Unfortunately, there are a lot of foods that we believe to be healthy, whether it be a result of advertising, word-of-mouth or misconceptions, that truly aren’t. Here are five ‘seemingly healthy foods’ that really aren’t:
1. Instant Oatmeal: Oatmeal is good for us. It lowers cholesterol, is high in fiberand is packed full of whole grains. Instant Oatmeal, however, isn’t so healthy. Here’s why: Although Instant Flavored Oatmeal is low in fat and cholesterol, it is higher in sugar, higher in calories, lower in protein and lower in fiber per serving as compared to its whole rolled oats counterpart.
2. Canned Soup: Just like salad, soup has been touted as a noble food for dieters. Unfortunately, soup can be surprisingly unhealthy. Granted, there are some very healthy options, but once again, the label will reveal how much so. Many canned soups tend to have a very high amount of sodium (sodium is often used in pre-packaged foods as a preservative). Further, many soups can contain cream and full-fat milk which can cause your soup to be high in saturated fat. Look for the lower sodium and broth based varieties if you want to go the soup route.
3. Granola and Granola Bars: Somehow, granola has become the begin all and end all of what is considered healthy. Sorry…although granola has some very healthy ingredients (rolled oats for one), it also contains tons of sugar, saturated fats (from ingredients like coconut) and sodium. Opt for nutrition bars and cereals that are high in fiber, contain whole grains and protein, and are low in sugar and sodium.
4. Flavored Yogurt: Recently, with all of the ‘Digestive Yogurts’ on the market, people gobble up yogurt, thinking it is a healthy choice. Unfortunately, unless you are eating plain yogurt, most flavored yogurts are packed with sugars, high fructose corn syrup, chemicals (sugar free varieties especially), fillers and preservatives. Instead, eat plain, or even better, Greek Yogurt (higher in protein and lower in sugars) and mix with fresh or frozen berries.
5. Fat Free and Reduced Fat Foods: Most foods that have to be reduced in fat, are then pumped with fillers, preservatives and sugars. Snackwell Cookies is a great example. Granted, there are some foods that come in low-fat and leaner varieties (milk and meat) that are fine, but be sure to read the label on foods that are reduced fat. More often than not, you will get a lot more than you bargained for.