Ditch This Common ‘Health’ Food If You Actually Want To Get In Shape For Summer, Nutritionists Say

With summer quickly approaching and bikini season creeping closer, it seems like everyone is suddenly on a health-kick, committed to eating healthy, fresh foods in a final effort to slim down in time for summer. Despite our best efforts, in our modern world that is becoming increasingly reliant on packaged foods, sometimes eating healthy is harder than you would expect.

According to holistic nutritionist, health coach and founder of Frolic and Flow, Carly Brawner, eating healthy is often difficult because packaged foods that claim to be ‘healthy’ alternatives rarely live up to their promises. In an interview with MyDomaine, Brawner called out one of the most popular food trends on the market today – gluten-free substitutes.

So what’s the deal with that? While many celebrities swear by the gluten-free diet as a way of slimming down, and gluten-free products becoming increasingly popular among health-nuts, recent studies have found that unless you have coeliac disease the fad diet may not be all that it is cracked up to be.

According to Brawner, many gluten-free products are not all that good for us because they are often made from corn – a food that has a very limited nutritional value.

“People believe corn is a vegetable, but corn is a grain,” she told MyDomaine. “It has little nutritional value, they’re empty calories and it’s often chosen as the filler to thicken or preserve foods because it’s so cheap. For the amount of corn Americans eat, the nutritional return is not worth it.”

Brawner also noted that corn is problematic because it takes a lot for our bodies to digest due to the fact that it contains prolamins. “People with digestion issues and gut problems should stay away from corn products. Too much corn can cause these issues as well,” she explained.

While it’s not exactly necessary to avoid all corn and corn products, it pays to be aware of the fact that just because you are paying more for gluten-free corn based foods (such as breads and cookies), it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are choosing a healthy option.

While it may be hard to eat all fresh food if you lead a busy lifestyle, making your own food and sticking to a balanced diet of mainly organic fruit, vegetables, legumes, whole grains and lean meat is always a surefire way to ensure that you are avoiding those unnecessary nasties that often linger in prepackaged foods.

Read next: Is Almond Milk Actually Good For Me?

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