That’s right, unfortunately when they told us these foods were good for us, they lied. (Even more tragic is the fact that many very healthy natural foods have been vilified by the processed food industry, but we’ll save that for a later post!)
Not only are these foods not as good for you as you thought they were, but in some cases they could actually be harming your health!
1. Juices and Smoothies
“Even though they’re packed with healthy nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, juices—even green ones—are loaded with sugar…” says nutritionist Rania Batayneh, M.P.H….
2. Veggie Chips
If your carrot chips are carrot chips and your parsnip chips are parsnip chips, that’s one thing. But, more often than not, veggie chips are just potato chips with some veggie powder sprinkled in for coloring…. Many veggie chips are just as fattening as the potato chips you’re likely trying to avoid. You can also make better, healthier (and better-tasting) veggie chips at home. Thinly slice beets, carrots, and sweet potatoes, drizzle them with olive oil, and bake them at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until they’re crisp. Sprinkle them with herbs and spices for some extra flavor.
3. Gluten-Free Snacks
“When you remove the gluten out of a food product, you’re taking away the ingredient that provides that delicious, chewy texture in breads, muffins, cakes, pasta, and more. To make up for the loss of flavor and texture, food manufacturers often add in other fillers, including sugars, fats, and other chemical additives…. Sure, if you are gluten intolerant you shouldn’t eat gluten-containing packaged foods. But everyone should shoot to remove all packaged foods, not just ones with gluten, from his diet.”
4. Smart Cereals
Far too often, “smart,” “whole grain,” “healthy” cereals aren’t all that different than the sugary stuff you ate as a kid…. Instead of looking at the front of the box to make your selection, look at the back. The cereal should contain fewer than 10 grams of sugar per serving, at least 5 grams fiber per serving, and contain bran in the ingredients….
5. Protein Bars
“Many protein bars contain as much sugar as a candy bar but with a few extra grams of protein. As a result, you’re getting a few grams of protein—often from questionable sources—along with copious amounts of sugar, trans fats, and other fillers,” Batayneh says. Get your protein from whole foods like eggs, meat, poultry, fish, beans, and legumes, even after a workout.
6. Quinoa Pasta
Quinoa is, without question, an incredibly healthy food. It contains fewer carbs and sugars than regular pasta, and it’s packed with protein and all of the essential amino acids your body needs to build muscle. Unfortunately, many quinoa pastas contain more corn flour, a cheap gluten-free flour, than anything else….
7. Multigrain Bread
“Multigrain breads only indicate that the bread contains multiple grains. It says nothing about their degree of refinement,” Batayneh says. Refined grains have been extensively processed, …leaving only simple carbs that spike your blood sugar and promote weight gain….
8. Nut Butters
Don’t get us wrong; all nut butters aren’t bad. A spoonful of peanut and almond butters can be easy ways to add protein and health fats into your day. But… “Some nut butters, even those labeled as natural, contain added sugars or trans fats, harmful fats that increase bad cholesterol and decrease good cholesterol.” Before you buy, make sure the only ingredient is nuts….
9. Fruit-at-the-Bottom Yogurt
Yogurt’s healthy, fruit’s healthy, so how does this one go wrong? With the spoonfuls of fruit-flavored syrup the fruit’s floating in, Batayneh says. A typical six-ounce fruit-at-the-bottom yogurt container contains 29 grams of carbs and 24 of sugar. That’s the equivalent of a candy bar….
10. Pre-Prepared Salads
“If it comes down to chicken nuggets or a prepackaged salad, the salad is most likely healthier, but that doesn’t mean it’s necessarily healthy.” Many prepackaged salads you’ll find at restaurants, airport terminals, and supermarkets contain upwards of 1,000 calories…. Look for ingredient labels and make sure neither calories nor sodium is through the roof. Or, better yet, make your own salad.