Somehow these foods have managed to gain notoriety as ‘health foods’. Cleaver marketing may have been they reason they have been deemed as good choices when watching our waistlines. The truth is even though they’ve been given a halo, it doesn’t mean they are truely health foods. Here are a few that made my list and why.
1. Granola- We usually think granola=healthy. This is partly because it has been marketed to us, as a ‘health food’. The truth is store bought granola is usually high is sugar and fat (and not the good kinds). Think 200cals per 1/4- 1/2 cup!
2. Veggie Straws and Chips- But they have veggies in them right?! Here is where you need to take a look at the ingredient list. Usually that first ingredient is still some type of potato product- i.e. Chips.
3. 100 Calorie Packs- These little packs trick you into thinking you are doing something good by only eating 100 tasteless calories. The problem- no nutrition and who sticks to eating just one?!
4. Pretzels- Unless you buy a special whole grain brand, they are the same as eating white bread. No fiber and not many nutrients.
5. Juices and Prepackaged Smoothies- It’s made from fruit so it’s healthy right?! Fruit is always best in it’s original package. Meaning the whole fruit. The fiber helps you digest it more slowly. Drinking only the juice spikes your blood sugar more. I don’t count juices as a serving- unless it’s blended in a homemade smoothie. Another note- premade smoothies often contain lots of added sugars too.
6. Energy Bars- Take a peek at that ingredient list before buying. Often the first ingredient is some type of syrup. Which means sugar is what it contains most of. Especially brands like Cliff and others.. read those labels!
7. Sports Drinks- If you are an intense athlete exercising for more than 1hr in extreme heat, then yes by all means grab a sorts drunk. However, if you just walked 30min on the treadmill stick to good old H2O.
8. Gluten Free Processed Foods- Things have gotten a bit out of hand with the Gluten Free craze. Just because it is Gluten Free doesn’t mean it’s healthy. There are lots of processed products out there with this halo.
9. Organic Candy and Other Treats- Candy is candy. Organic or not, sweet treats usually do not have much nutritional value. So even though it’s organic, it doesn’t make it healthy.
10. Prepackaged Oatmeal Packets- While oats in general are a healthy choice, those convenient little packets are not. Typically they are loaded with sugar. You are better off buying the large container and portioning out your own and adding in real fruit and nuts.
I hope this makes you think a little more about your daily choices!
Gretchen Riddle, CHES, CHWC, NLC