9 Foods That Sound Healthy But Actually Aren’t

Whether you’re just starting your journey towards living a healthier lifestyle – or if you’ve been living healthy for a while now – there are foods out there that you might mistakenly believe to be healthy. In reality? These so-called “healthy foods” could be sabotaging your diet. Read on to find out if the foods you are eating are secretly killing your diet.

1) Smoothies.

-Okay, now not all smoothies are unhealthy, but a good majority of them are. They’re often made with not-so-healthy ingredients in order to improve taste that result in a high sugar, high calorie content. Not only will this sabotage your diet, it will leave you feeling hungrier than had you eaten an actual meal.

2) Granola.

-This is one food that I am guilty of having erroneously thought was healthy and “good” for me when I first began dieting. Little did I know – that most granola contains an obscene amount of sugar – giving it that sweet taste that we sometimes crave on a long hike or bike ride. There also tends to be a high amount of calories in a small serving of it. And most versions, despite popular belief, are relatively low in fiber content. So that full feeling you’re expecting to experience from granola? Probably won’t happen.
Of course – as mentioned before – there are some types of granola that are relatively healthy – just be conscious of what you’re purchasing and putting into your body!

3) Salads.

-Restaurants are famous culprits of “healthier option” menus. And salads usually appear on said menus. Some can be made and prepared to be very healthy and nutritious. But most of them are loaded with ingredients that are unhealthy, high in calories, and minimally nutritious. And the salad dressings? They only add to the calorie content. Carefully read through the ingredients of the salad – there’s a few good options out there. But choose the wrong one, and you could unknowingly be consuming 1,000+ calories.

4) Wraps.

-Somewhere along the way, wraps were introduced as a “healthy alternative” to the likes of burgers and sandwiches. And for a while – many people bought into this. Slowly, a realization that wraps are actually not that healthy for you has developed. The very base of a wrap, a “tortilla”, can contribute a staggering 300+ calories on it’s own. Then you add in the elements of the wrap itself – which can often include cheeses, dressings, and other unhealthy ingredients – and you’ve got yourself a high-calorie meal – an average wrap can be anywhere from 500-1,000 calories. Not such a “healthy alternative” after all.

5) Fat – Free Foods.

-Looking at two separate packages of the same product, and one of them says “fat-free”, you might be inclined to believe that that is the healthier version of the product. Little did you know: when “fat” is removed from a product, something has to go into it to replace the fat and maintain flavor. This “something” is usually extra sodium or sugar. Not only that – but there are some fats that are essential to your diet – so eliminating them is actually working against your objectives.

6) Muffins.

-There are a handful of people I’ve come across that truly believe that muffins are a good and healthy breakfast choice. They’ll even go so far as to compare muffins to donuts. “Muffins are so much healthier than donuts – they don’t have the frosting or glaze that donuts have. And they’re made with healthier ingredients.” I’ve actually heard someone say this before. It’s a common, and unfortunately false, belief. If you look at the nutritional values of muffins versus donuts – you’d probably be surprised to find that they’re actually pretty equal in calorie content – depending on the size and type of muffin/donut you are eating. And the add-ons for muffins – such as butter or jams- can create an even higher calorie content.

7) Yogurt.

-Research diets and yogurt is likely going to be included as a go-to snack on a large number of them. There are a large number of yogurts that are good for you, contributing to your daily requirements of calcium, protein, and probiotics. But there are quite a few yogurts that are unhealthy – containing grams upon grams of sugar to create that “Boston Cream Pie” or “Strawberry Cheesecake” flavor that you crave. Greek yogurts tend to be healthier – containing more protein than regular yogurt. Just beware of the nutritional value of the yogurt you’re consuming – you might be unknowingly sabotaging your diet with that sugary yogurt.

8) Cereal.

-For some, this is a no-brainer. There are many breakfast cereals on the market – most of which contain a ridiculously high amount of sugar and carry a low nutritional value. But there are many people that believe these cereals to be healthy due to the fact that they provide “11 essential vitamins and minerals.” While these cereals may provide a serving of your daily recommended vitamins and minerals – it comes at a price. You are also consuming a large amount of sugar and calories in order to obtain those vitamins and minerals. You’d be better off eating a variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the day to get your vitamins and minerals in. They’re much more nutritious and will leave you feeling fuller, longer.

9) Sugar – Free Treats.

-Sugar-free candies, cakes, pies, and desserts are often viewed as a “healthy alternative” for dessert. Most of the time – these sugar free foods are still rather high in carbohydrate content. And…surprise? Carbohydrates turn into sugar in the body when consumed. These sugar free foods might also have a higher fat content in order to replace the sugar content. So…really? These foods aren’t a “healthier alternative” at all.

This list could probably go on and on – but the bottom line is this: it is important to pay close attention to the nutritional information in the foods you are consuming. You just might be unknowingly sabotaging your diet.