In Part 1 of this post, we look a look at “healthy foods” that really weren’t as healthy as we’ve come to believe. Here are a few more healthy foods that are a lot less healthy than you might think:
Sure, they are fat-free, but fat isn’t the worst thing around! Not only are pretzels fairly high in calories, but they are all EMPTY calories from white flour. They offer no nutritional value, and they’re almost always high in sodium. It’s like eating a salted piece of white bread–definitely not as “healthy” as you’ve been led to believe!
Yogurt Covered Snacks
Just because it’s covered in yogurt, that doesn’t make it healthy! Think about it: yogurt covered raisins, pretzels, and other snacks are still as high in sugar and carbs as they were before they were covered in yogurt. In fact, there’s no guarantee that the covering is actually made of yogurt! If you want yogurt covered snacks, have a bowl of yogurt with raisins, cranberries, or whatever else you want!
Yes, you see athletes drinking them all the time, but how much time do you spend working out? Sports drinks are really only necessary when you work out for more than an hour. See, the drinks are made with electrolytes (sodium and potassium), which you lose when you sweat a lot. They also contain a bit of sugar, along with other minerals and vitamins. If you’re doing a high intensity workout for over 60 minutes, you need the nutrients the drinks offer. If not, you’re basically just drinking sweet water and adding more unnecessary calories to your diet.
If you’ve ever looked at the chemical composition of margarine, you will shudder! It’s loaded with vegetable oil, incredibly processed, and not at all healthy. It’s lower in saturated fats (no longer the villain we thought it was) and high in trans fats, making it an unhealthier version of butter.
If it’s flavored, it has added sugar–there’s no two ways about it. Have you ever compared the flavor of real strawberries to strawberry flavored yogurt? It’s startlingly different, and far less sweet than you realize. All flavored yogurts are rich in sugar and unnatural flavorings, so it’s far better to eat unsweetened yogurt and add fruit slices if you need fruit flavor.
Skim or Low Fat Milk
You know what makes milk so healthy? Partially the fats, but also a lot of the other nutrients it contains (such as calcium). When the manufacturer removes the fat from the milk, they also end up removing the other healthy nutrients. They then have to “enrich” or synthetically fortify the milk to make it anywhere near as healthy as it was. Fat-free dairy products are almost LESS healthy then their full-fat counterparts!
If you think fruit juice is healthy, you’ve got something coming! Fruit juice is basically all the sugar and sweetness of fruit, but with none of the fiber that stops it from hitting your system all at once. The processed juice is also almost entirely devoid of natural nutrients, so that glass of orange juice has far less Vitamin C than the actual orange. Any nutrients or vitamins are usually synthetically added once the juice is pasteurized and treated.
Yes, it’s made from oats, but those oats have been cooked with a lot of oil and sugar! The dried fruit and nuts in the granola add more calories and sugar, making granola far less healthy than you originally thought.