Unhealthy food makes people fat and sick. Don’t be fooled by junk foods disguised as health foods. The Military Diet can be done by eating whole healthy foods – if you don’t include any of the following ingredients on both your days on and off the diet.
Beware, the following foods are just junk food disguised as health food:
Grass fed butter for the win! Nicknamed ‘yellow death’ back in the day, butter was demonized for its high fat content. Now we know better. The calories of butter are always better for you than the ingredients in margarine, namely vegetable oil. With all its chemicals and refined oils, margarine barely qualifies as food. Grass fed butter is the best choice if you’re looking for something dreamy to spread on your toast.
Unless you’re a professional athlete (or have a serious hangover), avoid sports drinks. Only athletes have the same sugar and salt requirements found in the average sports drink. Plain water with a squeeze of lemon or lime is a much better choice for hydration.
Low Carb Food
Based on the trendiness of low carb diets, manufacturers are now in on the action and label foods as ‘low carb’ to appeal to the consumer. And these foods are low in carbs but they’re not actually high in nutrients or anything else that’s good for you. Energy bars, for example, can barely be considered food.
Low Fat and Fat Free Foods
Fat has mistakenly been the enemy for far too long. When food manufacturers started removing the fat from food, they had to add sugar to make things taste better. When you see the ‘fat free’ label, it usually means the productis loaded with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients to make it taste better.
Let’s face it, lettuce and vegetables taste better with some creamy ranch. But just check out the calorie content per tablespoon on the label! Nevermind all the unhealthy added ingredients like sugar, chemicals and the unhealthy kinds of fats like vegetable oil and trans fats. Simple homemade dressings using ingredients like balsamic vinegar, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice and Dijon let you control what you put into your body.
Fruit juice sounds healthy because it’s made from fruit, but often fruit juice is just fruit flavored sugar water. It might give you a boost when you drink it, but your blood sugar will come crashing down later. And the calories will be stored as fat.
So called ‘Whole Wheat’ Bread
Is your brown bread really as brown as advertised? Always check the labels when you’re trying to eat healthy whole grain breads. The packaging may look healthy on a loaf of bread, but the grains are pounded into a fine flour that’s not much better than eating white Wonder Bread. Here’s what to look for when bread shopping on the Military Diet.
Agave Nectar (or Syrup)
We’re always looking for healthy sugar substitutes, but agave nectar doesn’t qualify even though it sounds deceptively healthy and is labeled as a natural sweetener. Depending on how it’s made, agave is often 90% fructose, which doesn’t make it any better than sugar. If you ingest too much fructose, it gets stored as fat in the body. Use this stuff sparingly or as a treat, just like sugar.
Vegan Junk Food
If you’re eating vegan for the health benefits, eat the good stuff, whole foods. Vegan foods can be some of the most refined and processed foods on the shelves. Vegan Bacon comes to mind… There are some new veggie bacons that taste pretty darn good, but they aren’t actually good for you.
Vegetable oils like avocado are good, but the oil called vegetable oil is not. Even though vegetable oil sounds healthy, too much of it puts you at risk for heart disease. The unsaturated fats found in vegetable oil oxidize when heated and become dangerous to body tissues by triggering inflammation. Healthy fats like butter, coconut and olive oil are the winner when it comes to your heart.
Gluten Free Foods
It’s better to choose naturally gluten free foods rather than highly refined foods that advertise themselves as gluten free. Buying junk food advertised as ‘gluten free’ can feel like doing your body a favor, but these highly processed foods are usually full of refined starches that spike and then drop your blood sugar.