All too often, people are fooled by misleading food labels or ads that boast about how “healthy” their product is. If only you knew that “no sugar-added” or “all natural” aren’t always all they’re cracked up to be. Below I’ve compiled a list of the top “healthy” foods you may want to rethink.
We hear fruit and we think it’s healthy right?? Well a lot of fruit smoothies are made with a sugary yogurt or juice base that is far from healthy and can often contain as much, if not more sugar than a serving of soda. Not to mention, these smoothies can be packed with way more than a normal serving of fruit, loading on the calories.
You want to be careful with this one because depending on the lettuce or other green leafies used along with toppings, a very healthy salad can quickly become extremely unhealthy. Iceberg lettuce for example, has pretty much little to no nutritional value. What’s more, is people will often pack on cheese, dressing, salty deli meats, fried chicken, croutons, and other bready toppings. Steer clear of all this and stick to light dressings like balsamic vinegar, or even lemon juice. Sometimes if you have a delicious blend of vegetables, you wont need any dressing at all!
While yogurt is certainly a great source of protein, calcium, vitamin D, and probiotics for a healthy digestive system, they can also be loaded with sugar, some even contain over 30 grams! This is a big red flag! Skip the sugar yogurt and choose unsweetened yogurt, then add some of your favorite berries or other fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth.
This one can be tricky because at first glance, you may think, “fabulous, it doesn’t have sugar!”, but in reality, there are naturally occurring sugars, and A LOT of them. Take fruit juices for example. Often times there won’t be any sugar added, but that doesn’t make drinking juice better. A cup here or there won’t kill you, but when you have 2,3,4,5 and more glasses of juice a day, those naturally occurring sugars (and calories) add up, providing very limited and sometimes no other nutritional benefits. Try squeezing some lemon or lime into some chilled water. This is a very thirst quenching option.
Nutrition, Protein & Breakfast Bars
This one’s a doozie. Many people grab these in the morning when they’re on the go, thinking they are eating a decent breakfast when in fact these can add a ton of fat, calories, carbs, and sugar to your diet. Great way to start the day right? Wrong! Steer clear of these as much as you can and opt for fresh non processed food for breakfast like a boiled egg, and some fresh fruit.
Often times, when used in their appropriate serving size, condiments won’t break your healthy diet, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to go WAY over the recommended serving size. Hummus is a big. It can be a great option when you stick to 1 or 2 tbsp, but start going over and the calories really add up. Ketchup and even barbecue sauce can add a lot more sugar than you bargain for, while tomato sauce adds sugar and lots of calories. Watch your condiment usage with a close eye or find healthier alternatives!
The term “natural” is not regulated by the government so companies can use this term pretty loosely, marketing products as natural that have no business being described as such. My advice? Do your research before-hand so you know exactly what is going into the product your buying. You’ll often find there’s nothing natural about it!
Granola can be a great source of fiber, healthy fats, & omega 3’s, but it is also very calorie dense. The serving size is generally pretty small, but people tend to go way over this limit, packing on the calories and sugar. Stick to the serving size or skip it altogether.
What do you do to avoid these health traps?
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