While many foods are considered healthy, not all food helps you to lose weight, or even to get healthier. For the dieter, some foods have evolved into myth status in the health food advertising world. These foods can actually cause weight gain. Losing weight will be much easier when you focus on natural foods that are not processed, raw fruits and vegetables. Cooking food "from scratch" is the best way to better health and weight loss, at least as long as you don't sit over the stove sampling food. Avoid ready-to-eat processed food. Knowing what is in what you eat, as well as shrinking your size portions at each meal is a good way to stem the battle of the bulge. Their is no substitute for slowing down your life, as well as reducing strife and stress, which create a chemical fight against weight loss.
Yogurt can be a healthy food in a balanced diet because it can contain healthy bacteria, probiotics and calcium. However, you should be certain that the yogurt you are eating has probiotics. Otherwise, you are eating a sugary dessert with little value. Remember that most store bought yogurt has high fructose corn syrup with a liberal sugar content. When you opt for a light version of yogurt, then you are usually stuck with aspartame for a sweetener. Because of the health risks involved for HFCS and aspartame, you should avoid yogurt unless you can find yogurt without any sweetener. Add your own fruit to unsweetened yogurt. Even then, many thickening ingredients are commonly derived from sugar. Consider a balanced calcium-magnesium supplement instead.
Juice is considered another healthy food that is best used in moderation while trying to lose weight. A 16 oz glass of orange juice often has more than 50 grams of carbohydrates, the same as 4-5 pieces of bread with sugar to boot. Juicing removes the fiber from fruit and you are left with a glass full of fruit sugars. As an alternative, consider making your own juice with a juicer, eating as much natural fiber as possible. The best option is to simply eat the fruit instead of getting used to a jolt of fruit sugars to get yourself going in the morning.
Fat Free Salad Dressing is another myth in the pursuit of weight loss. While salads are a great way to bring vegetables into your diet, fat free salad dressing is not the way to go. Some fat is needed by the body to aid in the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals. More importantly, while fat free dressing is low in fat, it usually has replaced that with an increase in carbohydrates and sodium. Make your own salad dressing with extra-virgin olive oil, natural mustards and organically-grown herbs.
Granola bars are another health food that are usually closer to candy bars than a healthful snack. Granola bars often use a few different kind of sweeteners as well as oil to help them stick together. They should never have HFCS or sugar, yet some do. Ingredients that are high in sugar are often added: chocolate for example. Grab a granola bar for a snack and you can fill yourself with more than 30 grams of sugar, a few hundred calories and portion of fat. Watch the ingredients in granola bars closely and use them as a meal instead of a snack, and even then, only when you are forced to be on the run. A piece of fruit is much better.
Diet Soda is another problem. The can may say zero calories, but many diet soda drinkers gain weight. People think that if they skip their regular soda for a diet soda, they can have additional food, which can be worse than a regular soda. The main issue lies in artificial sweeteners like aspartame. Diet soda can also lend to sugar cravings, giving you the desire to eat sugary foods and snacks. Have a glass of ice water instead, which actually will help you to lose weight, as well as reducing hunger.