People are often misled into thinking that just because a food is healthy that they can have it anytime they want and in large quantities.
This is just not the case and many times this thinking can get people into trouble. Many foods have tremendous health benefits, but can also be troublesome. One really great example are fruit juices. I’m not talking about the ones that are just part fruit juice and mostly added sugar, as those things are no different than drinking a Coke. I mean even the ones that are 100% fruit juice.
Let’s use orange juice as an example since this is a very popular breakfast drink. It takes on average about 2 oranges to make 8 ounces of juice. While oranges are very good for you, when you just drink the juice without consuming the actual fruit, you are not getting any of the fiber. Fiber is not only great for your digestion and overall health, but it is crucial to help slow the absorption of sugar into your blood. This is very important because having recurrent, rapid spikes in blood sugar is not good for overall energy levels and health. So not only are you having 2 oranges with every glass, but the fiberless sugar hits your blood stream almost immediately which causes your body to counteract that with immediate high doses of insulin. This morning routine can start your body on a blood sugar roller coaster that can sometimes be difficult to get off of for the rest of the day.
Another example would be protein shakes. While protein is definitely important, most protein shakes on the market are loaded with added sugars. This completely undermines a persons attempt to be healthy by having a protein shake, as many times they are unknowingly drinking a protein milk shake. While they may ‘taste better’ than other clean proteins, that is simply because they are made with sugar to make you love it, not to be a healthy alternative to a meal. Understanding the ingredients of these protein mixes is very important so that you are again not drinking a glass full of sugar.
For those who are blending up their protein shakes it is always important to also monitor what you put in the blender. Take for example someone who makes a protein shake using a clean, sugarless protein, sweetened almond milk, frozen blueberries, a banana, and some fresh strawberries. While these ingredients seem fairly benign and individually ‘healthy’, the combination of these in a shake is just like having a bowl of sugary cereal. First of all, the sweetened almond milk already has sugar in it to make it sweet. The protein powder was a good choice, but adding three different types of fruit to the mix just negated the choice of picking a sugarless protein powder. Most people would not have an entire plate of fruit for a meal, so why do we think it is OK to consume that in a shake, which we drink fairly rapidly?
While many people hear that we should just not eat much fruit, this is really not the point. Fruit is a very healthy food and provides many benefits to our health. Avoiding it altogether would be silly. However, we must understand that foods such as these cannot be consumed in large quantities if we are truly trying to achieve a healthy nutritional balance. So, just because a certain food is considered ‘healthy’ don’t think that this gives you full reign to eat at will.
If you have more questions about nutrition and eating healthy, call us at 949-387-0060.