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

10. Pre-made Smoothies Being healthy is one thing; eating healthy is another. You can put in all the exercise in the world, but if you’re not… Trista - November 10, 2020
Skip store-made smoothies and blend your own with wholesome ingredients. Greens Smoothies

10. Pre-made Smoothies

Being healthy is one thing; eating healthy is another. You can put in all the exercise in the world, but if you’re not eating healthy, then there’s no point in all of that hard work. That’s why more people are turning to smoothies to help them get the nutrition they need while not having to spend time making a meal. It’s a quick drink that can be taken on the go and ingested while you’re working out so that you can go for much longer. But there’s a difference between the smoothies you make at home and the smoothies you buy in the store.

Pre-made smoothies are mostly made with fruit juice as the base instead of raw fruit, meaning that there are already many unnecessary sugars in them. It will give you a big sugar crash when you least expect it, requiring you to ingest even more calories to keep going. Forego the store’s smoothies and choose to make your own at home with fresh fruits, yogurt, and protein powder.

Did you know that diet pop is just as bad as regular pop, but for a different reason. Pinterest

9. Diet Sodas

The biggest culprit of daily calories is sugar. Of course, it can be challenging to cut out all sugar from your diet, but there is a difference between healthy sugars and refined sugars. It’s the refined sugars that are the big problem, as they add much sweetness but otherwise don’t have any nutritional value. So when diet sodas came on the scene, stating that they had no sugar and no calories whatsoever, people flocked to them like they were the next miracle cure for weight loss. Unfortunately, these diet sodas aren’t much better for you.

Drinking diet sodas cause the body to bloat and promote overeating, leading to more calories and gaining more weight. That defeats the point of avoiding non-diet sodas altogether. Studies have also shown that drinking diet soda increases your chances of type-2 diabetes and osteoporosis. If you have a craving for the fizzy stuff, consider flavored carbonated water instead. There’s much less sugar, and although the flavor takes some getting used to, it’s a lot healthier for you.

These bowls have been popular for a while now, so make sure you double check the labels before you eat. Chowhound

8. Acai Bowls

What could go wrong with bowls made of fruit? Doctors have been saying that eating more fruit daily is much better for you. The concept of an acai bowl sounds pretty healthy, but pre-made acai bowls are more like desserts than anything else. They’re full of fruit, sure, but there’s so much fruit, extra sugar, and flavored yogurt that eating one can be counterproductive to your weight loss goals. What’s worse is that pre-made bowls try to add granola and nut kinds of butter to tout them as being even more healthy, but that only makes them worse.

Instead of buying acai bowls at the store, you can make healthier options at home with raw fruit, fresh Greek yogurt, and some chopped walnuts. You’re more than likely going to make your bowl a lot smaller as well so that you’re not eating as many calories that’s in those pre-made bowls. Raw fruits will have higher fiber content, which will help you digest the fruit sugars much more quickly so that your body isn’t storing them unnecessarily.

Instead of buying this stuff at the store, make your own without all of the candy. Pinterest

7. Pre-made Trail Mix

Trail mix is advertised as a healthy snack that provides you with the energy and protein you need while you’re hiking or engaging in some vigorous exercise. The majority of trail mix is chock-full of peanuts, which can be great for giving you energy. But these trail mixes also contain dried cranberries and chocolate pieces to make them more enticing and sweet. These ingredients add unnecessary calories to your trail mix, making them a lot more unhealthy.

To keep better control over calorie count, it’s pretty easy to make your own trail mix at home with a collection of mixed nuts without any salt. That way, you get all of the protein and good fats without the unnecessary calories of sugar. Stick to a serving size of a few tablespoons at a time; however, eating too many nuts will also contribute to weight gain.

This naturally-fermented tea is very trendy, but not as healthy as you think. The Spruce Eats

6. Kombucha

Have you ever heard of this? It is the new trend of staying healthy by promoting good gut flora. Kombucha is naturally-fermented tea, so it has a slight vinegar taste that takes some people to get used to. Overall, it’s pretty healthy, but you should be incredibly wary about the brands you buy. That is because a majority of kombucha consists of fermented yeast. That doesn’t sound like a bad thing, but drinking kombucha could make them worse for some people.

Some individuals already have an overgrowth of yeast in their digestive tracts, so drinking kombucha is only adding to that problem instead of fixing their digestive issues. Other sources of naturally-fermented foods use bacteria instead of yeast to help gut flora flourishes, such as pickles, kimchi, and sauerkraut. They can be mixed into a salad, added to a sandwich, or dropped into any recipe you may be making for dinner. Your stomach will thank you for it, and you won’t have the problem of added yeast to your digestive tract.

