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Cornflakes: If you’ve been living in a busy Indian household all your life, you’ve had just enough of this cereal when you were late for school and didn’t have the time to stuff  ‘aloo parathas’ down your throat. For decades, these crispy crunches have been disguised as healthy and therefore, wholesome when they’re anything but. Cornflakes are as healthy as a chocolate cereal or the over-sweetened honey cereals. Even fruit loops are equivalent to these morning treats. So, drop the empty calories and fill your stomach with some nutritious, delicious, and protein-liscious eggs instead!

Frozen packaged meat: While most meats are good for you, and add lean proteins to your diet, the frozen and packaged ones are definitely a no. For them to live a long life, they’re filled with preservatives that are actually terrible for us, and the nutrition is completely sucked out if it. All the sausages, sandwich meats are mpt what you think they are! Meat that is sold unfrozen and usually at local markets is better, healthier, and tastier. They might be slightly more expensive, but for a healthy lifestyle, it’s worth it! 

Granola: It must’ve taken a lot of advertising and many years of misleading to deceive one into thinking “healthy” everytime they hear a word and that’s exactly what ‘Granola’ has done. By the time the stuff has been packed, sealed, and shipped, even the healthy things in the mix have lost all their nutrition. They contain very little fiber, which is more than mandatory for one’s digestion, and too much sugar, which completely ruins the balance that a meal and the day require. To replace this yummy but totally unhealthy breakfast treat, make your own granola! Get yourself some rolled oats, nuts, raisins, and fresh fruit; mix them together; have it with milk or yogurt and you’ve created a healthy and lovely meal for yourself.

Diet coke: I don’t know who termed these cans as healthy, but they need an immediate reality-check. These drink aren’t just bad, they’re worse than normal coke. They have tendencies to make one put on weight more than normal drinks do, and have a similar sugar content. Moreover, they are actually dangerous to one’s health. Kids should definitely not consume this, but adults shouldn’t either. The high caffeine and aspartame (artificial sweetener) content is nearly fatal and incredibly unhealthy. Don’t even try to replace this part of your diet, your lifestyle’s better without it.

Energy bars: For decades health-freaks have sworn by these bars of supposed energy filling snacks, but what they’ve sworn by is a myth. These snack staples also contain more sugar than many candy and chocolate bars, which just shows how bad they’re for you. Replace these snacks with a fruit because they provide you with a sufficient amount of energy instead of making one hyper, and they contain good sugars that your body needs.

Baked beans: While beans are good for you, these messy, canned, and unusually red breakfast side isn’t. These beans have had all the nutrition sucked out of them and if their unusual and quite unappetizing after taste isn’t blatant proof of that, we don’t know what is. Actual beans are full of protein and vitamins and should definitely replace the mess that is baked beans. Making gravy out of them is super easy, or you can just boil them with some salt and pepper and have with a side of lentils and chapatti, and Voila! We don’t even know why baked beans were ever a thing. 

Brown bread: If you’re trying to cut down on the refined carbs, brown bread surely isn’t the way to go. It is better than white bread, admittedly, but about 50% of the bread contains white refined flour, the main ingredient used to prepare white bread, as opposed to mostly whole grain flour. While your daily diet needs carbohydrates and you just can’t avoid them if you want to feel strong and energetic the entire day, white refined flour has no nutritional value and just adds to your calorie intake without making your body more nourished and healthy. An alternative would be making your own bread (which is a tedious, but fruitful process) or rotis. Believe it or not, rotis go with everything! From peanut butter to “gudd” (jaggery), this soft and fluffy source of starch will lift your diet by a mile!

Margarine: Now that most coffee table talks tread on the slightly worn-down path of health and food, many people seem to have “converted”. And by that, we mean converted to margarine from butter. To them I say, “Why?!”. Animal fats are a complete no-no, even if you don’t find yourself wanting to lose weight. Margarine is completely processed and contains emulsifiers, vegetable oil, and artificial ingredients that everybody should avoid.  Allegedly margarine is “low on fat”, which isn’t only a exaggeration and misleading, but also demeans the importance of fat in a diet. You need fat in your daily food time-table. So, drop the chemicals and run to the market for some good “makhan” or even better, “ghee”. They’re natural, healthy, and delicious!

Honey: While honey is, indeed, better than sugar, store bought honey often contains refined carbohydrates, which, again have no nutritional value. At that point, you might as well have white sugar and go the extra mile. One of the best substitutes is “jaggery”. Not only is it completely natural and unrefined; it actually is good carbohydrate and provides nutrition, but it also has a distinct and quite yummy, slightly smokes flavour that sugar doesn’t contain. So, go ahead and change the recipes of your favourite confectionaries: it’s time to get healthy!

Digestive biscuits: These are definitely better than your cream filled, chocolate flavoured beauties that scream of nostalgia, but they’ve super delicious and crumbly too! And it’s the refined flour that  does this job for them. So, if you’re making a cheesecake base, go ahead with the digestive crumbs because they will definitely lower the calorie content, but if you’re looking for a staple with your morning ‘chai’, go for walnuts and raisins that are packed up good fats and vitamins, and provide the same amount of creamy and sweet-ness that those crumbly cookies do.

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