5 Foods to Avoid When Trying To Lose Weight

by Sam Marshall on February 14, 2014

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We spend a lot of time suggesting foods and herbal supplements that you can use to turbo charge your diet, but what about the things you should stay away from? In the sea of food options that exist in the world, there are quite a few danger zones that you should be aware of – especially if you’re trying to lose weight.

junk-foodNow, if you turn to dated dieting books or mainstream media outlets for what NOT to eat, you’ll still hear the typical junk foods like hotdogs, pizza, soda pop, potato chips, deep fried snickers bars, bacon wrapped sausage, etc.. The standards for what not to put in our mouths have become dangerously low and truly are a scary indication of where the masses currently stand with regard to diet.

Today’s piece is geared toward you enlightened eaters (which is the entire Simply Raw community!) and is focused on 5 sneaky foods that are being branded as health foods, but actually are not. One of these actually took me off guard when I saw its nutrient profile…

Along with each trouble food below, we will be suggesting a good replacement that is friendly on both your blood sugar and belt strap :)

1.) Agave Nectar

The Problem: Agave nectar took off in popularity (in an Acai berry type fashion) a few years ago because of its low glycemic index. Yes, it has a low glycemic index, but its fructose levels are off the chart. Heightened fructose intake has been linked to a ton of different diseases, including liver disease.

And what else is largely made up of fructose? High fructose corn syrup…

The Replacement: I’m not a big sweets guy (I love my salt!), but the two natural substitutes that I see gaining popularity on the Raw Food circuit are Xylitol and Stevia. It’s debatable which of these is “better” for you, but these are a much healthier option than Agave.

Xylitol is a naturally occurring subtance that is low glycemic, low calorie, and has been shown to lower your risk of tooth decay.

Stevia is a shrub in the sunflower family that has notably sweet leaves. The extract from these leaves, called steviol glycoside, has 300 times the sweetness of sugar – so only a small bit is needed to achieve the same flavor. Because it has a very minor effect on blood sugar levels, this is a go-to sugar substitute for folks on carbohydrate-controlled diets.

2.) Rice Cakes

The Problem: Back in the 1980′s I remember my friend’s mom used to eat these like they were going out of style. The thinking was that rice cakes are a good substitute for bread and crackers during the low or no fat craze a few decades back. The problem is that rice cakes have an extremely high glycemic index – they’re at 91 while pure glucose sits at 100!! This is an absolute NO NO – plus they don’t even taste very good :)

The Replacement: a hearty whole grain (Ezekiel-type) bread will give you much steadier long term energy at a much lower glycemic index. If you’re looking on the raw side, why not try one of the many delicious dehydrated crackers or flatbreads out there – yummy and good for you.

3.) Bottled or Pre-made Smoothie

The Problem: A typical pre made smoothie that you might find in the grocery store sure looks healthy AND convenient, BUT… they can contain up to 1000 calories. That’s right, your green fruity beverage may contain more calories than a cheeseburger… yikes! Plus, additional sweeteners are often added. Good effort, but no bueno.

The Replacement: Take the time to create your own smoothie in the morning using nutrition packed fruits, veggies, oils, and the right water. (My Vitamix is about 20 years old and is still the centerpiece of my kitchen. Wanna see a picture? This thing is a relic!!!)

4.) Canola oil:

The Problem: This oil derived from the rape-seed (yes that is actually a type of seed) is extremely delicate and goes rancid very easily. Plus, part of the reason the rape seed is so popular in Canada (which is where canola oil gets its name – CAN-OLA) is because it is naturally insect resistant. In fact, the rape seed is naturally so toxic that no animals will go near it. Do you really want that in your body?

The Replacement: Cold pressed olive oil, coconut oil… ’nuff said :)

5.) Energy Bars:

The Problem: While there are some good ones out there, most energy bars are simply candy bars in disguise. They often contain the same amount of fat, sugar, calories, and carbs, but simply have a few nuts and pieces of dried fruit in them. This one of the biggest branding scams out there.

The Replacement: Again there are a few exceptions out there like KindSnacks, QuestBar, Larabar, ZING, and Health Warrior – but choose carefully.

That’s it for this week!. Let us know what you think of these tips below :)

Yours in health,

Nick Polizzi

– See more at: http://www.rawfor30days.com/blog/5-foods-to-avoid-when-trying-to-lose-weight/#sthash.ZfwlroAY.dpuf

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