It seems like every food company is getting on the health kick these days. They're advertising products that are "made with whole grains," or "low in sugar," or "fat-free." It's easy to believe the printing on the packages, but I'm sorry to tell you that food companies are using all their marketing resources to sway you to buy their product.
Here's a list of some popular foods that sound healthy, but could be the total opposite:
Granola and granola bars - Whole grain oats are packed with fiber, but watch out. Some bars and cereals may include these nutritious oats in a sea of high fructose corn syrup and refined sugar.
Baked beans - Beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber, but many pre-made cans of baked beans are loaded with sugar. 1 cup of baked beans can contain up to 24g of sugar (that's about the same amount in an 8 oz. can of soda). Add plain canned beans to salads and soups instead.
Reduced fat peanut butter - Real peanut butter that's made with plain old peanuts is high in protein and also high in fat, but they're the healthy fats your body needs. When companies make reduced fat varieties, they basically take a small amount of real peanut butter and mix it up with fillers like sugar. Stick to actual peanut butter that's made with only peanuts.
Pretzels - Sure they may be a low fat snack, but many are made with corn syrup and enriched white flour (the kind that's refined and stripped of nutrition). So when you eat them, it gets converted into sugar quickly and makes your blood sugar spike up, leaving you tired, cranky and probably hungry soon after. Go for whole grain crackers instead if you're looking to satisfy your crunchy cravings.
English Muffins - Same as pretzels, these are mostly made with refined white flour which is completely devoid of fiber, protein, or vitamins. Look for 100% whole grain English muffins, or shoot for whole grain bread instead.
Fruit cocktail or applesauce - These may seem like an easy way to get your daily fruit, but many are made with added sugar and heavy syrups. Fruit is sweet enough on its own, so eat fresh fruit instead, and eat the skins whenever possible (it's packed with fiber).
Fit's Tip: Be sure to read all labels, even from foods you buy at health foods stores. Just because they seem healthy, doesn't mean they really are.