“Natural”, “Organic”, “Low Fat” and “Low Calorie” labels like this one on food products create an illusion of health and in some cases these terms can be completely misleading. Since there is a growing awareness about healthy eating for general well-being and for the prevention of chronic disease, food companies have recognized the growing demand for healthy food options and have taken advantage of this by offering a wide range of “healthy” products, but not all of them can be considered “healthy”. For example, advertisements often use visually appealing images of fresh fruit on jam bottles and label them “natural,” but the first ingredient is often sugar and that ingredient can challenge their claims. In the same way, sugary breakfast cereals may boast of being “high in fiber” and “fortified with vitamins,” but they can be high in added sugar and calorie-dense, and can’t be considered a “healthy” breakfast option. That’s why it’s important for consumers to be aware and make informed decisions when it comes to choosing healthy food, reading nutrition labels carefully, and checking ingredient lists, rather than relying solely on labels, labels, packaging, or advertising. In this article, we list 5 points to remember when choosing healthy foods for weight loss.

Points to remember when choosing healthy foods for weight loss

1. Choose a food with only one ingredient or foods with few ingredients:

Highly processed and processed foods contain many ingredients due to extensive processing. They often have added sugars, unhealthy fats, high levels of sodium, and lack essential nutrients. This hinders weight loss goals. Choose single-ingredient foods that are rich in nutrients, such as fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and legumes. These foods provide essential nutrients, keep you full, regulate appetite, and reduce overeating. Processed foods are energy-dense and lead to an excessive intake of calories, while single-ingredient foods are lower in calories and provide essential nutrients. Choose single ingredient foods or minimally processed foods to create a calorie deficit and lose weight.

2. Avoid food with additives and emulsifiers:

Recent studies have revealed the negative impact of emulsifiers and additives, commonly found in processed foods, on inflammatory bowel disease and the gut microbiome. Emulsifiers such as carboxymethylcellulose (cellulose gum) and polysorbate 80 are widely used to enhance texture and prevent separation in processed foods. They are found in fast food shakes, bottled salad dressings, sauces, and gluten-free products. These emulsifiers, along with polysorbate 80, lecithin, and carrageenan, disrupt the gastrointestinal microbial balance, as shown in a rat study. Their consumption has been linked to obesity and bowel-related issues. As we all know, having a strong gut microbiome is crucial to our health and to maintaining our weight. So, when you come across low-fat, gluten-free products thinking they might help you lose weight faster, think twice!

3. Avoid added sugar:

Consuming large amounts of added sugars has been associated with an increased risk of obesity. Sugary foods and drinks tend to be highly palatable and can lead to overconsumption, which increases your total caloric intake. Foods with added sugar can be calorie-dense, which means they contain a large amount of calories in a small serving size. This can lead to an excessive intake of calories, which leads to weight gain and an increased likelihood of obesity-related health problems. Foods with added sugars also cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels, leading to later crashes. These fluctuations can lead to increased hunger, cravings, and decreased energy, which can negatively affect overall energy levels and appetite control. Avoiding foods with added sugar can help cut too many calories, control appetite, and make it easier to create a calorie deficit.

4. Avoid Empty Calories:

Empty calories come from foods that, although filling, offer little or no nutritional value, but are high in sugar and unhealthy fats. When food containing empty calories is consumed, our body does not receive the nutrients to perform normal functions and obtain nutrients, and the body sends hunger signals again, and as a result, we consume more calories, resulting in a calorie surplus. When there is a calorie surplus, the body stores the excess energy as fat. If empty calories are part of our daily diet, and we consume more calories than we burn, it becomes difficult to lose weight. Therefore, it becomes very important to eliminate foods that contain empty calories and replace them with foods rich in calories instead. Biscuits, biscuits, instant noodles, French fries, burgers, pizza, desserts, sweetened drinks, candy, ice cream, etc. are some of the foods that contain high calories. Also read: “8 surprising sources of empty calories you might be overlooking.”

5. Avoid toxic ingredients like trans fats:

In a remarkable decision, the World Health Organization wants to completely eliminate artificial trans fats by 2023. Trans fats are produced through a process called hydrogenation, in which hydrogen molecules are added to vegetable oils. This process is used to improve shelf life, solidify the oil, and improve its taste and suitability for frying. However, trans fats pose severe health risks due to their high level of LDL cholesterol, which can have harmful effects on the body. Trans fat consumption has been linked to the development of serious conditions such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, and heart disease. Trans fats have been shown to negatively affect metabolism by promoting inflammation, insulin resistance, and fat storage. This can impair your body’s ability to burn calories efficiently and increase the likelihood of weight gain. TransFat is also associated with an increased risk of abdominal obesity, which means it encourages the body to store fat around the belly! Saturated foods are commonly found in fried foods, vanaspatti, fast food, microwave popcorn, packaged baked goods, and even margarine. Therefore, do not choose any product that has “trans fats” in its ingredient list.

In general, the best way to lose weight is to eat a well-balanced, nutritious diet and to be physically active or engage in regular physical activity. This creates a caloric deficit, where you consume fewer calories than your body burns. Since diet plays a major role in weight loss, make informed choices even with foods labeled “healthy.” If you want any help with weight loss, diet plans, etc., subscribe to Rati beauty app Get exclusive diet plans that help you shed extra pounds fast.

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