It’s been said that eating certain foods—think red wine with red meat, to neutralize toxins, or grilled chicken with coleslaw, to flush away carcinogens—may help ward off any negative effects. But, according to celebrity nutritionist Paula Simpson, the theory only holds true if you’re eating in moderation and offsetting unhealthy helpings with antioxidant-rich foods. “Even if you eat like this, you are still taking a risk in ingesting nutrient-depleted, toxic, processed foods. If you do eat this way, the best thing you can do is to try and balance the meal out with something healthy.”
But while you’re shopping for that “something healthy,” make sure you are paying attention to the nutrition labels and not falling for any misleading phrases. Often used by manufacturers to describe a food as healthy, these commonly used terms are deceptive and usually do not denote healthier options:
Fat-Free: “This really means that the fat has been replaced with sugar and artificial ingredients and has a high glycemic index,” says Simpson.
Reduced Fat: “Similar to fat-free foods, reduced-fat foods have carbohydrates that replace the fat,” Simpson explains.
Sugar-Free: “These contain artificial sweeteners and chemicals instead of sugar to add a sweet taste to food,” Simpson notes.
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