Walking into a supermarket you’re met with a plethora of food options. Labels throw phrases like “no sugar added,” “low-fat,” and “all-natural” around, but how true are these claims? It’s easy to believe what you see in front of you rather than really research the foods you buy. They have to be true if they’re on the label, right? Wrong. Buying those items, on the surface, seems like a healthy alternative, but often times it isn’t. The following foods are commonly labeled as healthy foods, but in reality should be avoided.
1. Energy Bars
Everyone’s guilty of it: you’re running late, no time to eat so you grab an energy bar on the way out thinking, “Well it’s better than buying a McDonald’s breakfast or not having breakfast at all!” Many energy bars today claim to be healthy and good for you, however that is not the case. Many times they have a nutritional profile like a candy bar’s, not like fit foods’. Some even have as much sugar as candy. However, not all bars are unhealthy. Check the ingredients list as well as the amount of sugar and calories a bar has to determine if it’s basically the same as eating candy for breakfast.
2. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit, considering the fact that it’s fruit, seems like a guilty-free snack. Little do people know, however, companies add sugar to enhance the flavor and use sulfur dioxide to preserve freshness, making dried fruit more like little candies. When eating dried fruit you do get all the vitamins, minerals and fiber the fruit has to offer, but it is often easy to eat more than one serving at a time thanks to the added sugar. You’re better off sticking to actual fruit.
Wraps are the supposed healthier alternative to breads because they’re thinner but just because it’s thinner doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthier. Most restaurants and delis package your sandwich fixings into a 12-inch wrap. That wrap can hold twice the amount of calories than a regular sandwich. More often than not, spinach, tomato and whole grain wraps contain additional coloring and flavoring. A healthier alternative to bread and wraps are lettuce wraps.
4. Skim Milk
Most people think skim milk is better than whole milk because it doesn’t contain any fat. Although this is true, skim milk also eliminates essential vitamins. Skim milk is made with synthetic vitamins to attempt to replace the calcium and protein lost during processing. There is little benefit to buying fat-free dairy products.
5. Flavored Yogurt
Flavored yogurt is another food that is supposedly healthy and also quick and easy. You know that the small cup isn’t very filling and you’ll be craving something with more substance only 10 minutes after eating, yet you still reach for it. Flavored yogurts are actually full of sugar, with most brands having about 15 grams of sugar per 6 ounce serving. Switching to plain Greek yogurt is a better option that will leave you more satisfied and full of protein for a full day.
I hope this lists helps you choose healthy foods, and not “healthy” foods during your next trip to the supermarket. What are some of your favorite healthy snacks? Share in the comments below!