Your food might not be as healthy as you may think! Salad, energy bars, smoothies, fat-free foods, they’re good for you right? Well think again…Not trying to add insult to injury, but many of those diet friendly foods out there are diet busting foods. Some foods are obvious healthy choices- grilled chicken, leafy spinach. But some foods have a “healthy” stamp, even though they are actually super high in carbohydrates, fat, and calories.
According to “askmen.com,” unhealthy health foods are disguised by words like “organic,” “all-natural,” “whole grain,” and “veggie”. Just remember this- a calorie, is a calorie, is a calorie. You might feel less guilty scarfing down a box of fat-free cookies, but you may actually be eating more calories than you would if you treated yourself to a regular cookie.
Below are a list of 13 surprisingly unhealthy foods that many think are healthy for us.
13- Restaurant/Chain Smoothies
Fruits are some of the first things that people think of when they are asked to name healthy foods. With that being said, many people assume that fruit smoothies are super-duper healthy. Well think again… While smoothies start out healthy, with a base of fruit and low-fat yogurt, they are soon transformed into sugar packed drinks that are more like a high-calorie treat. According to Cooking Light Magazine, many smoothie chains and restaurants are creating “disproportionately large serving sizes that often contain up to 500 calories.” Most smoothies have oversized portions, which lead to an immediate blow to your daily carb count.
12- Breakfast Cereal
Cereals are the epitome of convenient, processed and ready to eat foods. Here’s the kicker when it comes to the ever-popular cereal… According to “askmen.com,” all packaged, dry cereals are processed using a method known as extrusion. This process destroys most of the grains natural nutrients, vitamins, and protein content. That doesn’t sound healthy at all! “Readers Digest” calls cereal “a dessert in disguise… like scarfing down a chocolate éclair.” For example, 1 serving of “Fruit Loops” contains 34.2 grams of sugar. So don’t be fooled by the cereal companies thinking you are eating a healthy and balanced breakfast. Sugar and synthetic vitamins doesn’t sound too healthy when you think about it….
11- Veggie Chips
Veggie chips seem like a healthy alternative when you are craving something salty and crunchy. However, many veggie chips are nothing more than potato flour with freeze-dried vegetable flakes, which gives them the color. They are no better nutritionally than ordinary potato chips, and are often just as high in fat, sodium, and calories. But what about the “veggie” aspect? Bad news… Once the veggies are processed into chips, many of the vitamins and other beneficial aspects are destroyed.
10- Soy Milk
Due to its natural unpleasant odor and taste, soy milk is often loaded with sweeteners and artificial flavors. Another concern discussed on “askmen.com,” is that 90% of U.S. and 60% of Canadian soy beans are genetically engineered and are one of the “most heavily sprayed crops,” which we all know contain questionable health effects.
9- Diet Soda
It has the word “diet” so it must be healthy right? Well that would be a big negative. Yes, diet sodas have zero calories, which aids in allowing dieters to drink guilt-free. Unfortunately once you read the following, you probably won’t be drinking guilt-free any longer. According to “askmen.com,” when it comes to diet sodas, they don’t help us lose weight, they actually “make us fat.” An overwhelming amount of studies have shown that there was a 200% increased risk of obesity in diet soda drinkers. But why? Scientists think that due to artificial sweeteners, our brains are fooled into thinking we ate sugar, resulting in our pancreas to pump out insulin. Artificial sweeteners also stimulate hunger and make you crave more sweets and carbs.
8- Bottled Green Tea
“It will cleanse your body, mind and spirit…” Well then it must be healthy! Reality is, bottled tea has very little health benefits compared to traditionally prepared tea (tea leaves and water, nothing else). Many brands also have way too much sodium and artificial ingredients. A report by “Consumerlab.com” found very little EGCG, which is the primary antioxidant in green tea, in several brands of bottled green tea. Here’s an example, SoBe Green Tea has 61 grams of sugar in every bottle, which is the same as eating three chocolate-fudge Pop-Tarts.
