Just because it’s found in the health food section, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy. Between the mainstream media, the Food Pyramid, the thousands of health blogs out there, and the premise that you can just walk into a health food store and anything you pull off the shelves will be healthy, it’s not hard to see why so many of us are confused as to what is actually healthy and what isn’t. With so many fancy words and phrases—such as “gluten-free,” “low calorie,” and “fat free” it’s easy to assume that many of these so-called health foods are beneficial to your body. Here are 5 seemingly healthy foods that may be contrary to your best efforts to eat healthy.
Light Salad Dressing
Have you ever looked at the ingredient list on light salad dressings? They’re longer than my arm! These salad dressings are filled with preservatives and other additives you can’t pronounce. They are also high in salt and sugar. You’re much better off drizzling your veggies with olive oil and balsamic vinegar or if you find that a little boring experiment with herbs and make your own signature dressing.
Nuts and dried fruit trail mix seems like a healthy choice if that is all it is but many store bought mixes add chocolate chips, salt and added sugars. A small hand full could easily contain 300 calories or more! If you are buying a store bought bag make sure you read your labels closely or better yet make your own.
Dried fruit contains fiber, vitamins, and minerals but many companies add sulfur and sugar purely for a longer shelf life. You can buy dried fruit that doesn’t contain these in health food stores but why not just eat fresh fruit instead? Fresh fruit contains more fiber which keeps you full longer and contains less calories. Save the dried fruit for baking and munch on the real thing.
This is a real pet peeve of mine just for the sheer danger it can pose on your heart. The caffeine can cause cardiac arrest in those with an existing heart condition, headaches from caffeine withdrawal, increased anxiety, insomnia, addiction, jitters and nervousness. With so many energy drinks on the market, many of which promise to pump you up and give you a killer workout with added caffeine, vitamins, and minerals, you may think these drinks are healthy. Energy drinks aren’t regulated, so it’s best to stick to water to rehydrate and whole foods to energize!
Low Fat Muffins
I know it is easy to go to your local grocery store and be tempted but the wide array of low-fat muffins. Although they are a reduced-fat version of full-fat muffins they are by no means actually healthy. Most manufacturers take fat out but they have to replace it with something to make up for the lack of taste. Usually that something is sugar, making most low-fat muffins no different than their full-fat counterparts and probably less filling.