Today, you can't go to the store without seeing the word "healthy" on half of the products in the grocery isles. "Heart Healthy", "Helps Lower Cholesterol", "Helps You Lose Weight", "100% Natural". Some of these products may seem quite convincing but believe me, they're quite deceiving
Now not all foods are like this, but a majority of processed and packaged foods are. It's very important to keep an eye out and be completely aware of the types of food that you're fueling your body with, this is why I always recommend reading nutrition labels.
Here are some common ingredients found on the back of food labels that are considered "healthy"
One of the main ones that you need to be aware of is
High Fructose Corn Syrup:
High Fructose Corn Syrup is derived from corn (so it must be healthy, right?). Actually, this is a very harmful ingredient, especially if you're trying to lose weight. This harmful ingredient is a form of sweetener which is linked to many health related problems such as obesity, diabetes, and even heart disease. When identifying this ingredient on food labels, it can be disguised under many different names such as "corn syrup", "corn sweetener", "maize syrup", "corn syrup solids" and a lot of other forms including the words corn and syrup (go figure).
High Fructose Corn Syrup can be found in many "healthy" labeled foods such as cereals, yogurts, bars, dressings, juices, and dressings. Be sure to check the ingredient label to make sure that you avoid this ingredient as much as you possibly can.
Preservatives are used to prevent foods from spoiling faster and help give products a longer shelf life. The prevent mold and bacteria from forming so that more foods can be readily available for consumption. A few of these preservatives are under the categories of sorbates and sulphites
Sorbates like sorbic acid and potassium sorbate occur naturally in some kinds of foods, but the are often added to foods to increase their shelf life. This preservative keeps the product available for consumption without altering many of its factors like smell, taste or color.
Sulphites are often added to dried foods such as fruits to help them from turning an unpleasant color and even added to pre-packaged foods like juices, cereals, and granola.
I cannot stress how important it is to absolutely avoid aspartame at all costs. Aspartame is an artificial sweetener proven to cause cancer after being tested on laboratory rats. This sweetener is commonly used for sugar substitutes and found in many products such as Sweet & Low and other zero calorie sweeteners. Aspartame is found on the ingredient list of many zero calorie products which people are more likely to buy because "zero calories" seems more appealing to the eye, especially when trying to keep your health in mind.
This can be found in many diet-foods, sugar-free foods, and soft drinks.
There are many colors added to foods and almost all that are approved come from coal tar and can contain arsenic and even lead. These can also cause cancer and should be avoided. If you have to add coloring to food to make it look appealing, then you probably shouldn't be eating it in the first place.
Where as some salt is required for optimal body functioning, too much salt can be detrimental to your health and cause significant dehydration. You'd be surprised how much salt is added to some foods like soups, pastas, and other foods that claim to be "healthy". To check the salt content in foods, you can refer to the sodium content on the nutrition label. The limit for people consuming salt should be around 1,500mg of sodium per day.
Remember that these are only some of the ingredients found in some "healthy foods". Please just be aware of the food you are consuming and make sure that you're fueling your body properly with the foods it needs to thrive! Eat wholesome, natural foods with a minimal ingredient list (I recommend no more than 5-10). Make good choices and your body will thank you.