10 ’Healthy’ Foods That Actually Aren’t
Misleading information and ads may be causing you to consume foods you believe are healthy, but actually aren't. With so many options, it is understandable why choosing nutritious foods can be so confusing. Don't be fooled by these 10 foods that claim to be "healthy."
Health aisles in grocery stores continue to emerge and advertisements for "health" foods seem endless. With so many options, it is understandable how choosing nutritious foods can be so confusing. Do not let looks be deceiving with these 10 "healthy" foods that actually aren't!
1. "Wheat" Products
Don't let choosing wheat over white products misguide you to a health trap. Individuals often categorize "wheat" into a health food, when some products still contain refined flours and added sugars. Try looking for products that promote "whole grains" by taking advantage of the ingredient label.
2. Trail Mixes
In the search for a healthy on-the-go snack, trail mix seems to be that go-to. Prepackaged trail mix can be loaded with fat, sugar, and salt, equally resembling the nutrition label of a bag of candy. Prepare a "cleaner" product by purchasing fresh nuts and seeds without all the additives.
3. Granola Bars
A granola bar can be disguised as a candy bar, loaded with calories from added sugars and fat. The next time you think you are reaching for a "healthy" snack at the gas station, look for a granola or snack bar without additives and contains wholesome ingredients.
Do not be misguided with those "health" cereals! One cup of Raisin Bran contains almost about 19 grams of sugar with words like "sugar," "brown sugar syrup," and "corn syrup" on the ingredient label. So instead of assuming a grain cereal takes precedency over a bowl of Froot Loops, stay cautious of added sugars.
As a health effort, individuals often assume replacing butter with margarine would cut fat content. Unfortunately, some margarines contain hydrogenated oils, the manufactured form of trans fat. Evidence shows trans fat has a negative impact on health and contributions to heart disease. Look out for and avoid "hydrogenated oils," "partially hydrogenated oils," and "hydrogenation" products.
Reaching for that single container of yogurt might seem like the perfect snack option. Unfortunately, though, yogurts may offer more than you bargained for. The next time you pick out yogurt, be sure to look at the nutrition facts and ingredient label. Stray away from added sugars and try to go for Greek yogurt that is rich in protein.
7. "Sugar-Free" Desserts
When the word "sugar-free" is slapped on a food product, "healthy" comes to a lot of minds. However, it is important to understand sugar-free items are not typically free of calories, fat, and other unnatural ingredients. Artificial and alternative sweeteners may further cause uncomfortable gastrointestinal distress.
8. Frozen Diet Meals
Some frozen meals are targeted for weight loss. Although the convenience boxed meal may offer high protein while being low in calories, stay critical of the nutrition facts and ingredient labels. They can be filled with salt, sugar, and unrecognizable ingredients.
You may be reaching for a glass of apple or grape juice speculating they are loaded with nutrients. In reality, though, some juices are loaded with sugar just the way sodas are. The next time you grab for juice, be wary of added sugars or resort to the actual fruit that offers fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
10. Prepared Salads
People generally assume the word "salad" must be healthy. In reality, some offered salads can contain the same, if not more, calories and fat as a cheeseburger. Cut calories and fat by choosing grilled over fried chicken, a lighter vinaigrette over ranch dressing, and a small handful of slivered almonds over croutons.
Ultimately, there is not just one food that results to health. Instead, consume a well-balanced diet filled with whole grains, nutrient-rich produce, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Even those "unhealthy" foods can fit into a well-rounded diet every now and again, just pay attention and stick to small portions and serving sizes!