spuds are a fabulous source of potassium
and vitamin C, but their starch content makes them a high Glycaemic load (GL)
vegetable. The starch is quickly absorbed by the body, causing your blood sugar
to shoot up. High blood sugar levels can make it harder for you to lose weight
and puts you at risk of developing type 2 diabetes over time.
Choose this instead: New potatoes are
considered one of the lowest GL spuds, so opt for these over your usual white
potatoes. To lower the blood sugar effect, bake rather than boil your potatoes
and eat them with protein, such as fish or meat. To add some variety to your
diet, try munching on sweet potato or butternut squash as an alternative to
spuds - they’re great mashed or baked.