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It may come as a surprise to read this list of “health foods” that have been reported to harm your metabolism and lead to unhealthy weight gain.  Misinformation is a likely reason why a lot of people find it difficult to lose weight no matter what food they eat in whatever portions. On the other hand, knowing which foods are actually sabotaging your quest for weight loss could save you time, money, and energy, and could lead you to a healthier life.
20 “Health Foods” That Cause Weight Gain 
1. Whole wheat products. You may have been told that whole wheat is healthy for you, but that’s not the case. It contains amylopectin-A, a type of carbohydrate that spikes your blood sugar levels faster than table sugar. Higher blood sugar levels make your body produce more insulin, causing you to store more body fat.
2. Vegetable oil-based dishes. “Vegetable oil” is not actually made from vegetables – it’s a combination of soybean oil, corn oil, canola oil, safflower oil, and cottonseed oil, all of which are highly processed, stripping them of nutritional value, and contain trans fat. Trans fat raises your LDL (also known as the ‘bad’) cholesterol which leads to obesity and heart diseases.
3. Whole grain bread. Refined food (such as white bread) is quickly broken down by the body. Whole grain bread, however, takes a longer time to break down, storing more calories in your body. 
4. Pre-packaged whole grain breakfast cereals and crackers. Although the packaging may claim it to be ‘whole grain’ and therefore healthy, these are often highly processed foods that contain high levels of sugar, contributing to unhealthy weight gain, especially to children. 
5. Soy milk. It contains phytoestrogen, an endocrine disruptor that is thought to prevent the food that you eat from metabolizing correctly, potentially causing weight gain. 
6. Tofu. A common ingredient in Asian dishes that has become popular in the West; many people don’t know that tofu may cause thyroid problems which include weight gain, lethargy, fatigue, and hair loss. 
7. Fruit Juice. Ditch your glass of orange juice for breakfast and replace it with a healthier, less sugary alternative. Fruit juice contains fructose that raises the triglycerides in your body.  Eating the whole fruit is considered better because the fiber in the fruit slows down your glycemic response. Fruit juice causes a more intense blood sugar spike, potentially leading to increased insulin resistance.
8. Skim milk. Drinking skim milk may actually cause you to gain more weight because reduced-fat foods may not be as filling, making you eat more to compensate for the lack of calories. 
9. Margarine. This butter substitute, once marketed as healthy, is now considered otherwise. It contains trans fat, free radicals, and lots of preservatives which, when frequently consumed, may lead to obesity, heart disease, cancer, and bone problems. 
10. Pre-packaged dinners. Buying these pre-packaged foods at the grocery might seem very convenient for you, but despite often having packaging that depicts them as healthy, they are often loaded with refined fructose, additives and other fattening ingredients that make your body store fat. 
11. Sports drinks. According to a study in New Zealand, drinking sports water causes weight gain especially if you’re not an athlete, because these drinks are high in sugars and designed for athletes who spend at least 60 minutes of rigorous activity. 
12. Protein bars. Not all protein bars are good for you – some bars contain as much sugar as candy bars. No matter how ‘nutrient-packed’ these protein bar may be, eating too much of them can make you gain weight. 
13. Meal replacement shakes. Bought by people who want to lose weight as a substitute for a day’s meal, these store-bought shakes may be laden with sucralose, hydrogenated fats, carrageenan, and all manner of highly processed artificial ingredients which may harm your metabolism. 
14. Rice cakes. Considered as a diet food because of its low calorie count, rice cakes don’t actually help you lose weight. The empty calories provide little to no nutrients, and spike your food cravings which makes you eat more. 
15. Pasta. Foods which are high in starch, such as pasta, make your body overproduce insulin. The more insulin your body produces, the more likely it is for it to convert calories into body fat. 
16. Energy drinks. One of the drink types that cause obesity, energy drinks typically contain huge amounts of sugar and/or HFCS, which leads to unhealthy weight gain. 
