These Supposedly “Healthy” Foods Aren’t Exactly What They Claim To Be
Whether you’re training tirelessly in the gym for a marathon or just cranking out some ab-burning exercises in the middle of your living room floor, staying active keeps your body healthy and helps you live longer. What you put into your body when it comes to food is the other side of the wellness equation.
Science has helped humans understand which foods nourish and replenish the body, and which ones only serve as guilty calorie-riddled pleasures. However, although you may think you know the good from the bad, there are plenty of unhealthy products masquerading as just the opposite. Appetites beware, your diet’s in for a scare.
1. Veggie chips: People tend to grab these bags instead of potato chips because of the word “veggie.” But, they’re still deep-fried in saturated and trans fats, and that spells problems.
2. Flavored yogurt: People turn to yogurt for a quick snack when they’re hungry. Many brands advertise themselves as low fat, but they pack those containers with sugar and other artificial additives.
3. Trail mix: If you’ve ever checked out the serving sizes of most trail mixes, they’re alarmingly small. Most people eat far more than they should, and it doesn’t help that many of them are full of salt, fat, and sugar.
4. Canned soup: If you have the option to make soup with organic ingredients from scratch, always do it. The canned stuff is often loaded with salt and far less nutritious. Don’t get into the habit of eating them.
5. Flavored instant oatmeal: In an ideal world, a bowl of oatmeal contains less than six grams of sugar per serving. However, that flavored oatmeal you find at supermarkets comes loaded with sugar and salt.
6. Frozen diet meals: It doesn’t matter what the box claims, frozen meals are never as nutritious as making the real thing. Salt and preservatives run rampant so that the meal stays intact while sitting in your freezer.
7. Packaged smoothies: The word “healthy” is synonymous with “smoothie.” The drinks are full of fruits and veggies, right? If you make one fresh, yes. But, those store-bought smoothies are full of fat and sugars.
8. Pretzels: These savory snacks are frequently advertised as a healthy way to satisfy hunger, but unfortunately that’s not the case. Pretzels are refined carbohydrates, which basically means sugar, sugar, and more sugar.
9. Protein bars: Many brands claim they act as meal replacements, which is very misleading to consumers. They hardly keep people full for very long, and there are many artificial additives and hidden sugars.
10. Diet soda: Even though chugging a can of your favorite diet soft drink may save you from consuming a lot of sugar, the artificial sweeteners companies use to replace sugar can actually be even worse for you!
11. Reduced-fat peanut butter: Smearing crackers with peanut butter is a common snack, but those who use low-fat peanut butter aren’t eating healthier. Sugar is added to make up for the fat, and that’s a huge no-no.
12. Vegetarian meat: Those who don’t eat meat but still want that carnivorous flavor settle on “meat” made out of veggies. Sure, the meat’s absent, but other ingredients like canola oil and xantham gum tend to creep in.
13. Beef jerky: This dried out meaty snack likes to parade around as a healthy source of protein. While they may offer protein, the preservation process includes a lot of salt which can lead to bloating and water retention.
14. Fat-free salad dressing: Many of the vitamins found in salads actually need a bit of fat to fully absorb into the body. Fat-free dressings strip us of the opportunity to break down many of the nutrients in the vegetables.
15. Fat-free frozen yogurt: Another classic example of people buying into the notion of “fat-free” it doesn’t contain fat, the stuff is chock-full of (you guessed it) sugar to make up for it. Just ask a dentist.
16. Gluten-free snacks: A lot of people have taken up a gluten-free lifestyle because they assume it’s much healthier. However, gluten-free doesn’t mean free of sugar, salts, and saturated fats.
17. Granola: What most people don’t take into consideration about this super popular food item is that the serving sizes are way smaller than they think. Each handful is teeming with fat and sugar.
18. Juice: Packaged fruit juice is in no way as healthy as actually eating the fruits. They’re loaded with sugar for flavor (sensing a trend?), and they’re missing the fiber content actual fruits contain.
19. Coconut oil: People trying to avoid olive oil usually turn to this popular alternative, but the truth is it’s really not any better. The oil is full of saturated fat. Many nutritionists recommend sticking to olive or avocado oil.
20. Acai bowls: At first glance, acai bowls look like they’re teeming with healthy stuff. While the foundation might be nutritious, many people load them up with high-calorie and high-sugar foods like granola and fruit.