It can be hard to tell the difference between foods that are labeled “healthy” and foods that are truly good for you. The marketing campaigns that food manufacturers create can make things even more confusing, especially when you aren’t sure whether “low fat” really means a food is healthier.
With a bit of background information about some of the worst “healthy” foods, you can make the most informed decisions about how you eat. Here are some of the worst offenders to look out for.
Granola and whole-grain cereals are full of wholesome, good-for-you ingredients, right? Well, not always, and the claims on the box shouldn’t be trusted without some fact-checking.
These foods often contain a ton of extra sugar and more calories than you realize, and even “high protein” varieties have very little protein. Always check the ingredients and nutrition facts before purchasing a seemingly healthy box of granola.
Alternatively, you can make your own granola at home. These pumpkin granola bars are one way to get creative with granola, but there are tons of recipes online.
When a food is labeled low fat or fat free, that typically means the food is heavily processed and full of extra sugar to make up for the loss of tasty fats.
These foods became popular when saturated fat was first villainized in the 1950s, but subsequent studies have found no link between saturated fat consumption and heart disease. So, enjoy your favorite foods without worrying about these labels.
Most of us could eat more veggies, but bottled green juices and smoothies probably aren’t the best source. Like many other “healthy” foods, they’re packed with sugar and low on vegetable content.
Instead, try making your own juice at home. Smoothies are also easy to make, and you can toss in a handful of spinach or kale to get more green things in your diet (you won’t even be able to taste it.)
High protein snacks are among today’s top food trends, but what actually constitutes a “high” amount of protein differs from one food manufacturer to the next. Many protein bars you see at the grocery store have far more fat and carbohydrates than protein.
Don’t trust the claims on the packaging, and see how much protein is actually in that bar.
Well, more specifically, flavored yogurt. Plain yogurts can be a healthy source of fat and protein, and they make a great snack.
However, flavored yogurts are often full of extra sugar. Like so many other supposedly healthy foods, you should always check the label to see how much sugar is in that container. If you want to sweeten your yogurt, try adding a drizzle of honey and some fruit. It’s an easy, healthy way to control how much sugar you’re eating.