Hi everyone!!!! Happy mid-week! I’m currently away in the desert soaking up some rest and relaxation which I can’t wait to share with you all in a recap post when I return! In the meantime, it’s been a bit since I’ve done a “Healthy, But Lying” post so I wanted to catch up with some foods that majorly bug me. If you haven’t seen some of the previous posts here’s part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, and part 5!
Ok, salad bars actually CAN be totally healthy. I frequent the Whole Foods salad bar for at least 60% of my weekly meals when I’m busy as F, and it makes my life a whole lot easier. So, I’m definitely not bashing salad bars as a whole here. But, I am wanting to point out that there is some bad crap hidden in salad bars that gets overlooked for how bad it is because it’s part of the “salad bar”, which as a whole has a pretty good rep. Before we get into the bad, let’s talk about the good to keep stuff positive and happy here on the blog. When I hit the bar for a salad, it looks like this: baby greens, avocado (I usually have to buy this separate and cut it with a plastic knife in the car and add it myself because it gets creepy and brown in the bars), cherry tomatoes, red onion, egg, water packed tuna, kalamata olives, zucchini, chickpeas if I’m feeling adventurous, and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic for my dressing. This is a super duper healthy meal! I know there’s nothing processed, junky, or packaged and I love that. But, now we’re going to get all dark and negative…here’s what I could have gotten at the same bar and a lot of people do because they actually, really, truly do believe it’s healthy: iceberg lettuce, bacon bits, bleu cheese, croutons, dried cranberries, candied walnuts, and a few pumps of ranch, bleu cheese, thousand island, or sugary dressing. Yikes!!! There’s a lot of hidden sugars, bad fats, and unnecessary carbs in that salad people are happily loading up on their plate because they actually have good intentions to get a healthy meal. And don’t even get me started on the mayo based potato salads, cole slaw, and egg salads found in salad bars. Don’t let a salad bar fool you or feel like it gives you a free pass to help yourself to anything offered. Go in knowing what you’re going to get and armed with information about what’s in the different foods available. You’ll save yourself hundreds of calories and feeling gross after your meal.
Wraps are thinner and not that “bready” so they’re probably less carbs and calories than two pieces of bread on your sandwich right? Wrong! They’re made from the same stuff – FLOUR. And they’re a lot bigger in surface area than a piece of bread so they’re more like 1.5-2 pieces of bread. Additionally, since wraps are more often made from flours than whole grains, they can contain less fiber and protein than whole grain breads, which makes them much less filling! Little protein and fiber, in addition for to the fact that they’re usually made with simple flours to give them a lighter, more airy texture than bread and make them more pliable for wrapping, gives them a pretty high GI (glycemic index). This means they’re digested much more quickly into the bloodstream than a piece of dense, grainy bread, so they spike your blood sugar, leaving you craving more sugar and carbs when it crashes. And think a spinach wrap is superior to regular wraps and bread? No. The amount of spinach powder used to get the green color is basically negligible and has been so heated and baked there’s really no nutritional value left. So, if you’re going to have a sandwich, and decide to go for a wrap because you think it’s healthier, it’s not, so just have the bread if you want it and enjoy it! Or even better, have one piece of bread and do an open faced sandwich. While I can’t have gluten, the best bread on the market, in my opinion (if we’re talking about real bread and not “paleo” grain free bread which I also love) is Ezekiel because it’s flourless and sprouted, giving it lots of protein and fiber as well as lots of nutrients from the germination process of several different whole grains and legumes.
Since we’ve all been little kids, orange and apple juices have been pushed as healthy morning drinks. And I can’t tell you how many people pick up a coconut water, Naked juice, Odwalla, or other comparable bottled juice/smoothie at the coffee shop or grocery store thinking it’s a great choice. The problem with all of these commercial juices is they have been pasteurized at such high temperatures, so there’s really no nutritional value left in them. Heat kills a lot of the vitamins, enzymes, minerals, and phytonutrients. Not to mention, very few of them are organic and juicing makes the pesticides in produce much more bioavailable because there’s no fiber left to block their absorption. So, you’re essentially drinking sugar water with possible chemicals. Yes, oranges themselves are healthy, but juicing a bunch and boiling the juice then fortifying it with synthetic vitamins like vitamin C and calcium to make it appear healthy again is just not the same thing drinking the juice before all of that happened. It’s been so processed that it’s taken on a completely different molecular structure and nutrient profile. Your better choice is choosing organic, unpasteurized or cold-pressured juices that have not been heated.
NONFAT SALAD DRESSINGS:
Ughhh these totally bug. I have girlfriends who use these all the time over plain olive oil and vinegar. I’ve actually had a friend (cough, Caitlin) tell me that my pouring olive oil on my salad was “so bad” when she chose the nonfat raspberry vinaigrette instead. The part about that that really bums me out is the “nonfat” label actually does fool people and they are brainwashed into thinking plain, unprocessed, one ingredient olive oil with healthy monounsaturated fats and zero sugar, fillers, thickeners, or flavorings is worse than nonfat dressings. Here’s what nonfat salad dressings really are: sugar. They replace the fat (flavor) with sugar (flavor). And what’s worse, they often use cheap, ultra processed sugar, like high fructose corn syrup. Fat free dressings also lose the velvety, luxurious texture of oil-based dressings so they make up for it with thickening agents and fillers to mimic the consistency and texture of oilier versions. They also contain many more ingredients in general and have a lot more sodium to help make them more flavorful. The other funny thing is, you need fat to absorb Vitamins A, D, E, and K, all of which are fat soluble and found in leafy greens so you can’t even absorb the goodness from the salad you’re eating if you have no fat with it, which is the whole point of eating it.
I hope that this was helpful for any of you who eat these foods regularly and didn’t know some of things about them! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them below, Next week, we’ll uncover 4 more not so great for you “healthy” foods!