Eating healthy is not that easy. There are countless diets that are considered the most optimal and healthiest, plus new studies every week from which advice for daily life is derived. In addition, there is a sophisticated industry that sells us highly processed foods as healthy. Individual benefits of the food are then highlighted on the packaging – and the fact that there are still a lot of ingredients hidden in it that are not exactly beneficial for the body is deliberately left out. Nutrition coach Sigrid Ilumaa from Munich, who also works for the television show “Life Made Easy – The Biggest Looser”, knows which foods sound healthy at first glance but are actually unhealthy.
“Most protein bars are highly processed and not really natural,” says Sigrid Ilumaa. “Many bars contain sugar substitutes such as glucose syrup or other sweeteners.” Her advice: “It’s better to use classic nuts, they also contain a lot of protein.”
“Muesli often only seems healthy at first glance,” says the expert. “However, many mueslis contain far too much sugar and additives and often contain bad fat.” So-called “crunchy mueslis” in particular are heated and sugared several times. The alternative: “It’s best to take oat flakes and other seeds and nuts and refine the whole thing with cinnamon and berries.” Or make your own granola using these recipes.
Juices and smoothies
“Food is not for drinking,” says Sigrid Ilumaa, summarizing a well-known food rule. “You quickly lose track of the calories.” What lures many people into the trap is the fact that fruit is actually healthy. “It’s easy to overlook the fact that smoothies and juices contain tons of fruit and therefore sugar.” This high fructose content not only leads to blood sugar spikes with subsequent cravings, but can also lead to digestive problems. Sigrid Ilumaas tip: “It’s better to cut fruit and eat it with pleasure. Bananas are particularly good.” If you still love smoothies, you should mix the ingredients yourself. And add a high proportion of low-sugar vegetables.
Pastries and bread
“Pastry and white bread provide quick energy and are easy to-go food – but in everyday life they are the biggest calorie traps,” says the expert. “Especially made from white flour, they have few nutrients, cause cravings and illnesses and make you tired and sluggish.” As with everything, the following applies here: “Enjoy in moderation. And prefer dark multigrain varieties and sourdough breads.”
Vegan substitute products
Vegan is healthy, as countless studies show. But not necessarily if you rely on substitute products for meat and sausage. “The products contain many unhealthy additives such as flavor enhancers. Sigrid Ilumaa says: “You can easily make patties yourself with peas.” They also contain a lot of proteins and serve as glue.”
Snacks for children
“Snacks for children often have too much sugar, flavor enhancers, salts and fats,” says the nutritionist. In addition, small children in particular often suck on food for a long time and therefore their tooth enamel suffers. The better choice: “I prefer to bake, chop and puree yourself.”
A healthy diet is not only varied, you can’t go wrong if the majority of it consists of vegetables and fruit. These 10 plant-based foods are the healthiest in the world – they should definitely end up on your plate as said foods with false promises. Tip: If there are words on the package like “low in calories” or “with lots of Omega 3”, you should definitely read the list of ingredients. You won’t find anything like this on fruits and vegetables