17. Low-calorie yogurt. You might think that low calories are synonymous to weight loss, but most low calorie yogurts also contain low protein. Eating these foods won’t be as filling and will make you hungry even before your next meal. 
18. Low-carb processed food. Eating processed food only adds up to the empty calories in your body, because over-processing has stripped the food of its nutrients. 
19. Soybean Oil. The unsaturated fat in soybean oil can damage your metabolism more than fructose does. It also regulates the genes in your body that causes obesity and diabetes. 
20. Enhanced water. This drink is just actually water that contains artificial flavors and sweeteners which could add up to the empty calories in your body. 
 Geary, M. 2016. The Fat Burning Kitchen. https://truthaboutabs.com/fat-burning-kitchen.html
 Nikkola, T. 2011. Why Eating More Whole Grains Can Cause Weight Gain. https://lifetime-weightloss.com/blog/2011/10/5/why-eating-more-whole-grains-can-cause-weight-gain.html
 Endocrine Disruptors. https://www.pediatrics.emory.edu/centers/pehsu/concern/disruptor.html
 Mercola, J. 2008. What’s So Bad About Tofu? https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2008/09/16/what-s-so-bad-about-tofu.aspx
 High Triglycerides: What To Eat, What Not To Eat. https://tgsformula.com/triglycerides_lowering_diet.html
 Sifferlin, A. 2013. Skim Milk Is Healthier Than Whole Milk, Right? Maybe Not. https://healthland.time.com/2013/07/03/skim-milk-is-healthier-than-whole-milk-right-maybe-not/
 Mercola, J. 2013. The 9 Foods You Should Never Eat. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/06/10/9-unhealthy-foods.aspx
 Mercola, J. 2014. 9 Ways That Eating Processed Food Made the World Sick and Fat. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/12/9-dangers-processed-foods.aspx
 Waldron, P. 2014. Sports Drinks For The Non-Sporty Cause Weight Gain. https://www.insidescience.org/content/sports-drinks-non-sporty-cause-weight-gain/1921
 Michaels, J. MYTH: Protein Bars Are Always a Healthy Choice. https://jillianmichaels.com/fit/lose-weight/myth-protein-bars
 Stop Drinking Meal Replacement Shakes. https://healthscamsexposed.com/2013/07/stop-drinking-meal-replacement-shakes/
 Campbell, A. 2015. Why organic rice cakes are not healthy diet food. https://naturalhealth365.com/organic-rice-cakes-diet-food-1655.html
 O’Neill, M. 1995. So It May Be True After All: Eating Pasta Makes You Fat. https://nytimes.com/1995/02/08/us/so-it-may-be-true-after-all-eating-pasta-makes-you-fat.html?pagewanted=all
 McKinlkay, R. Childhood Obesity: The Link To Drinks. https://obesityaction.org/educational-resources/resource-articles-2/childhood-obesity-resource-articles/childhood-obesity-the-link-to-drinks
 Barnes, Z. 2014. 6 Yogurt Mistakes That Can Make You Gain Weight. https://womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/eating-yogurt
 Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs – What Are You Eating? https://www.pritikin.com/your-health/healthy-living/eating-right/603-real-food-vs-processed-whats-in-your-carbs.html
 Mercola, J. 2015. The Major Role Soybean Oil Plays in Obesity and Diabetes. https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2015/08/05/soybean-oil-obesity-diabetes.aspx
 4 Surprising Foods That Cause Weight Gain. https://eatthis.com/4-surprising-foods-cause-weight-gain
Bread – https://pixabay.com/en/powerade-the-drink-isotonic-drink-415710/
Margarine – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Margarine_BMK.jpg
Sports Drinks – https://pixabay.com/en/powerade-the-drink-isotonic-drink-415710/
Orange Juice – https://pixabay.com/en/orange-juice-juice-fresh-oranges-410325/
Pasta – https://pixabay.com/en/pasta-noodles-plate-eat-lunch-527286/
Tofu – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Japanese_SilkyTofu_(Kinugoshi_Tofu).JPG
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