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Healthy Foods That Aren’t
Healthy or not healthy? Not a simple question these days. While most are aware banana splits and double bacon cheeseburgers are not the best choices when watching your waistline, some foods you least suspect can also be troublemakers.
Be on the lookout for these 10 foods
- Yogurt. We all like to think of yogurt as healthy, but as it turns out, many of the most popular yogurt brands have more sugar than a Twinkie. Don’t worry yogurt fans, you are not completely out of luck. Try looking for a lower sugar brand with no artificial sweeteners.
- Honey. “It’s natural.” That’s a common saying. People often offer it as a guilt-free reason to eat something sweet. The snack may be natural, but it still contains sugar, and not enough redeeming nutritional value to make it healthy.
- Juice. Orange juice, apple juice, cranberry juice, etc. Juice can be the quickest way to gain weight. It takes a minute—actually, less than a minute—for most people to drink 150 calories, not to mention how sick it can make your liver which can easily lead to type II diabetes. Gulp.
- Wheat bread. Just because a package says “wheat” doesn’t make it healthy! Only whole wheat or whole grain count as a healthier option, make sure “whole” is the very first word in the ingredients list.
- “Organic” or “Paleo”. To be clear, there’s nothing inherently wrong with organic or paleo products. The problem is the common misconception that when we see “organic” or “paleo” on the label many assume that it means the food is healthy. It does not. “Organic sugar” is still sugar which will work against your weight control efforts, and “paleo” simply refers to a specific list of food items that fall under that category (honey being one of them). See above.
- Diet Soda. If you’ve made the switch from sugary drinks to diet soda’s you may not be doing your body any favors. In fact, diet drinks may be worse than regular soda for your health, but simply terrible for you at best. If you are asking yourself which would be better, ask yourself the same question about heroin or crack. Arguably, there might be a better option, but clearly both are terrible for you and should be avoided.
- Salad. Wait. What? Hold on now, I’ll clarify. If you are throwing together a bunch of your favorite greens and other veggies and adding a bit of your favorite dressing you are probably doing well, especially if you also put a few ounces of lean protein on top. Unfortunately, so many of the salads that are sold in restaurants or that we make at home are loaded with extra unhealthy ingredients, dressings, and/or a lot of healthy-but high in calorie-items like avocado, cheese and nuts. Remember that too many calories are still too many calories even if they are from healthy sources.
- Granola Bars & Trail Mix. Many people consider granola bars and trail mix to be a convenient and healthy snack. In some cases, granola bars and trail mix can be a good source of fiber and energy. However, some contain as much sugar, carbs, and calories as candy bars. Don’t be fooled, always check the label!
- Fat-free. Do you know what regular food tastes like when all the fat has been taken out of it? Well, it tastes like cardboard. No one would want to eat it. The food manufacturers know this and therefore they add other things to compensate for the lack of fat. Usually these are sweeteners- sugar, high fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners like aspartame.
- Smoothies. Okay, this one is a little tricky. The smoothies made at stores (like Jamba Juice or Fresh Monkey) may contain real fruit and have added protein, but they are packed with sugar and calories. However, smoothies made at home are much healthier, just stay away from adding unhealthy ingredients. For example: instead of using fruit juice as a liquid base, try using water, coconut water, or even almond milk to prevent a big sugar rush. Your body will thank you!