Eating healthy foods has become a major phenomenon in recent years. From going organic to watching their weight, people are much more in tune with health-friendly foods. For those of you who are dedicated to eating healthy foods, don’t fall for what looks like a healthy option when it really may be the opposite.
The following foods have been marketed to look like healthy choices, but in reality, they may be worse than their “unhealthy” counterparts. So, next time you are strolling through the aisles at the supermarket, beware of these health food imposters.
Protein Bars: Eating healthy foods can be a challenge for those of us who don’t have time to spend preparing fresh, healthy meals each day. That is one reason why protein bars have been hailed as a good alternative for those on the go. Unfortunately, there typically is as much sugar in one protein bar as there is in a candy bar. They also usually contain very little fiber and a lot of processed carbohydrates, making protein bars junk food in disguise.
Frozen Yogurt: Yogurt makes it onto most lists of healthy foods. However, the ice cream substitute, frozen yogurt, is almost never as nutritious as plain yogurt containing probiotics and live cultures. In reality, frozen yogurt is usually nothing more than artificial sweeteners and chemicals that add zero nutritional value to your daily diet.
Apple Juice: As a kid, apple juice was probably always in your mother’s fridge. It was packed in our lunches and a drink of choice at snack time. For those of you trying to get your families into the habit of eating healthy foods, stay away from sugar beverages like apple juice. With almost 27g of sugar and 29g of carbohydrates in just one cup of apple juice, you may as well be drinking soda. For a healthier alternative, stick to unsweetened teas and drinks with very little sugar.
Baked Potato Chips: Although baked is better than fried, these snacks that claim to be a healthy alternative to regular potato chips still make it onto the junk food list. These treats have very little fiber, a lot of sodium, and “empty” calories that provide little to no nutritional value.
Low-cal Frozen Dinners: Low-calorie diet dinners seem like a great weeknight alternative, but check the label next time you visit the grocery store. Our guess is that the sodium level is through the roof – one of the reasons these dinners taste delicious. But high sodium content can contribute to “bad” cholesterol levels, and bloating. High sodium intake can be dangerous for your heart, as well. Although there may be a low calorie count on the box, this tricky meal can sabotage the effort you put into eating healthy foods.
Even though some foods are masquerading as good-for-you choices, don’t worry about indulging in a frozen yogurt or offering your toddler apple juice once in awhile. Try to make sure you and your family are eating healthy foods most of the time. If you don’t think you’re getting all the vitamins and nutrients you need, supplements can fill in the gaps. Just stay informed about the real nutritional value of what you’re eating and avoid health-food imposters.