When I was first beginning my fitness journey back in 2013, my head was filled with health myths that I thought to be true. Which is the main reason I didn’t see results as quickly as I wanted to.
It wasn’t until I learned how to read & understand a nutrition food label that I realized I was consuming foods that I considered to be “healthy” but really weren’t the best options for my personal fitness goals. When reading a food label the top three items to check are the ingredients, calories, and macronutrients (protein, carbs, fats intake). All foods, even junk foods add nutritional value. For example, junk foods can provide fats and carbs but the point is to balance these nutrients (proteins, carbs, and fats) Portion control is key!
Don’t get me wrong salads are good for you, of course, hearty greens are good for you! It’s the foods you choose to add to salads that make them high in calories. For instance, adding ranch dressing, croutons, dried fruit, nuts, wontons, breaded fried chicken, etc. By adding foods high in saturated fat you’re raising the caloric value of the salad.
Might as well eat a cheeseburger because chances are your salad filled with the ingredients mentioned above is higher in calories versus a cheeseburger. Next time you order a salad be sure to substitute or remove foods that will make the salad high in fat.
Smoothies are great because you can add whatever you want but what may make a smoothie a poor option is adding too many ingredients. Keep in mind you’re raising the caloric value for every item you add. I used to add peanut butter, banana, yogurt, milk, and other foods mistakenly drinking a high caloric smoothie prior to my breakfast.
If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to eat for a long period of time a smoothie can be a good option, but wouldn’t you rather eat your calories than to drink them?
The recommended serving size for granola is a quarter of a cup. When you exceed that amount, which most of us do from time to time is you increase the amount of sugar, carbs, and calories.
Food is food. There’s no good or bad. There’s only nutritional value, calories, and ingredients. Learn to nourish and balance the foods you choose to consume.