Soy is widely used as an alternative to meat and dairy, especially in a vegan diet. However, it has a high phytoestrogen content, a plant derived compound which mimics female hormones. Its consumption can therefore disrupt your body’s hormonal balance. While fermented soy is fine in small quantities, it is better to avoid soy-based products, especially tofu and soy milk, which are often overly processed.
Soy milk: Almond milk, ideally home-made and not too sweet, but you can also find fresh almond milk such as “Omilk”
Tofu: Almond soft cheese. Which one? One that does not contain additives or gums, etc. such as Kite Hill
Soy sauce: Coconut amino, try Coconut Secret Amino
Oftentimes smoothies will contain well above 50g of sugar per serving, making your insulin level and daily sugar intake sky rocket!
Under the “healthy drink” cover, commercialized smoothies are in fact filled with sugar (oftentimes many of them contain well above 50g of sugar per serving, making your insulin level and daily sugar intake sky rocket!) and this can include those bought at healthy juice bars.
Alternative: Start making your own at home! HERE, try our simple smoothie recipe which is packed with goodness & greenness.
Low-fat and fat-free yogurts are perceived as the perfect healthy snack option. However, their low fat content is often compensated by hidden sugar to make their taste more palatable. Also, the removal of fat makes these products more acidic on the stomach due to a higher concentration of lactose. In addition, the removal of fat also removes lots of the vitamins naturally presented in milk, leaving this yogurt devoid of some of its natural nutritional values.
Alternative: if you cannot do without dairy yogurt opt for one which is plain and contains lots of probiotics, such as traditional home-made yogurts. Make sure there is no sugar added to it. Or make your own!
Non-dairy substitute: Coconut yogurt!
Opt for one which is plain and additive free.
You can now find some great ones such as Anita’s coconut yogurt.
Agave nectar is non-the-less very high in fructose and overly processed.
While marketed as a great alternative to sugar with a low glycemic index, agave nectar is non-the-less very high in fructose and overly processed.
Substitute: Raw honey, including Manuka honey which has high anti-bacterial benefits and great taste; or raw coconut sugar or palm sugar, both are very nutritious and have a delicious caramel-like taste.
Commercialized, pasteurized coconut waters have lost most of their nutritional value and kept the high sugar content. They are easily recognizable as they are canned and do not need refrigeration.
As much as fresh coconut water does wonders to your body, including boosting hydration thanks to its high electrolyte content, the commercialized, pasteurized versions have lost most of their nutritional value and kept the high sugar content. They are easily recognizable as they are canned and do not need refrigeration to last, and despite their inviting labels they are not quite healthy.
Alternative: Fresh coconut water: it is naturally refreshing, hydrating and delicious!
Crack open a fresh coconut or you can easily find fresh coconut water: Harmless Harvest is our favorite!
While very light, airy, crunchy and gluten-free, rice cakes have a high glycemic index and sodium content, and have been deprived of all the rice goodness, including fiber, making them “empty calories” leaving you still hungry after consumption.
Alternative: Opt for a plain one and top it with a scoop of hummus, guacamole or almond butter.
Substitute: Try buckwheat or flaxseeds crackers, also gluten free and with great nutritional value.
They have a much higher glycemic content than fresh fruits and are quite acidic on the stomach. While they can give you a quick fix of energy in case of a craving emergency, it is better to stay away from these tempting treats as your daily choice of snacks.
Alternative: Your favorite organic fresh fruits!
Be sure to have them far away from meals as fruits create fermentation when taken with a meal, leaving you bloated.
While enjoying working at the United Nations as political affairs officer, Mélanie’s lifestyle is all about wellness, hedonism and seeing life through the eye of beauty. She loves sharing her passion for healthy lifestyle in a holistic fashion. She believes beauty and happiness come from within. “Life becomes magical when you feel and see beauty and new possibilities around“. She is also a certified health coach and yoga instructor.