Some foods are not as bad as you think - GulfToday

Some foods are not as bad as you think

Birjees Hussain

She has more than 10 years of experience in writing articles on a range of topics including health, beauty, lifestyle, finance, management and Quality Management.

Illustrative image.

Illustrative image.

Most people are under a gross misconception about the foods they eat. I’m not a food expert and most people are not either, yet they read the odd article here and there and decide what is good for them and what is not. They start cutting out food groups and adding new food groups not fully understanding how that decision might affect their health.

Whilst a lot of the decisions people make are based on common sense, a vast majority of people take things a little too far. The result is that they end up eating the wrong kinds of foods or avoiding things without realising that some foods are not as bad as you thought they were if you compare them to other foods or even similar foods. Here I’m speaking primarily about junk food.

Now who doesn’t love junk food now and again? Who doesn’t tuck into a burger and fries now and again and feels no guilt about it? Who doesn’t nibble on a small biscuit or a small brick of chocolate to satisfy their sweet tooth? Everyone does but some people think they can’t have a burger but they easily wolf down a couple of biscuits after eating a sort of ‘healthy meal? The healthy meal option is great but what about the biscuit? Was that healthy? Probably not. But did you know that often something you think has too many calories actually has less than your other options?

Now I love peanut butter on toasted brown bread. Why? Because it’s not only scrumptious but I think it’s healthier than white toast with butter and marmalade on it? But I’m told, through those Instagram posts, that I am wrong. According to those posts, my peanut butter on brown toast actually has more calories than the white toast with butter and marmalade slathered all over it. These posts are accompanied by an eye-catching caption that reads something along the lines, ‘Which is the demon here?’

Do I now avoid the peanut butter on toast? I have not because the difference is not so huge that I give up on something I like, especially since I’m not a butter fan.

Another example is that of dark chocolate versus milk chocolate. You’d think that because the dark chocolate has less milk it would have fewer calories. Apparently we are wrong about that too. I found out that one bar of milk chocolate has 580 calories but a dark chocolate bar has 610 calories! I’m confused. Is it better to eat milk chocolate instead or not? The same goes for brown rice versus white rice. I found out that a bowl of white rice has around 352 calories whereas a bowl of the same amount of brown rice has 368 calories.

Now the biggest confusion is, I think, with soft drinks. There are light ones, zero calorie ones and the regular ones. The question is which drink is better for you? Well the light ones have less sugar and the zero calorie ones contain artificial sugar called aspartame which is apparently very bad for your blood sugar levels. But which is better for you in terms of artificial sugar and normal sugar? Apparently both are bad for you since one can of the normal drink has about 20 teaspoons of sugar added to it and aspartame has its issues too. But here’s the weird thing I noticed. I saw a post that had a bottle of regular drink alongside a bottle of a zero calorie one and a glass of water. The caption read something like ‘Ok’ (for the regular drink), ‘Good’ (for the zero calorie version) and ‘Great’ for the glass of water. Even though the zero calorie drink has no calories, just like a glass of water, the latter is water after all and always better for you.

They are right, of course. Water is water in its purest form. Although the zero calorie drink may have no calories at all and taste like the regular deal, it does contain other ingredients that are not great for you, especially if you have them every day.

I’m not saying avoid fast foods altogether. I’m not saying never have a soft drink and I’m not saying don’t satisfy your sweet tooth. Have it once in a while but not so often that it adversely affects your health. Now I’m not saying they’re good for you, I’m just saying they’re not as bad as we originally thought they were.

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