7- Supermarket Sushi
Sushi has an awesome reputation for being healthy as its light, contains vegetables, seaweed, uncooked fish, and super delicious. There are many contributors to how, in the West, we have made sushi an unhealthy food. For example, adding mayonnaise, cream cheese, and refined white rice seasoned with sugar are huge elements. According to “askmen.com,” a typical sushi roll has about 350 calories, which is equivalent to four slices of bread. Here’s another example, two servings of California rolls, which are one of the most popular bought at a supermarket, has 740 calories and 22 grams of sugar.
Wraps aren’t much different than breads. Here’s an example, according to “askmen.com,” if you get a 6-inch turkey sandwich, which contains 46 grams of carbs, and replace the bread with the wrap, you’ll add 11 more grams of carbs. Also, most wraps are made of refined white flour, which can quickly raise your blood glucose levels. Other problems with wraps is that people tend to load them with creamy, fattening, sugar filled spreads and sauces.
5- Sports Drinks
Many vitamin and sports drinks are jam-packed with artificial sweeteners. Picture yourself drinking 8 tablespoons of sugar… Well many sports drinks are just that- sugar! Here’s an example- 20 ounces of Gatorade contains 35 grams of sugar, which is equal to 8.3 teaspoons of sugar. You can find hundreds of drinks on the market today that are loaded with vitamins, fiber, probiotics, etc. The downside is that many drinks with numerous ingredients have added calories, mostly in the form of simple sugars.
That yummy delicious hazelnut spread we all know as Nutella, claims that it’s an example of “a tasty yet balanced breakfast.” According to “askmen.com” the reality is Nutella, and other hazelnut spreads, contain close to 70% modified palm oil, which is basically processed sugar. The only healthy thing about the spread are the hazelnuts, but unfortunately only about 10% of the spread is hazelnut. The rest is fat and sugar.
3- Energy Bars
What may seem like the perfect healthy snack, many energy bars are filled with high amounts of sugar and fats. According to Cooking Light Magazine, some energy bars contain more than 350 calories each, particularly meal replacement varieties. Many snacks that are marketed as energy bars are nutritionally similar to candy bars, especially when it comes to the sugar content. In fact, according to Dr. Oz’s website “many energy, fiber and protein bars are two steps away from a candy bar!” Here’s an example, a PowerbarProtein Plus Chocolate Brownie energy bar has 360 calories while a Snickers has 250 calories.
2- Foods labeled “Low-Fat” or “Fat-Free”
Here’s the important tid-bit when it comes to this one- Fat-free does NOT mean calorie-free. According to Cooking Light Magazine, just because a food does not have any fat, doesn’t mean it’s a health food. When fat is removed from a product, its sodium and sugar content are usually increased to mimic the full-fat flavor. Now we aren’t talking about fat-free foods like fruits and vegetables, which are obviously healthy. One example is low-fat peanut butter- In low-fat versions the natural peanut oil is removed and the not-so-good hydrogenated vegetable oils are kept in, along with tons of sugar. “Askmen.com” uses Skippy’s peanut butter as an example- the low-fat version has 25% less fat, but it has the same number of calories as the original. It looks like the best thing to do is stick to the real stuff, not commercial, as there are no added oils, fillers and sugars.
According to Cooking Light Magazine, “don’t assume that anything with the word ‘salad’ in it must be healthy.” Prepared salads are the worst as they are loaded with high calorie ingredients. For example, prepared tuna and chicken salad are both packed with mayonnaise. Another salad we automatically go to when we think “healthy” is the Caesar salad. A super common entrée in almost every restaurant, the Caesar salad is loaded with unhealthy items. To start off, the croutons, while tasty, only add unnecessary calories, salt and other potential harmful compounds to the salad. The dressing is the major contributor to fat and calories. For example, according to “askmen.com,” two tablespoons- yes, two tablespoons, of dressing contains 163 calories and 17 grams of fat