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Those who care about their bodies often try substituting harmful foods with healthy ones. But in a number of cases, the replacement doesn’t lead us anywhere close to healthy eating. Bright Side has compiled a list of rules that you would do better to ignore if you want to eat ’clean’ food.

A carton of apple juice is a healthy substitute for a Coke

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Apple juice seems so innocent that we easily believe it to be healthier than ’harmful’ Coke. In fact, apple juice contains a few more calories than Coke. If you really care about your diet, drink clear water and discard both packaged juices and soft drinks.

Fresh vegetables are healthier than cooked ones

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It turns out that some boiled veggies are better than fresh ones. For example, boiled carrots contain more carotenoids, while stewed or steamed tomatoes have more lycopene, which is good for your health. This doesn’t mean you should only eat cooked vegetables, but don’t be in a hurry to discard them.

You can eat sushi while on any diet

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Even those who keep tabs on their carbs consumption somehow prefer to order sushi at restaurants, considering it a healthy alternative to other dishes. In fact, a serving of salmon rolls contains more carbs than a burger, although the latter is more calorific. If you want to lose weight, you should opt for something less harmful to your figure.

Soy sauce is a healthy substitute for salt

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Nutritionists advise against choosing soy sauce instead of salt — otherwise, just one visit to a Chinese restaurant may result in the consumption of several daily doses of salt without you even noticing. It’s better to add a little salt to your food regularly than to believe that such a substitute is healthy.

Honey instead of sugar

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Everyone knows that sugar is bad for your figure and your health, so we add honey to everything we want to be sweetened. As a matter of fact, it’s even more calorific than sugar. The difference is not that much, but you won’t be seeing any progress in losing weight this way, that’s for sure.

Dried fruit is the best snack

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The process of drying makes fruit lose up to 80% of its vitamins and antioxidants. This means that it’s better to have some fresh fruit as a snack. Dried fruit is also dangerous in that some dishonest manufacturers add sweet syrup to it, thus lessening its usefulness even further.

Popcorn is unhealthy

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Scientists have proven that popcorn that has been cooked in hot air is a healthy and useful food. A cup of popcorn contains almost twice as many antioxidants called polyphenols as any fruit or vegetable. Moreover, popcorn contains fiber that is very good for your health. Of course, you shouldn’t eat it by the bucketload, but a regular cup of popcorn may become a great snack.

Cheese is the greatest enemy of those on a diet

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Most diets state that you’d better forget about cheese because it contains lots of fats and calories. However, you can eat it even on the strictest of diets, as cheese has more calcium than most other products. It also contains linoleic acid that inhibits the accumulation of fat and helps you lose weight.

Alcohol is harmful in any amount

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One of the healthy diet myths says that alcohol should be erased from the life of a person caring about his or her health. However, wine has useful elements too. For example, red wine contains lots of polyphenols that support your blood vessels. Don’t forget to stick to the one-glass rule, though.

Healthy oils make any food better

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Coconut oil, linen oil, pumpkin oil... All these have become lifelong partners to people on a healthy diet. Many use them in cooking without even thinking — yet there’s a catch here, and a dangerous one. Linen oil, for instance, becomes downright poisonous when heated due to large amounts of unsaturated acids. Some oils should only be consumed raw.

Fat-free products are healthier

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Many people take their pursuit of weight loss so seriously that they choose only fat-free foods — which can be, in fact, even more calorific than regular products. Think about it: if you get rid of fat, which gives food its flavor, you have to substitute it for something. In addition, such foods contain fewer vitamins and useful elements. For example, all dairy products contain fat-soluble vitamins D, E, A, and K. Therefore, no fats — no vitamins.

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