There’s a lot of misleading information when it comes to “healthy” foods. Unfortunately, some common fridge items that we think are healthy, are actually full of hidden sugars, salts and preservatives.
Here are 9 of the worst culprits that you should ditch from your fridge right now:
1. Flavoured yoghurt
Ditch the artificially flavoured or fruit varieties as they generally contain a significant amount of added sugars. For example, a 170g tub of Yoplait strawberry yoghurt contains 26g of sugar – which is over the 25g daily limit most dietitians recommend.
When it comes to yoghurt, plain or natural Greek yoghurt is always the best option because it’s lower in sugar and packed with healthy protein and calcium.
Also read: 7 Snacks You Need to Give Up Now
2. Overly sugary or salty ‘organic’ foods
Unfortunately, the term ‘organic’ can now cover all manner of sins when it comes to food. It doesn’t always translate into ‘healthy’. Broadly, the term organic, when it relates to packaged foods, means it’s free from man-made fertilisers, pesticides, growth regulators and livestock feed additives. The term organic doesn’t always mean it’s free from refined sugar or lots of added salt, both of which should be consumed in moderation.
Treat organic food as you would anything else. Proceed with caution if it’s packed full of sugar or salt.
3. Fruit juice
Commercially-produced fruit juices are perhaps one of the most misleading ‘healthy’ foods in the supermarket. They are packed with added sugar and even the pure fruit varieties are can be limited in fibre, vitamins and nutrients, which can be lost during the juicing process. If you’re craving something fruity and tangy, go for eating a whole piece of fruit instead!
4. Sports drinks
Sports drinks serve their purpose for getting electrolytes back into your system fast after a gruelling training session or event lasting over an hour. But if you’re not training for a half marathon or exercising for hours on end, there is no need for them. The added sugar can just lead to unwanted weight gain.
5. Diet soft drink
The artificial sweeteners in diet soft drinks can be even worse than the real thing! Some research suggests they trick your body into thinking you’re eating real food, causing a spike in insulin to regulate levels which can then turn into stored fat. Sweeteners can also lead to glucose intolerance by interfering with gut bacteria. If you’re looking to jazz up your water, add a squeeze of fresh lemon or lime.
6. Processed breakfast cereal
Granted, you probably don’t keep this one in the fridge! But you get the idea – processed cereals are often laden with sugar. Swap them for natural rolled oats or sugar and sweetener-free muesli.
7. Frozen yoghurt
This one may seem like a healthier dessert option when compared to ice-cream, but it’s still bursting with added sugar. Why not try freezing some fruit instead – watermelon and berries are a great option or some banana pieces dipped in melted dark chocolate. YUM!
8. Pre-packaged salad dressing
These bad boys are filled with preservatives, flavourings and salt (sometimes, too much to be considered healthy). A better option is some extra virgin olive oil with balsamic vinegar and lemon juice. Super fresh and tangy!
9. Creamy sauces
Yes, you know the ones – mayonnaise, aioli, creamy carbonara… the list goes on. Delicious, yes, and great as an occasional thing, but even homemade versions require a lot of calorie-dense ingredients. Pre-packed jars of sauce can contain high levels of sugar.
Replace them with some less calorie-dense options like homemade or natural tomato-based sauces, low sodium soy or fish sauce and even cottage or ricotta cheese.