As you’ve probably heard, obesity levels are currently higher than ever before, life expectancies are reducing, and people are generally nowhere near as healthy as they could, and should be. Some of the key reasons for this are a lack of exercise, increasingly sedentary jobs and lifestyles, a lack of nutrients, and consumption of too much unhealthy junk food and drink. For people looking to lose fat and get themselves fitter and healthier, the general advice is to get more exercise, ditch the junk food, and eat more healthy and nutritious foods instead. When we think of healthy and nutritious foods, fresh fruits and vegetables are some of the first things that pop into our minds. Whilst it is true that fresh fruits and vegetables are very good for us, some of them are unfortunately not as good as we may have hoped. If you’re consuming large quantities any of the below foods, you may wish to expand your dietary choices and try to get some healthier fruits and veggies instead.
First and foremost we have lettuce. When we think of healthy diets, and people looking to lose weight in general, often we imagine them eating copious amounts of salad, which is of course predominantly made up of lettuce. Now, whilst many types of lettuce are not actually bad for you, unless they’re drenched in creamy salad dressing of course, the problem is that they aren’t actually that good for you either. Many lettuce leaves, are actually fairly bland in taste, and they also happen to be lacking in nutrients as well. Yes they’re low in fat and calories, but they are also low in vitamins and minerals, which does not actually make them healthy. Just because something lacks calories and fat, that does not make it healthy, and unfortunately this is the case with many lettuce leaves. Of course they contain healthy nutrients, just not large quantities of them.
White potatoes are another food stuff that are often consumed by people on health kicks and trying to lose weight, and again, whilst not being unhealthy, they aren’t all that healthy either. White potatoes have high glycemic indexes which means they contain more natural sugars than other forms of vegetables. They are also a member of the nightshade family, which means that they are rich in alkaloids, which can negatively impact your digestion, your nerve function, and muscular functions as well. Another problem with white potatoes is the fact that, because they are so popular, they are mass produced and need to be available all year round. This means that they often contain GMOs, as well as chemical pesticides and fertilizers. Needless to say, none of these are particularly good for you, and sometimes, no matter how hard they are washed, many of these chemicals can still linger.
Many salads often contain radishes, which do actually contain decent amounts of vitamin C. The problem however, is that they don’t offer much more than that. They are nutritionally scarce, and what’s more, large quantities have also been found to cause irritation and damage to the digestive tract, which is hardly ideal.
Another very common ingredient in many households is corn. Either tinned or on the cob, sweetcorn is actually not all that good for you. The main problem is the fact that it contains such large quantities of sugar. You may have heard health experts warning us of the dangers of high fructose corn syrups, and as the name suggests, these unhealthy syrups are actually derived from corn. Corn is also often pumped full of GMOs, pesticides, and fertilizers, which again are no good for our health at all. Corn allergies are also very common, especially in North America, which also means it is potentially dangerous. Corn also does not happen to contain especially impressive amounts of nutrients either.
Cherries are rich in immune system boosting vitamin C, but the main problem with cherries is the fact that they are also full of sugar in the form of fructose. Too much fructose can cause hormonal imbalances, can put you at risk of type 2 diabetes, and can lead to weight gain. A few cherries here and there are perfectly fine, but too many will result in you consuming too many simple sugars, which could then result in unstable blood glucose levels.
Celery is another ingredient on our list that is exceedingly underwhelming in regards to nutrient contents. Whilst celery dipped in hummus is of course going to be a great deal healthier than chips, if you’re looking to increase your nutrient intake via the consumption of celery, you would need to eat A LOT! Celery contains a lot of water and not much else, so whilst it is good in that it hydrates us, it is certainly not impressive in regards to its nutritional value.
Another member of the nightshade family, eggplants are not very good for us at all, and should only be consumed sparingly. One key reason for this is the fact that eggplants are enriched with a compound known as solanine, which contributes towards joint problems and chronic inflammation. Those with arthritis for example, should steer well clear of eggplants. What’s more, they are also packed full of oxalates, which have been heavily linked with kidney stones. If you’ve ever suffered with kidney stones, you’ll know how painful they are and you’ll never want to deal with them again. For this reason, those at risk of kidney stones, or those who suffer with gallbladder issues, will probably want to steer clear of these veggies altogether.
Those of you that eat conventional salads will probably wish to re-think your approach to dieting after reading this article, as many of the ingredients found in a salad are actually found on this list. Tomatoes are another staple ingredient in salads, and they are actually considered to be superfoods by many health experts. If that is the case, then why are they on our list? Well, if you read carefully, you’ll see that we’ve included RAW tomatoes. Tomatoes contain vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, but many of them cannot be absorbed in their raw state. In particular, lycopene, which is responsible for giving tomatoes their red colour, is an antioxidant that must be heated slightly in order for it to be absorbed. To get the most out of your tomatoes, heat them slightly before eating them.