\Hundreds of billions of dollars are at stake. That is if the food industry can convince you that eating their junk food is actually good for you. Unless you educate yourself on what healthy actually means and learn to read and interpret food labels, you could be sabotaging your weight-loss efforts. You may be thinking you’re eating healthy when you’re really not. So here we go… 10 “healthy” foods that most people think are healthy, that are actually junk food:
10 “Healthy” Foods
- Fruit Juice: They load that stuff up with sugar, even the 100% natural stuff. (Seriously, a candy bar is probably healthier).
- Vegetable Juice: Juicing a vegetable removes the healthy part (the fiber) and only the sugars are basically what’s left behind. You end up drinking ultra-concentrated sugar juice, and again, a candy bar would probably be healthier. I know a lot of people who start their day with a healthy dose of vegetable juice from their juicer. Most of them are fat.
- Bagels: Did you know that a typical bagel has TWICE as many calories as a donut? It’s like bagel makers have a vendetta to pack as many bad carbs as they can into those tasty rings. Add the cream cheese and bagels become one of the worst junk-foods you can eat.
- Granola Bars: The food industry uses the term “Granola Bar” to sell you a candy bar and make you think it’s healthy. Manufacturers pack granola bars with sugar unless they’re the super gross kind that nobody actually likes to eat.
- Yogurt-Covered Pretzels: If you look at the ingredients, the “yogurt” these are covered in as actually sugar-based frosting, with the addition of something called “yogurt powder.” (I have no idea what that could possibly be). Based on the label, you might as well eat chocolate covered pretzels instead.
- Rice Cakes: Yes, they are low in fat and calories (bonus) but they don’t actually have any real nutritional value either. The flavored versions (the only ones a real human can stand to eat) are loaded with artificial sweeteners, colors, etc. It’s probably a bit of a stretch to call them food.
- Frozen Yogurt: While it might not have as much fat as ice cream (And that IS a bonus) it’s got just as much sugar.
- Gatorade and Vitamin Water: Both drinks claim to be ideal for athletes, a can of soda has roughly the same nutritional value and sugar content. Earlier this year, someone sued the makers of Vitamin Water (Coca-Cola) for making false claims that it was healthy. Guess how Coke’s lawyers decided to defend themselves: “no consumer could reasonably be misled into thinking Vitamin Water was a healthy beverage.”
- Hummus: This one hurts me to write because I love hummus. However, it’s a calorie trap. Just two tablespoons pack 80 calories (2T doesn’t go very far when you’re dipping veggies in it). And if you eat a whole container of hummus thinking you’re eating “healthy”, think again. You could be consuming upwards of 700 calories. (More than a McDonalds Big Mac.)
- Salad: Not ALL salad, of course, but the chefs who make most restaurant salads load those things up with calories and fat. That’s why they taste so good. It’s not uncommon for a typical dinner-salad at a chain restaurant to contain 80+ fat grams and 1,200+ calories, making salad one of the LEAST healthy options on the menu at most restaurants.
The Bottom Line
If you plan to lose weight, it needs to become second-nature to read nutrition labels rather than relying on the packaging and messaging that the food industry is trying to sell you.
They fool you in the health food aisle of the grocery store too. They pack sugar, the bad kind of carbs, into just about everything. I also find that most healthy-labeled foods are fairly dense from a calorie standpoint. They mislead you by allowing you a portion size that no human would ever consume. (3 chips is not a portion size.)
So what did we learn today? Stay away from bagels and restaurant salads.