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3 Types of Healthy

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Just over a year ago I decided it was time to “pay it forward” and help people who were just like me.  People who were looking for answers to their health and fitness questions.  Well, a lot has happened since then, I’ve met hundreds of people who were asking the same questions that I had asked only a few years ago.  Now, after becoming a Beachbody coach I’ve learned more about health and fitness then I ever thought possible.  One of the interesting bits of information I’ve realized is that most Americans don’t know what the word “healthy” really means.  Most based their health on what they see or hear on T.V. (bad idea) or what they read on the front of food packages (bad idea)  In reality there are actually 3 types of “healthy” that people understand or think they understand.

In this article I’ve written about the “3 Types of Healthy” that I believe most people can relate to.  One thing that I’ve discovered, is that people are confused about what is really healthy and what they think or want to be healthy.  Here’s what I mean . . . 

1.) Restaurant Healthy-Science Experiments

We’ve all been to fast food restaurants and lets not lie, the food tastes good, I’ll admit that.  However, most people haven’t taken the time to really find out what the food is made of, besides when we see labels like, “real chicken” or “100% Beef”, we just assume that the food is healthy, right?  When you look deeper into the ingredient lists what you will find is that you are basically eating science experiments.  Here are a couple of examples.

—Subway – Fresh Fit menu, low fat foods and Eat Fresh.  
I actually like subway, but in my opinion they are the lesser of all evils.  Subway uses slogans like “Fresh Fit”, “low fat” and “Eat Fresh” to entice the consumer into believing their food is healthy.  Now don’t get me wrong Subway has a lot of great low calorie, low fat foods on the menu, but that doesn’t necessarily make them healthy.
When you look deeper you will find many of their foods are high in sodium, high in fat (added cheese and condiments) and loaded with processed meats. 
—McDonald’s – Good ingredients, good food
McDonald’s food is good, but not good for you.  They promote a “healthy” menu with foods like fruit salads, oatmeal with fruit and smoothies.  What they don’t want you to know is that  these foods are high in sugar, which research indicates causes insulin spikes in the glucose and results in body fat around the abdominals.
—Wendy’s – We believe in nutritious options.
In the world of fast-food restaurants, Wendy’s wants to be known as the place for fresh, healthy, natural food.  They refer to that as “nutritious options.”  Ken Calwell, Chief Marketing Officer of Wendy’s suggested, “We want every ingredient to be a simple ingredient, to be one you can pronounce and one your grandmother would recognize in her pantry.”  
To support this image, Wendy’s recently reformulated its french fries, the first reformulation in 41 years. The new fries are called “”Natural Cut French Fries with Sea Salt.”
The two key elements of the reformation were as follows:
1) Replace regular table Salt with Sea Salt.
2) Leave the Potato Skin on the french fry.The idea was that sea salt is associated with healthiness more than regular table salt.
In addition, leaving the skin on shows that these are real pieces of potato, not a processed potato. In combination, this gives the impression that the new fries are a healthier, fresher, more natural food.

But what Wendy’s is not telling you is this.  Salt has sodium, whether it is sea salt or regular salt.  And the new fries have more sodium than the old fries.  One report said the sodium for a regular serving went up from 350 to 370 milligrams of sodium.  Another report said the new fries have 500 milligrams of sodium.  Either way, it is more sodium, and that is not good for you.

In addition, the new fries from Wendy’s have more calories per serving than the ones they are replacing.

No wonder tests showed that people liked the taste more—there was more sodium and more calories. Yet the new formula gives the impression that the new fries are healthier.  A little misleading, isn’t it?

2. ) Manufacture/Label Healthy

—If the label says it, it must be healthy?  —Have you ever seen these slogans and thought, “Hey, that means it’s healthy”.
—Fat Free
—Sugar Free
—Whole Grains/Multi Grains/Whole Wheat
—All Natural
The reality is that just because something sounds healthy or is labeled and marketed as healthy does not mean its healthy.  For example, when you see the phrases “fat free” or “sugar free” that sounds like  a good thing, right?  Not always.  Fat is not bad for you and neither is sugar if they are both taken in the right amounts, again I said the “right amounts”.  The only fat you really should not eat is trans fats and sugar eaten in the right amounts can give you a quick energy boost.  The problem is that manufactures will take out the good natural ingredients like fat and sugar and replace them with artificial ingredients.  Not good!!
Multi-grains are not always healthy either, but manufactures can make you believe that.  Always look for 100% Whole Grain or Whole Wheat, which are the healthier alternatives.

3.) Clean Eating – The Real Healthy Diet

The key to clean eating is to eat foods that have very few ingredients.
—Quiz: Can you name the ingredients in these foods?
Pretty simple, huh?  Anyone that looks in that list can realize that all of the foods listed above has only one ingredient, they were not made in a laboratory and are healthy options for you.
Here are some foods that you will want to avoid and some recommendations.

High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

 This is a highly-refined sweetener in which corn starch is separated from the corn kernel. The corn starch is then converted into corn syrup through a process called acid hydrolysis.

Nearly all HFCS is made from genetically-modified corn. It is the number-one source of calories in the US diet, and has been shown to contribute to weight gain and the development of diabetes.

HFCS also is a major contributor to cardiovascular disease, arthritis, insulin resistance, and elevated triglycerides and raised LDL cholesterol. In 2009, the Environmental Health Journal reported that a study conducted by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy found mercury in 9 of 20 samples of commercial HFCS. The HFCS came from 3 different manufacturers including popular brands such as Quaker, Hunts, Kraft, Yoplait, Nutri-Grain, and Smuckers. Mercury is a heavy metal and is considered a potent brain toxin.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

MSG is an amino acid used as a flavor-enhancer in processed foods (one of the most common food additives).

It is a neurotoxic chemical additive shown to harm nerve cells— overexciting them, sometimes to the point of cell death. Regularly consuming excitotoxins like MSG destroys significant numbers of brain cells and can lead to serious health problems, including neurological disorders. In addition, regular consumption of MSG has been shown to stimulate the appetite and contribute to weight gain and obesity.


One of the most widely-used artificial sweeteners.

Like MSG, aspartame is an excitotoxin. It also is believed to be carcinogenic, and produces neurotoxic effects such as headaches, dizziness, blurry vision, and gastrointestinal disturbances.

Aspartame contains 10-percent methanol, which is shown to be broken down by the body into the toxic by-products formic acid and formaldehyde. Formaldehyde is considered to be a potent nerve toxin and carcinogen, which may explain why aspartame accounts for more reports to the FDA of adverse reactions than all other foods and food additives combined.

Sodium Nitrite and Sodium Nitrate

These two closely-related chemicals are used to preserve meat.

When added to meat, the nitrates are readily converted to nitrosamines, which are associated with an increased risk of certain types of cancers. This chemical reaction occurs most readily at the high temperatures. In a 2007 analysis, The World Cancer Research Fund revealed that eating 1.8 ounces of processed meat every day increases your cancer risk by 20%.

A few suggestions:

—The only bad fat is Trans Fat
—Eat free range – grass fed meats
—Don’t drink your calories
—The average American consumes 450 calories a day from beverages. (2X as much as 30 years ago).  That comes to an extra 23 lbs a year you have to work off or carry with you.
This is certainly not a complete list of all the unhealthful ingredients in commercial foods today, but these are the ones to avoid and please, read your labels.  If you read something on there that you don’t know what it is, research and find out.  You health is important.

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