3 Things You Eat That Are Not As Healthy As You Think

The people who market food products are good.  In some cases they are so good that I see players choose snacks or meals that they think are healthy choices when really they may not be the best option.  I am not saying you cannot eat these foods, I just want to give you some specific guidelines on when to eat them or what to look for.

Anyone catch the Leafs game last night?  In case  you missed it the Leafs stunk it up bad with a – – 6-0 loss to (wait for it…) COLUMBUS!  Wow.  That’s pretty much all I can say about that – – let’s talk nutrition.

For those who have been asking – YES, there will be a Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal – keep an eye on your inbox for the details on Thursday.

There are a few items I see athletes routinely eat in the gym or record in their nutrition recall that they think are healthy, but in actual fact these items should be on the naughty list (or at least consumed in moderation).  The top three offenders are…

Granola Bars

I don’t think there is anything wrong with having one granola bar each day.  It is a convenient source of quick calories – you can throw one in your bag and eat it in about 45-seconds.

But many granola bars are overloaded with sugar – some can have upwards of 16g of sugar!  Look for something with less than 10g of sugar and no high fructose corn syrup.  I typically go with Kashi Granola bars since I can find one that tastes great and has less than 10g of sugar.

I am sure there are some ‘cereal bars’ out there that are just fine, but the ones I commonly see athletes eating are very high in sugar, so I would leave them off the shopping list.

Summarize – when buying a granola bar, get one that has less than 10g of sugar.  Remember, these are a convenient quick snack, not a meal or food-group, one per day max and if you combine it with a plain yogurt or cheese string, you have a good snack.

Chocolate Milk

The dairy farmers have done a great job with chocolate milk.  It is an awesome source of protein and carbohydrates for your post workout snack.  The key words being post workout.  This does not mean you should drink chocolate milk at will.

I commonly get a nutrition recall from athletes who have 3-4 chocolate milks per day.  This is too much.  If you have chocolate milk, the time is immediately after a workout, practice or a game when your body needs a little more sugar.

The rest of the time water or regular milk.


I don’t mean to throw subs under the bus, because they are readily available and you can make some really healthy choices so it can be an excellent option.

However, it is also really east to make some unwise choices and end up eating a belly buster!

Here are my rules for ordering a sub…

  • Grilled chicken or sliced turkey for the meat
  • Swiss cheese or cheddar cheese is fine (avoid the processed cheese)
  • Fill that thing with veggies
  • Easy on the sauces – mustard is a great option.  Avoid the creamy sauces and if you must have the traditional ‘sub sauce’, just go very light on it.
  • If you order a 12” sub, you probably do not need that much food if you have not just come from a workout or off the ice from a game.  Do this – eat half and then put the other half aside for 20-minutes or so, if you are still hungry, then eat the other half.

Hope that helps, I know a lot of you are trying to do the right thing, but sometimes it is hard to know.  I recently sat down with Registered Dietician Lisa Cianfrini, MSc (http://www.nutrigenerd.com) to get the straight goods on what athletes should be eating.  You see what she had to say about the best choices for cereal, snacks players can take to school, what and when to eat during a tournament – see what she has to say…

Can’t see the video in the player above – just click this link – http://vimeo.com/79103507

Perfect timing for the holidays – happy eating.