eating healthy

6 “Healthy” Foods to Avoid this Summer

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

healthy foods - 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

healthy foods - 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.

3. Wraps

healthy foods - wraps


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

healthy foods - 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

healthy foods - 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!

It Is Easier Than You Think to Eat Healthy in College

Depending on your living situation it can be easier for some to eat healthy while away at school than others. If you’re like me and you have your own full kitchen in an apartment style dorm, things are easier. If you must eat from a food court or a cafeteria daily, eating right gets tougher. I believe the major difference in college eating habits comes down to the time of day we eat. It’s the midnight pizza, late night study sugar, and all that soda that gets to us.

The best thing you can do for yourself is not eat anything after 9pm. If you must, eat fruit or veggies. Fruits and veggies will give you a natural source of energy and replace all that sugar and salt. A common mistake made by all people, not just college students is drinking in your calories. Calories are for food. Stick to water, milk, or orange juice to stay hydrated and low cal.

When it comes to eating in the cafeteria, try to balance out your meals. If you like big dinners take a light lunch, or vice versa. Don’t eat every meal like you’re at a three course restaurant. Also, try and cover all the food groups. If you’re a meat eater, pick a piece of meat. Try and choose the meat that looks grilled or baked, fried food will not be as good for you. Balance the meal off with two sides, either veggies, fruit, a piece of bread, potatoes, or some rice. Try as often as possible to skip the desert table. Allow yourself to splurge once a week for sweets. For your lighter meal pick one main dish and one small side instead of two larger ones. If you don’t eat meats replace your main dish by choosing pasta or eggs for protein or make a large salad and skip the croutons.

A great way to start a low calorie day is to eat a big breakfast. It sounds ironic, but by eating a larger breakfast you are less likely to take in as much throughout the day. Make a bagel and replace the cream cheese with peanut butter for extra protein. Choose eggs however you like them but try to skip out on the greasy sausage and bacon. Eat some whole grain toast or a bowl of your favorite cereal. I follow the rule that breakfast should be around 300 calories. I guarantee that you will be less hungry throughout the day and you will have newfound energy to make the day count.

Healthy snacks can include yogurt, nuts, or whole fruit. All of these snacks are easy to carry from class to class and will give you an extra charge throughout the day. Enjoy your new and healthy eating habits, and steer clear of that freshman 15 just in time for summer!

Happy Eating!

-Speedy G.

I’m reading Give Me Liberty!: An American History