At first glance, some foods sound really healthy. Taking a second look will reveal otherwise. The following are 10 foods that make you think they’re healthy but they’re not:
It’s true that being lower in caloric and fat content makes pretzels healthier than most chips out there. So why is this seemingly harmless product on this list? Most supermarket-bought pretzels contain refined flour — wheat flour that’s bleached and devoid of the germ and bran parts. Look for pretzels out of 100% wheat flour.
Vegetable Burger Patties
If they don’t contain meat, then they’re good for you. Wrong. Not all vegetable burger patties are cut from the same cloth. Many of the frozen varieties contain unhealthy fillers that help provide that meaty consistency and texture. Remember to check the label to ensure that there are actually more vegetable ingredients than additives.
Multigrain Baked Items
Placing “multigrain” or any other word related to it makes a baked product sound so good for you. The fact is many of these seemingly healthy treats contain refined grains which pale in comparison to the nutritional profile of whole grains. Especially if the list of ingredients includes “refined flour”, better get your hands on another baked item.
Low-Fat Peanut Butter
Fat in peanuts and fat in animals are not the same. The kind in peanut butter is actually good for you so there’s really no need to reduce the amount in the first place. Besides, manufacturers add lots of sugar to their low-fat peanut butter offerings to make them taste great. You’re better off going for regular peanut butter.
Bottled Green Tea
While healthy-sounding, most bottled green tea on the market are actually water with lots of sugar and minimal amounts of green tea. Chugging a bottle of it may not even give you a decent amount of the antioxidant EGCG that fights off free radicals, cancer, diabetes and obesity. Brewing your own green tea is undeniably better.
It’s true that seasoned athletes may benefit from these colorful beverages. On the other hand, it’s a better idea for everyone else to stay away from them as they don’t really need all of those salts and most especially sugars. The only reason why energy drinks sound less unhealthy than soft drinks is the fact that they contain slightly less sugar.
Most of these items should be called “all sorts of processed chemicals rolled into a bar”. While they may sound or look healthy, a quick scan of the list of ingredients will tell you otherwise. If you wish to buy energy bars to have a handy source of fuel while on the go, opt for those that contain the least amount of ingredients.
Undeniably, “gluten-free” is the catchphrase among gluten-intolerant and health-conscious individuals. While much junk food at the supermarket that are touted as “gluten-free” are in fact devoid of gluten, they are still just as bad as their counterparts with gluten as they are highly processed and low in essential nutrients.
Flavored Instant Oatmeal
There’s no denying that oatmeal is good for you because it contains complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, protein, iron, and vitamins A and B6. What make the flavored variety unhealthy are the loads of sugar and flavorings added. If the taste of good old oatmeal begins to bore you, make each serving interesting by adding fresh fruits or honey.
Processed Breakfast Cereals
Many of these items are stamped with an assortment of health claims on their boxes. But when you take a really good look at the list of ingredients, that’s when the ugly truth becomes evident. As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to steer clear of anything that claims it is healthier than the rest because, chances are, it’s not.