It’s not a secret that many of the “health foods” that we find at our local food mart are actually junk foods in disguise. (This includes flavored yogurts, fruit juice, gluten free snacks.) But other unhealthy foods are less commonly known and much more misleading—in fact, they may actually be a staple item on your grocery list! Here’s our list of surprising foods that are loaded with bad ingredients and extra sugar that should be avoided at all costs.
Yes, vegetables are healthy for you, but a fried chip is still a fried chip, no matter what its origins may be. Your chips (potato or otherwise) are still being fried with trans fats and saturated fats. Additionally, many veggie chips also have potato listed as the first ingredient! They also usually have the same amount of calories as your regular potato chips and just as much sodium. Be aware that this “healthy alternative” isn’t so healthy at all!
When we think about oatmeal, we usually associate it with a healthy breakfast. Truthfully, not all oatmeal is good for you! Many of the flavored instant oatmeal options found at your grocery store (apple cinnamon, brown sugar maple) are actually high in sodium and sugar. Be sure to review the ingredients before you purchase those instant oatmeal convenience packs—listed first should always be “oats” and it should contain fewer than 6 grams of sugar. Choose rolled oats or the steel cut variety for extra fiber. Add in your own nutmeg, fruit, or cinnamon for a super healthy breakfast sans extras.
Smoothie drinks that are pre-made are usually extremely high in calories, fat, and sugar. Commercial smoothies that you can buy in-store can exceed 800 calories, and typically start with fruit juice or full fat milk as a base. Always stick to making your own smoothies—this ensures you know exactly what’s going into them.
Low Fat Peanut Butter
If you’ve made the decision to switch to low fat peanut butter in an attempt to get healthy or shed unwanted pounds, save your money! Reduced fat peanut butters are loaded with added sugar, and removing the “healthy” monounsaturated fats also strips out health benefits. Reach for a healthy nut butter, like the natural variety with no added trans fats, cane sugar, or oils.
Whole Wheat Breads
We’re all familiar with white bread as an unhealthy option, but whole wheat may not be that good for you either! During the flour making process, the wheat berry is stripped of natural minerals, phytochemicals, and vitamins in many common brands. Even worse, many wheat bread options found at your local store may contain extra not-so-good ingredients to preserve freshness. When it comes to bread, choose sprouted grain. That variety contains more nutrients that are easy for the body to absorb and usually less preservatives and additives.
We hope you found this article eye opening. Be sure to avoid these “healthy” options next time you’re at the grocery store!