The 5 worst nutrition habits
Some nutrition habits are unhealthy, and some are just awful. Let’s count how many we get…in a day!
Research tells us that diet soda isn’t so diet-friendly after all. For example, a study in Behavioral Neuroscience found that the artificial sweeteners in diet drinks can trigger overeating and cause you to crave even more sugary treats, as well as contribute to bone weakness. Instead, flavour water with naturally sweet fruit slices (try oranges, limes or lemons). If you don’t enjoy sweet flavors, try cucumber and celery in your water.
COFFEE WITH EXTRAS
Would you start your day with a caramel pie? Probably not. But if you enjoy flavoured coffee-shop extras, you may be consuming the nutritional equivalent of such a fattening dessert each and every morning. Aim to drink your coffee black. If you absolutely can’t drink it black, a touch of skim milk is fine. Little extras, from cream to sugar to flavourings, can turn your morning coffee into a full-fledged, high-calorie dessert.
PROCESSED OR DELI MEATS
Think processed or deli meats are an ideal source of protein? Think again. You’re actually consuming a cocktail of chemicals including nitrates, other preservatives, sugars and sodium, all of which have been linked to diseases including cancer. It’s better to roast a few extra chicken or turkey breasts and slice them up to enjoy between slices of hearty bread or in a wrap. And it’s usually cheaper as well.
FRUIT JUICES AND FRUIT DRINKS.
You may have been brought up to believe that orange, grapefruit or other juices are a healthy way to start the day. But consider this: drinking fruit juice—fruit without the important nutritional component of fiber—is the equivalent of dipping your spoon into a bag of sugar. One 12-ounce glass of orange juice contains a whopping 36 grams of sugar, which will send your blood sugar levels soaring, only to crash soon after. And what are labeled “fruit drinks” often have no real juice whatsoever, which means you may be drinking nothing more than sweetened, chemically altered water. If you want to enjoy the taste of fruit, eat a piece of in-season fresh fruit. If you’re thirsty, have water. Or you can juice fruits and vegetables together to get the most of these important foods. When you juice the fruits yourself, there isn’t any added sugars or preservatives.
SUGARY BREAKFAST CEREALS.
Navigating the cereal aisle can result in sensory overload—and you have to be a scientist to understand the nutrition labels. Know the other names for sugar—glucose, corn syrup, fructose, dextrose, sucrose, molasses, honey, artificial sweeteners, maltose and maple syrup—and look for them on labels. Switch to healthier options such as Kashi, Shredded Wheat, muesli, Ezekiel, Weetabix and All-Bran, as well as hot cereal products.