You may be surprised to learn that some “healthy” foods are not very healthy at all. Here is a list of some of our top pretenders:
Packaged popcorn can have high levels of a chemical called diacetyl and not to mention the unnecessary sodium. Stick to the old-fashioned style and pop your kernels on the stove.
Light Salad Dressing
Although the label may say “light”, the ingredient list on light salad dressing is still packed full of preservatives, sodium, and sugars. It’s best to try substituting your dressings with extra virgin olive oil or balsamic vinegar.
Prepackaged or not, a yummy trail mix is going to be filled with salt and sugars from flavored nuts and chocolate. Read the labels carefully, a small handful could be as much as 300 calories!
Flavored, Fat-Free Yogurt
Although it may be fat-free, the additives in flavored fat-free yogurt should have you second-guessing this choice. From just one 6-ounce serving, there could be 15 grams of sugar. As an alternative, garnish a fat-free Greek yogurt with fresh fruit or honey.
If you’re looking for a way to get your greens in, pasta isn’t the way to do it. After processing, there’s little to no spinach actually left in spinach pasta and hardly any nutritional value.
Low-fat / Fat-Free Foods
Low-fat foods have the fat reduced during the manufacturing process. But removing the fat also removes the flavor. To boost the flavor, low-fat foods are often packed with added sugar and salt. As such, reaching for low-fat foods is not as healthy as you might think.
Bread that is actually healthy for you will say “100% whole wheat” as well as have at least two grams of fiber per slice. If the bread doesn’t say it’s completely whole wheat, there’s a chance the majority of the bread is white flour with just enough wheat flour to pass with looks.
Having the label “gluten-free” doesn’t automatically mean a product is healthy. Instead, stick to naturally gluten-free foods such as fruits, vegetables, and brown rice.
Although the idea of having portioned veggies, meats, and grains made up for you sounds like an easy way to be healthy, it really isn’t. Compared to fresh foods, fruits, and vegetables, frozen meals contain preservatives and often, too much sodium.
They might seem like the perfect, healthy, fat-free snack on-the-go, but pretzels actually have close to zero nutritional value. Once eaten, pretzels spike your blood sugar levels and leave you hungry for more.
Veggie chips are not really vegetables at all. In fact, after all of the processing that the vegetables are put through, almost all of its nutritional value from them is no longer present. If you’re looking for a crunchy snack, try roasting some of your favorite vegetables.
Although the word “protein” is included in the name, that’s not a reason to deem any food healthy. Most protein bars are only a few calories and grams of sugar away from being categorized as a candy bar.
Organic foods are free from pesticides, antibiotics, and most additives, but that doesn’t mean organic snack foods aren’t being processed and filled with just as much sugar as non-organic snack foods.
Using fresh fruit, veggies, and nutrient-based additives, such as flaxseed, smoothies can be a great way to make a healthy breakfast smoothie. However, this isn’t how they’re usually made outside of your own kitchen. Artificially flavored powder, extra sugar, and even ice cream are sometimes used. So think twice about drinking premade smoothies from the store or juice stand.
Flavored Soy Milk
Not to be confused with plain soy milk – which has both potassium and protein and even low cholesterol – chocolate and vanilla flavored soy milk have plenty of sugar and calories and act more like a dessert than a healthy snack or drink to fill you up.
You may not realize it, but your everyday pick-me-up might be the hidden calorie offender. Simple modifications can do wonders to your overall health, such as choosing sugar-free syrup, a smaller serving size, and skim milk instead of whole milk.
Although drinking a glass of wine a day can reduce the risk of stroke and heart disease, and tequila can help with digestion, in truth, alcohol actually has about seven calories per gram.
Common Themes In Unhealthy Foods
The words “processed”, “calories”, and “sugar” should now be triggers for you as you continue your search for unhealthy foods that disguise themselves as healthy.
Lowering your sugar intake will not only help you maintain a healthy weight, but it can also reduce the risk of some cancers, reduce the amount of blood sugar level spikes (which can be what’s causing your energy and mood swings), and if you are experiencing perimenopause or menopause, these small adjustments in your diet can help lessen significant menopause symptoms.
Explore Better Hormone Health
ReVital offers free consultations where you can speak to one of our clinicians about ReVital’s Bioidentical Hormone Replacement Therapy. At ReVital, we can conduct simple blood tests to evaluate the levels of these hormones in your system and prescribe supplements or therapies to treat and control the majority of hormonal imbalances. We also encourage that you connect with your regular doctor about any changes in your health and moods.