Life & Style | Food

The 7 most overrated health foods

Whether through word of mouth, the media or advertising we are frequently exposed to claims about the best foods to eat. However, these claims are often exaggerated or simply untrue. Don’t be fooled by the hype by checking out these overrated foods.

  • Realbuzz
  • Published: 11:31 October 21, 2012
  • Aquarius

  • Image Credit: Supplied picture
  • While they can be a good substitute for other sweet snacks when prepared correctly, the health benefits of smoothies in general may have been blown out of proportion.

Realbuzz.com

1.Acai berry juice
Health magazines rave over it and celebrities apparently swear by it, so should you be drinking acai berry juice too? Well, research suggests that this self-proclaimed “superberry” may not quite live up to its hype. Although the berry itself is nutritious, it is difficult to get hold of in its fresh form. Furthermore, studies suggest that the juice only has average health benefits when compared to that of other fruits. In fact, acai berry juice was found to be lower in antioxidants than pomegranates, blueberries and red wine – which are also much cheaper alternatives.

2. Goji berries
All berries are rich in powerful antioxidants that are thought to help prevent cancer, slow down ageing and ward off other nasty illnesses. However, little research has been done to prove that the much publicised – and expensive – goji berry is better than any other berry for maintaining good health. In fact, the humble, relatively inexpensive blackcurrant could actually be your best choice. According to research carried out at the Scottish Crop Research Institute, which examined the nutrients and antioxidants in various types of fruit, blackcurrants may be the healthiest fruit of all.

3. Yoghurt
Many people think of yoghurt as the ultimate health food. However, while it is a good natural source of calcium and other nutrients, many flavoured yoghurts (including those that “contain real fruit”) are high in added sugars, making them not much healthier than any other sugary treat. Furthermore, while yoghurt can be rich in probiotics, many people have trouble digesting dairy, which can cancel out these benefits. For a healthy choice, opt for low fat, unsweetened yoghurt (try goat’s milk yoghurt if you have trouble digesting cow’s milk) and add your own fruit for sweetness.

4. Smoothies
Smoothies have become a buzzword in health and fitness in recent years, with many people opting to start their day or kill between-meal cravings with a fruit smoothie. However, while they can be a good substitute for other sweet snacks when prepared correctly, the health benefits of smoothies in general may have been blown out of proportion, as many smoothies purchased in stores and at smoothie bars are packed with syrups and refined sugars. Furthermore, even natural sugars in smoothies can add hundreds of extra calories onto your daily intake.

5. Wholewheat bread and pasta
With nutritional advice frequently advising us to up our intake of whole grains, many of us plan our diets around whole grain carbohydrates such as whole wheat pasta, bread and cereals. However, the health benefits of these processed carbs are highly overrated. There is a vast difference between unprocessed whole grains and refined wheat flour products, which are generally lacking in vitamins and minerals. The closer a grain is to its natural state the better it is for you, so swap pasta and bread for unprocessed whole grains such as whole oats, barley, millet and wheat berries.

Related Links

6. Granola
Just as with whole wheat products, granola does offer some health benefits, being quite rich in fibre and nutrients derived from the rolled oats, nuts and seeds it contains. However, these nutrients and health benefits are just as easily obtained from a bowl of porridge or muesli sprinkled with seeds and nuts. By making this swap from granola, you will not only be cutting costs but also cutting out the high quantities of sugar and oil generally used in commercially available versions of this calorie-laden snack.

7. Vitamin-fortified drinks
With vitamin-fortified drinks you can boost your hydration levels, add to your nutrient intake and enjoy a refreshing soft drink all at the same time – perfect, right? Well, unfortunately not quite. Along with the vitamins and minerals contained in these drinks, you will, in most cases, also be guzzling down heaps of added sugar – often the equivalent of that contained in fizzy drinks. Furthermore, the synthetic vitamins they contain do not compare with those consumed in their natural form. Do your health a favour by swapping vitamin drinks for water and fresh fruit instead.

Top 10 food misconceptions

Top 10 diet foods that can make you fat
 

The monthly wellbeing and family magazine

Aquarius
FROM THE NETWORK

More from friday

More from Wheels

More from alpha

More from aquarius

  • Noura_Main
    Highly commended finalist: Noura Al Ramahi

    Along with our three fabulous finalists, the judges decided to include a Highly Commended category as the standard of entries to our competition was so high. This goes to Noura Al Ramahi for her stunning villa in Abu Dhabi. Well done Noura – it’s beautiful!

  • IO_141020_Home of the Year awar86
    In pictures: InsideOut Home of the Year Awards

    The InsideOut Home of the Year Awards 2014 party held at the Nawwara Bar at the JW Marriott Marquis on the 20th October went with a swing! Here’s our gallery of a really great night….

  • IO_141014_Casablanca_STF_Stefan07
    InsideOut Home Of The Year finalist: Dana Jaber

    Dana Jaber’s Al Barsha villa was considered by the judges to be bold, original and eclectic. We loved her individual approach to decorating which lends interest and unexpected touches to every room

  • Main_2
    InsideOut Home Of The Year finalist: Helena Brown

    Helena Brown’s home in Umm Suqeim was a favourite with the judges because of the many personal touches, and undeniable sense of comfort and style. Her interest in Feng Shui has helped achieve a calm relaxed ambience

  • claudia (4)
    And the InsideOut Home Of The Year winner is...

    Claudia Baliyan's apartment in Dubai Marina impressed the judges. Here's why

More from insideout