When strolling down the aisle at the grocery store, it’s impossible not to notice all of the seemingly healthy foods available. Unfortunately, many of these items get an ‘A’ in marketing, and an ‘F’ in nutrition.
Don’t be fooled by all the earth-toned labels on your favorite “health” foods. Take a look at these 8 foods that really aren’t as good for you as you thought.
8. Snack Bars
Many snack bars are labeled as health foods and even meal substitutes, but are actually full of added sugars, preservatives, and artificial coloring and flavors. Instead of a nutritious snack, you’re practically eating a candy bar in disguise. When buying snack bars, be sure to read the ingredients and look for nuts, whole grains, and low sugar levels.
7. Wheat and Multi-Grain Breads
One of the oldest tricks in the health-food marketing book is disguising wheat and multi-grain breads as whole grains. Unless the ingredient list says “100 percent whole wheat,” you’re likely getting the same nutritional value as a piece of white bread. Wheat flour, like white flour, is made from enriched flours, which are refined and stripped of nutritional value during processing.
The breakfast staple across America is frequently full of sugars, refined grains, and preservatives. Even organic cereals can be ridiculously high in sugar. Just because that sugar is organic, doesn’t mean it has any nutritional value. If you must have your cereal to start the day, look for cereals with less than six grams of sugar per serving, and short ingredient lists.
5. Bottled Green Juices
Ever wonder why the green juice you make at home tastes nothing like the bottled green juices you buy at the store? The answer, yet again, is sugar. Some bottled juices contain more than 50 grams of sugar in one tiny bottle. Even if that sugar comes from natural sources like fruits, your body will process it the same as if you just ate a Kit-Kat.
4. Frozen Veggie Burgers
As surprising as this one may be, most conventional frozen veggie burgers don’t even contain that many vegetables. They are full of “textured vegetable protein,” which is made from soy or wheat, as well as processed soy.
Be sure to read the ingredient list, and look for whole grains, seeds, beans, and actual vegetables.
3. Gluten-Free Snacks
Many people seem to think that gluten-free is naturally healthier than wheat-based foods, however gluten-free snack are just as likely to be filled with sugar and carbs as any other chip, cookie, or bread.
Of course getting gluten-free food is important if you have celiac disease, but that doesn’t limit you to the gluten-free section. There’s a whole grocery store out there, so be sure to find your way to the fruits and vegetables, which are full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and empty of that pesky gluten ingredient.
2. Sports Drinks
Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade are packed with sugar and full of empty calories. One bottle of Gatorade- which has 35 grams of sugar- contains 8.3 teaspoons of sugar and 130 calories. These drinks were designed for athletes, so if you’re not engaging in extremely intense activity, it’s best to choose water.
1. Fat-Free Foods
For a long time, fat has been labeled as the enemy, but really we need healthy fats in our diet. Fat is vital in helping the body function, absorb nutrients, regulate hormones, and regulate appetite.
Fat-free and reduced fat options may seem like a good idea, but sugar, sodium, and chemical content levels spike to improve taste and mimic the texture of full-fat foods. Instead of fat-free, look for unsaturated fats like those found in nuts, fish, and avocados.
Have you ever noticed how unhealthy some of these foods are? Share with us in the comments.
[Featured image credit: www.thecomfortofcooking.com]