Common ‘Health Foods’ That Are Really Junk Foods in Disguise

Common 'Health Foods’ That Are Really Junk Foods in Disguise
Are all oatmeal’s created equal? Shutterstock.

2. Flavored Instant Oatmeal

Oats are definitely healthy eats, but instant oatmeal often gets a bad wrap. A bowl of classic oatmeal packs a hearty dose of vitamins, protein and cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber. Oats are definitely healthy eats, but instant oatmeal often gets a bad wrap. Flavored instant oatmeal (think: maple brown sugar or apple cinnamon) are often high in added sugar and sodium.

Look for oatmeal varieties that list the first ingredient as ‘oats,’ contain less than six grams of sugar, and less than 140 milligrams of sodium per serving. Or choose steel-cut or rolled oats and flavor it using your own cinnamon, nutmeg, and fresh fruit. Like traditional oatmeal, instant is a whole-grain, high-fiber, nutritious food, according to The American Heart Association. With flavored products, though, watch the sodium and sugar levels—aim for less than 250 mg sodium and 12 g sugar per serving.

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