Suppose you are trying to eat healthily but find yourself at a loss. Not to worry, there could be a chance you've been bamboozled by the lure of "healthy" foods that are actually detrimental to your efforts!
Below is a list of 10 foods that you might have thought were healthy but—surprise—are not. Don't be fooled! This list will help guide your choices at the store (on that note, check out some grocery shopping tips) and help you stay on track with your health goals. When it comes to healthy foods, some might not be as healthy as you think.
Save up to 50% or more on your family's health care! Input your ZIP Code below for a free OneShare Health quote!
You May Think These Are Healthy Foods, But They Actually Aren't
1) Fruit Juices
While fruit juices may not seem unhealthy at first glance, you need to remember that they are mostly sugar! Avoid fruit juices if you are trying to lose weight and eat healthier. They are just unnecessary sugars and calories. Instead of squeezing your juice from an actual orange or cutting up grapefruit, drink plain old water. Doing this will not be as flavorful (or convenient), but it will help you lose weight much more effectively than a glass of OJ ever could.
Granola is a natural choice for breakfast or an afternoon snack, but not as healthy as you might think. Granola is often heavily processed and then coated in oil, sugar, and salt to make it palatable. Granola with high-quality ingredients like nuts and seeds will help get you closer to eating real food, but be wary of certain brands that will add sugar and oil to their products to enhance flavor. Read your labels!
3) Protein Powders
Protein powders are the go-to for health-conscious people. While protein is an addition to any diet, it is best not to rely on protein powders as your sole source of nutrition. Brands add sugar and other additives to their products, which take away from their health benefits. If you want to make sure you're getting enough protein from food sources like meat and eggs, skip the powder and add these foods into your diet instead.
Smoothies are a popular breakfast choice among people trying to eat healthily, but they may be doing more harm than good. When drinking smoothies, keep in mind that many are high in sugar and fat without much nutrition. In other words, their nutritional value is pretty low. While there are some well-rounded healthy smoothie recipes, don't drink smoothies as your primary breakfast item.
5) Raw Nuts and Seeds
Technically, raw nuts and seeds are healthy foods, but they are also easy to overeat. Overeating them is not so great on a diet since they are calorie-dense. Just one handful can contain up to 200 calories, so watch your portion sizes if you choose to eat them.
6) Soups and Sauces
Think soup and sauce are good for you? Think again. Most of these sauces and soups are full of sodium, fat, and calories that negate any health benefits you may think they offer. For example, a cup of broccoli cheddar soup packs about 730 calories and 35 grams of fat (20 percent of your daily allowance). On the other hand, a cup of minestrone has over 800 calories and 43 grams of fat. This is why the reading label is so important when it comes to weight loss.
While cereal is low in calories and fat, you have to look out for sugar. Popular cereals such as Kellogg's Froot Loops, have more sugar than Cinnamon Toast Crunch—and that does not even include added milk. If you're trying to eat healthily, opt for plain, high-fiber cereal instead—and pair it with fruit and skim milk to keep your calorie count down.
8) Snack Bars
Who doesn't love a good snack bar? Energy bars and granola bars are convenient, portable, and (usually) pretty tasty. However, a problem with these bars is that they can often be very high in sugar. While natural sources of fructose like fruit are okay in moderation, most commercial fructose comes from corn syrup or cane sugar—which are bad for weight loss.
9) Vegetable Oils
Among commonly consumed oils, corn oil and soybean oil are popular choices, as they are relatively low in saturated fat. However, these vegetable oils can lead to an increased risk of heart disease. This is because corn oil also has high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids. We need a balance of omega-3s and 6s; consuming too many omega-6s can cause inflammation throughout your body. While we don't yet know what causes that inflammation, we see that it contributes to heart disease by thickening our blood vessels (in much the same way trans fats do).
10) Frozen Meals
Frozen meals might seem like an excellent alternative to takeout—particularly if you're looking for quick and healthy recipes that are ready to go. However, studies have shown that frozen meals contain harmful trans fats, increasing bad cholesterol and decreasing good cholesterol. According to Harvard Medical School, each meal can contain 3 grams of trans fat per serving. So at that point, it is just best to eat fresh.
What foods do you try to incorporate into your healthy diet? Are you guilty of eating any of these bad foods? Leave a comment and let us know!
Save up to 50% or more on health care!
If you don't want to go the Obamacare route, and also want to save money on your care, check out our Health Care Sharing Ministry that's exempt from the ACA. OneShare Health is an alternative to traditional insurance coverage, we are a Health Care Sharing Ministry that could start saving you thousands per year on your healthcare!
Click below to learn more or get your free OneShare Health quote today.
"Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act."
Proverbs 3:27 (NIV)