There’s more to running than knowing which running shoes helps you run better. When you’re a runner, you should be more meticulous about what you eat. The food you take can affect your running performance and can ultimately affect your overall health. Just as you’d want your car to run on clean fuel that won’t leave any gunk in the engine, you’d want to make sure that what you’re putting in your body will help you make the most out of your healthy lifestyle.
Today, we’ll be discussing which foods would be in your best interest to avoid.
Bottled Salad Dressing
Before you grab your favorite bottled salad dressing, you should be aware that you’ll be dousing your healthy salad unnecessary with cream, fat, and sugar. Instead of using bottled salad dressing, you can use olive oil or vinegar-based dressings. If you can’t enjoy salad unless it’s kinda creamy, an avocado will save the day.
A lot of runners have been fooled by this seemingly wholesome treat. Pretzels are notorious for lacking healthy fiber and fat so you eat more but you don’t really feel full at all. Worse is that fact that eating even just 10 of these things will result in over 250 calories and so much more in sodium content.
Anything that has artificial sweeteners in them should be avoided. They don’t offer any health benefits and you also increase your risk for weight gain. Artificial sweeteners trick the body into thinking it’s consuming real food, and because they’re over a hundred times sweeter than the real thing, your body starts producing insulin (the fat storage hormone).
Microwave popcorn is always saturated with unhealthy fat and ridiculous levels of sodium. Microwave popcorn bags are also lined with something called perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), a chemical which is also found in Teflon pots and pans—yikes. There is a flip side, however. If you air pop the corn or pop it on the stove with a small amount of coconut oil, it turns into somewhat of a superfood, boasting high levels of antioxidants and a hearty dose of satiating fiber.
Despite the convenience it brings, canned soup is made to last long–very long. So that should give you an idea that in order to retain its freshness and edibility, manufacturers add a high amount of sodium. Too much of sodium can lead to high blood pressure. So it might take some time and effort but it is ultimately healthier to consume homemade soups so you can have a say in just how much salt goes into it.
Packed Deli Meat
While seemingly healthy, packed deli meats are also packed with added salt and nitrates which are used to help preserve their freshness and color. Consider buying rotisserie chicken or cook up chicken or turkey breast by grilling it. You’ll be adding healthier protein that your body needs.
Despite being affordable and extremely convenient, some frozen meals pack in extra calories, fat, and sodium. There are some that are pretty healthy so it’s best to just keep a sharp eye out for packs that carry more than 500 calories. Chances are those that are more than 500 calories also pack in more than 15 grams of fat. Read the label carefully and check the serving size before you tuck in.
So all in all, doing away with high-sodium, high-sugar, and heavily processed foods and eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, healthy fats, and proteins will ultimately benefit more than just your running.