While there may be some truth to these health claims, even the healthiest foods begin to lose their effectiveness if you eat TOO MUCH.
Yes, healthy foods are better than takeaways and sweets, but that doesn’t mean that you can eat mountains and mountains of healthy food without gaining weight. Those ‘healthy’ chocolate brownies made with protein powder and oats STILL contain calories. As always, BALANCE is key.
Here are some health-food mistakes that you may be making in your diet, and how to avoid them:
1. Water. You’re probably not getting enough water on a daily basis… and so you need to increase your intake to at least two litres a day. But, too much water can also be bad for you! If you’re exercising really hard – running marathons, or training for Iron Man – and you’re drinking five or six litres per day, then you could be in danger of getting too much. Both dehydration and over-hydration are huge health problems, so make sure you’re in the optimum zone – usually around two to three litres per day.
SEE ALSO: 5 ways to prepare your fruits & veggies for effective weight loss
2. Green veggies. Dark, leafy greens are some of the healthiest foods you can eat, unless you suffer from kidney stones. Greens are high in oxalate, and high levels of it can put you at far higher risk of developing kidney stones regularly.
If this is you, drop your greens down to less than two cups per day (uncooked), and you should be fine. Supplement with other veggies including carrots, potatoes, peppers, etc. You can also get your important daily iron from beans and chickpeas.
3. Coconut oil. If you’re cooking with coconut oil, you’re doing a good thing – at least, until you’re using too much of it.
One tablespoon of coconut oil gives you almost your whole daily allowance of saturated fats. This means that moderation is pretty vital. Try to use as little as possible when you cook with it, to stay in a healthy balance. You definitely can’t deep-fry anything in coconut oil and pretend it’s healthy. Use it to shallow-fry chicken breasts, stir-fry veg haloumi cheese etc.
SEE ALSO: 6 veggies you can regrow from scraps at home
4. Red wine. Lots of people will tell you that red wine is healthy. You may even have heard that a glass of red wine benefits you as much as an hour in the gym. This particular ‘fact’ has been proven as nonsense, by the way.
The truth about red wine is that a glass a day CAN be healthy, but that’s seldom how much people actually drink! One glass is actually measured as 100-120 millilitres. NOT a cup – which is measured as 250 millilitres. So even if you’ve been drinking one glass a night, you’ve probably been drinking too much.
Most people are smashing down a bottle “for the sake of their health”, and that’s not good for you, or your dinner guests.
Stick to a glass (or two on the weekends) and you’ll be fine. Measure it out if you want to be sure of how much you’re really pouring.
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5. Brazil nuts. Brazil nuts are great because they contain such high levels of selenium – something we all need to get for optimum immune system function, antioxidant levels and protection from diseases of many sorts.
You need around 60 micrograms per day. One Brazil nut contains more than that. So if you’re eating handfuls of Brazils, you need to watch out.
Apart from the high fat and calories, you’re also getting a selenium overdose, which can result in all sorts of issues, including diarrhoea, skin rash, and hair loss.
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