Don’t eat the store versions of this healthy snack if you really want to get the best nutritional value. Wikipedia

5. Muesli

Muesli is a great way to start your day, as it’s packed with fruits and fiber that give you the energy you need to start the day. It can be one of the healthiest things you eat on a given day, but it’s vital that you read the labels to see what your muesli is made of. Any muesli with a lot of dried fruit will have a lot of added sugar for the fruit to taste nice. A high percentage of nuts is also not a good idea, as those also add many calories to your breakfast.

Muesli sold in stores also has added sugar in it to make it more enticing to consumers. You can cut back on the caloric intake by having smaller servings instead of eating it like regular cereal. Look for brands labeled as “unsweetened” and have more grains than fruit and nuts. You could also try your hand at making your own muesli by buying the ingredients separately in the bulk section of your grocery store and mixing it in a plastic storage container.

These snacks are unhealthy, despite having the word ‘veggie’ in the title. Facebook

4. Veggie Straws

Eating more vegetables in your daily diet is a great way to stay healthy. They’re full of vitamins and minerals that you need, they provide you with the necessary fiber, and they’re generally more beneficial than other foods you could be eating every day. That’s why many people consider veggie straws to be a great way to introduce children to vegetables. True, they may look like spinach and carrots, but the veggie straws only get that color from the vegetables’ powder form.

That means that all essential nutrients are taken out, leaving you with no better snacks than potato chips. If you’re invested in trying to get your children to eat more vegetables, you could consider getting a dehydrator and making your own veggie chips for them to snack on. And by eliminating sunflower oil and extra salt put into veggie straws, you’re giving them an even healthier snack while still providing them with nutritious food.

Eating dried fruit does not have the same benefits as fresh fruit. My Fitness Pal

3. Dried Fruit

It can be challenging to eat fruits on the go because they can be incredibly messy. Not to mention that they can be difficult to travel with because they bruise so easily in a purse or backpack. The development of dried fruit has sort of helped with that problem, making it easier for people to bring a healthy source of vitamin C with them on the go that they can snack on alone or drop into their favorite yogurt during lunch.

Dried fruit, however, can be a dangerous slope to slide down when it comes to eating healthy. Because the fruit has been shrunk in size, it becomes tempting for people to eat even more of them. Overeating fruit doesn’t seem like a bad idea, but with all of the juice gone, the sugar is even more concentrated, resulting in more sugar being digested by the body and putting on more weight. Whole fruit is a much better option, and it can be easily transported by cutting it up into slices and carrying them in a small Tupperware container.

Although it seems better than other alternatives, second guess having this snack. Wikipedia

2. Agave Nectar

With people trying to avoid sugar as much as possible, they’ve been looking for alternative sweetness sources for their cooking purposes or adding to their tea or coffee. Many people have chosen to use agave nectar, seeing it as a more natural sugar source than corn syrup. However, most agave nectars are highly processed to make them sweeter, making them not that much different from corn syrup.

Agave nectar, when digested, also goes straight to the liver when it’s absorbed. That is why agave nectar is believed to be suitable for people with diabetes since it doesn’t raise blood sugar. However, this puts the liver under a lot of stress as it works overtime to work on agave nectar. That can eventually lead to liver conditions and diseases in the future. To give your liver a break, you’re better off using plain honey or just a light sprinkling of sugar.

Double check labels to make sure it actually has the ingredients it so claims. Go Dairy Free

1. Sweetened Nut Milk

Finding alternatives for milk has made the market explode with different variants, everything from soy and almond milk to oat milk and rice milk. These are great options for those who are lactose intolerant or are looking for a way to get their calcium without the extra calories and fat of cow’s milk. People make a mistake by buying sweetened milk to have it taste as close to cow’s milk as possible. That’s because there’s a lot of added sugar, making these milk alternatives even less healthy than they need to be.

Look for nut milks that are labeled as “unsweetened” to avoid all of those unnecessary sugars so that you’re not putting on extra weight. The new taste may take some getting used to, especially if you’re using to having cow’s milk all your life, but you’ll come to appreciate the change. Nut kinds of milk also don’t spoil in your fridge as quickly as cow’s milk, so you’re getting more value for your dollar if you can drink it all instead of throwing out milk that spoils within a week.

Sources:

https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/go-red-get-fit/unhealthy-foods
https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/
https://www.healthline.com/
https://www.isitbadforyou.com/
https://www.blissfulbasil.com/
https://www.independent.co.uk/
http://www.eatingwell.com/article/283568/which-peanut-butter-is-best-reduced-fat-vs-natural-peanut-butter/
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2833354/
https://cascadehealth.org/healthiest-fat/

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