Healthy Foods That Really Aren't Healthy
There's a lot of food labels out there that many of us think are the healthiest ever!
I'm not sorry to tell you that THEY'RE REALLY NOT WHAT YOU THINK THEY ARE.
In fact, in a 2015 Penn State study, researchers found that the more fitness-branded foods dieters bought, they more they ate and the less they exercised. So, potentially, your health-foods diet could pack more calories, fat, and ridiculously convoluted chemicals than your unhealthy diet ever did.
They're pretty and purple, and rack up lots of likes on Instagram—but you you should really look at açaí bowls as more of an occasional treat, not something you'd have as a meal, think of them as a replacement for ice cream.
Açaí bowls can have 50g of sugar [the equivalent of 12 teaspoons], or double what the American Heart Association recommends for women for an entire day.
And if you go heavy on the toppings, that number gets even higher. is basically a "sugar bomb".
Don’t count on veggie chips to increase your fiber and antioxidant intake for the day. While many veggie chip labels claim to have actual vegetables, they often contain veggie powders, which lack the same nutritional value, to give the chips a vibrant color. They also have a high sodium content (and maybe even sugar) to replicate the same flavor of potato chips.
For a healthier alternative, crunch into some raw carrots or celery sticks!
Rice cakes were pretty much one of the go-to health foods back in the ’80s and ’90s because of their low-calorie counts. But they actually rank really high on the glycemic index (GI). The GI measures how fast blood sugar rises in response to food. On a scale of one to 100, rice cakes come in at 82, meaning you’ll get some energy from it quickly, but you’ll quickly crash and be hungry again within an hour or two.
A little almond milk in your coffee or cereal can be a healthy alternative to dairy, but not all almond milks are created equal. Many almond milks contain a chemical called Carrageenan a food additive from red seaweed used to emulsify or thicken the milk that can disrupt your GI tract and cause other issues. Plus, almond milk lacks the most beneficial part of almonds — protein.
Most fruit juices are high in sugar because they strip the fiber from the whole fruits. This results in a drink with more sugar than your regular can of Coke.
Even though they're packed with healthy nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, juices—even green ones—are loaded with sugar. One 8 ounce of grape juice, for example, has about 170 calories, 42 grams of carbs, and 40 grams of sugar. (That’s more calories and sugar than a 12-ounce can of Coke.) You can’t build lean muscle with that many empty calories and sugars. Juicing extracts all of the fiber in fruits and vegetables that help you feel full and condenses a large amount of sugar in one small bottle that's too easy to drink in one sitting.
Even the “all-natural” ones may contain high-fructose corn syrup and additives.
Ideally, it should only contain one serving of fruit. The rest should be veggies.
Many diet frozen meals seem like the ideal on-the-go dish, but they often have many preservatives and more sodium than the daily recommended amount. Some TV dinners, like those labeled teriyaki or sweet-and-sour sauce, are loaded with sugar. For a quick weeknight meal, try a stir-fry or a sheet pan recipe made at home.
Throwing those veggie burgers on the grill might not do much for your health in the long run. In addition to bloat-inducing soy, many veggie burgers are loaded with salt, fat, and preservatives that make them a poor choice for anyone trying to eat healthier. Don’t make them your lunch everyday and think you’re feeding your body “veggies” because that’s opposite of what’s happening. Instead you can make your own from scratch and be 100% sure of what you’re putting into your system.
Veggie Spreads & Dips
Just because that chip dip has hints of green, it doesn’t mean you can bank on it for your veggie count of the day. They’re rich in saturated fats from sour cream, cream cheese, mayo, and other cheeses without additional nutrients.
Remember, fat isn’t bad! But choosing whole foods that contain healthy fats and extra nutrients like vitamins and minerals could be an easy swap.
As a healthier alternative, try hummus, other bean-based dips, basil pesto, cashew kimchi dip, sweet onion dip, and cashew cheese ( Made at home! ). You can add minced garlic and nutritional yeast to get that savory, Parmesan-like flavor in cashew cheese.
The truth is, if the packaging of a food says that it is healthy, then it probably isn't.
The truly healthy foods are those that don't need any health claims... whole, single ingredient foods.
Real food doesn't even need an ingredients list, because real food IS the ingredient!