At Sea FM HQ, we've discovered that some of the foods we love and THINK are a healthy alternative are in fact, doing as more harm than good.
We teamed up with our friends at Vita Diet to go undercover to reveal what popular foods we eat on a daily basis aren't as good as we think.
Strap yourself in, you might not look at your lunch the same again...
1. Trail Mix
Don't be fooled by the the nutty-looking goodness of a trail mix. While the base for most mixes gets a big health tick for its amount of unsaturated fatty acids and other nutrients... that is often BEFORE they're roasted, or worse, deep fried.
Most bags you buy at the supermarkets are piled with refined sugars, in the form of either chocolate or dried fruit. Not to mention the copious amount of salt that is tossed in to send your taste buds into party mode.
Healthy alternative: Make you're own! Head to the bulk food health stores and mix together all sorts of raw nuts and dark chocolate for a healthy snack with no hidden nasties.
2. Flavoured Almond, Coconut or Soy Milk.
It's become one of the biggest food crazes over the past few years - swapping full cream milk in our smoothies, cereals and cooking for almond, coconut and soy milks.
While substituting normal milk for these alternatives have huge health benefits, make sure you're reading the labels at the supermarket very carefully. Stay clear from those that are "sweetened" or "flavoured". They contain an incredibly high amount of sugar that gives it that creamy vanilla taste.
Healthy alternative: Unsweetened soy, coconut or almond milk, or if you're very clever, make you're own!
3. Salad Dressings
Take a look on the side of the bottle of your favourite store bought salad dressing. Or, maybe, don't look...
Because what you will most likely find are ingredients that you've never heard of, or can barely pronounce. Packed with preservatives and chemicals, it might be best to put it back on the shelf where it belongs.
The Healthier Option: Ditch it and DIY. It's amazing what flavour a bit of olive oil, honey, lemon and balsamic can make.
4. Store and restaurant bought salads
Remember that saying, you don't make friends with salad? Here's why. Buying a salad at the supermarket or at a restaurant for lunch may sound like a great idea, but check again. Chefs often stuff them with high-calorie, over-processed ingrediants that make it taste creamy and amazing, but leave you feeling sluggish. Lots of mayo-like products for the dressing and unhealthy sprinkles of croutons and sugary dried fruit can turn your healthy lunch decision into a bad one.
The Healthier Option: Well, the healthy option is to always make it at home and pack if yourself, but if you don't have time, go to a place that makes it in front of you, or make adjustments to the salad menu e.g. dairy-free dressing please and thank you.
5. Vegetable burgers
Uh oh. This one isn't good news for the vegetarians of the Gold Coast. Sadly, the pattie is often chocka-block with over- processed soy, refined oils and all things we shouldn't have in excess. When they're good, they're very good, just best to check the ingredients first.
The Healthier Option: Pick the one with the most natural ingredients and the least salt.. or once again, make your own.
6. Gluten Free Pasta
Gluten free pasta can turn a healthy meal into a unhealthy one quick smart.
While it is branded as a nutritious alternative, it's in fact a big ol' bag of preservatives. Replacing the gluten can be detrimental to its flavour so what do manufacturers do?Fill it with preservatives to maintain the hearty taste.
The Healthier Option: If you're not gluten intolerant stay away from it. You're better off with the whole wheat pasta. And if you are gluten free, look like the less-processed version of pasta.
For all the best meal advice head to Vita Diet - the Gluten Free Diet Meal Replacement Bars, Weight loss Shakes, Soups, and Dessert Dietary Supplements have been specially formulated to help you lose weight fast and balance your diet - without the hidden nasties!