The 7 Healthy Foods You Should Actually Be Avoiding
There are a lot of foods that are considered to be “healthy,” but are they? Find out which ones are not truly good for you!
Nowadays, it is so easy to be deceived by marketing strategies and false information being spread around. A lot of products are advertised as “healthy,” “high-protein,” “low-fat,” or “non-fat” to appeal to those that want to take care of their health. False information or “food myths” are easy to spread now that the internet exists. If you are not really aware or familiar with ingredients that can be bad for you, it’s easy to eat something that you think is healthy, when it isn’t in reality. There are so many foods out there that are popularly regarded as a “health food” but it might just be good marketing or word of mouth. To help you out a bit, here are some of the most popular “health foods” that you may be consuming on a regular basis that actually do more harm than good:
Premade Smoothies, Shakes, or Juices
If you’re one to buy some premade or prepackaged smoothies, shakes, or juices for convenience, thinking that they’re just as healthy as something you made yourself, hold the juice carton! Prepackaged smoothies and shakes are usually high in sugar and carbohydrates that you don’t have when you make them at home. Additionally, pre-made juices usually go through a process called pasteurization, which heats the product to get rid of bacteria, but can compromise the useful nutrients of the veggies and fruits. The best thing to do is to make fresh smoothies or juices at home and drink that instead of buying some prepackaged ones.
It’s hard to believe that something with “vegetable” in its name would be unhealthy, but believe it or not, most vegetable oils can be bad for you. This is because they go through a lot of processing like bleaching, pressing, heating, and the addition of fillers and other chemicals that your body doesn’t need. These and the trans fats that they contain do your body more harm than good. You’re better off using organic plant oils like coconut oil or olive oil, which have healthy fats in them that are more healthy for your body.
Frozen Yogurt or Parfaits
Frozen yogurt has often been regarded as the healthier alternative to ice cream; however, this isn’t necessarily true. While plain or Greek yogurt is very healthy for you, frozen yogurt is something completely different. Greek or plain yogurt is usually tart due to the minimal amounts of sugar; frozen yogurt is often marketed as non-fat or low-fat, but their sugar content is still very high. Add to that the countless toppings at frozen yogurt shops or at home, like candies, chocolate, sugary cereals, canned fruit, and other treats, which are usually high in calories and sugar. Frozen yogurt should be regarded as a treat and not necessarily the “healthy” alternative to ice cream.
Protein bars are often popular with people who are dieting or working out because it’s advertised to be high in protein, vitamins, and minerals. However, they can actually set you back if you are trying to lose some weight. Despite the high protein and vitamin and mineral complex, protein bars are usually high in sugar and other not-so-healthy additives. You’re actually not that better off if you had just eaten a candy bar. Instead of a protein bar, just go for some fruit and nuts instead. Alternatively, there are ways you can make your own protein bars with all-natural ingredients, and low in sugar and calories.
Commercial Nut Butters
Nut butters are really nutritious and good for you on their own, but a lot of commercially sold nut butters can be deceiving. Often times, the nut butters are processed and contain unhealthy fillers, vegetable oils, and added sugars. If you buy some pre-made nut butters, make sure that you read the ingredients and nutritional information first. Ideally, you should pick the brand with only the nut and some salt as ingredients. Remember - if you can’t pronounce the ingredient, you probably shouldn’t eat it! Alternatively, you can make your own nut butter at home. It’s surprisingly easy!
Commercial Salad Dressing
Salads are considered to be the ultimate health or diet food and they definitely can be, but there is one ingredient that can completely set back the health effects of your salad: commercial salad dressing. Most people don’t pay attention to the dressing on top, but this is usually the ultimate mistake. Most commercially sold salad dressings are high in calories and filled with artificial ingredients, trans fat, sugar, and vegetable oils that basically undo the good that the salad does your body. Avoid these bottled salad dressings and instead, just go for your own homemade mix of olive oil and/or vinegar.
Granola is another food that’s very popular in the health community because of its high fiber and healthy carbohydrates. Not all granola is equal, though! Most are high in calories (500 per serving!) and sugar that defeats the purpose of all its good nutrients. If you’re going to go for granola, choose one that has minimal amounts of sugar and less calories, and of course, be wary of the serving size!
Eating right and getting fit is necessary to keep a healthy and long life. For some people, this comes naturally but for some, it takes motivation and commitment. It’s hard enough to resist unhealthy foods that you know are bad for you, and it’s even harder when you realize something you thought was healthy actually isn’t! To prevent that, do your research and be aware of nutrients, ingredients, and processes. Once you are familiar with them, make sure that you always read the nutrition label of whatever you buy!