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Health Foods That Aren't So Healthy

Health Foods That Aren't So Healthy

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.


LittleMzFit LittleMzFit 8 years
They forgot to mention fruit juices & how practically ALL of them have HFCS or artificial sweeteners. Also, all the "health" or "whole grain" cereals that are the same or have very little fiber. So, where did all the fiber go if it's supposedly "whole grain?" :-P
whizkidforte whizkidforte 8 years
I only eat granola bars from Kashi, and the only one I buy is the Peanut Peanut Butter flavor. They all contain 5g (a measly 1.25 teaspoons of sugar), and the sugar is unrefined in them. Yes, they have sugar (honey, brown rice syrup, molasses, evaporated cane juice), but the 7g of protein and MUFAs (monounsaturated fats, if you ask me) from the peanuts counter those carbs, which are mostly slow-releasing (whole grains). I just limit that to post workouts in conjunction with an apple or some other fresh fruit I have in my house.
bellechic bellechic 9 years
im not surprise by the things on this list- except PRETZELS!! that's a bummer.
starkiss23 starkiss23 9 years
That's really surprising about the pretzels.. Thanks for the info!
SaraSmile SaraSmile 9 years
Im sad about the applesauce and pretzels. Thanks for the info!
JessBear JessBear 9 years
I have a jar of reduced-fat peanut butter in my pantry right now that has 10 MORE calories than the full-fat version, and only 3 grams less fat. A friend actually brought it over a few weeks ago, and I just laughed. I may not be the world's healthiest eater, but even I know better than to buy ANYTHING "reduced" without checking labels first.
leosatter leosatter 9 years
I hope you can help me out. I am trying to get my health under control so starting to eat right is my first step. Do you know where I can purchase quality food online? (that is on the healthy side) I am starting to do all of my shopping online because of various reasons…so I am hoping you can help me out with a suggestion or two. So far I have only tried Celebrity foods (which is outstanding by the way) I am in desperate need to grow my list of quality services or stores, where I can buy my food from. Thank you and have a great day or night (depending on when you read this. LOL!
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I used to like, binge on pretzels. I figured they were healthier than chips but in reality, if you eat enough of them, they're not healthy. I also only eat all natural peanut butter that doesn't have as much sugar in it. Reduced fat peanut butter is so worthless. It's way sweet and it's kind of gummy or something. And it has the same amount of calories as the full fat stuff.
itsallabouttheg itsallabouttheg 9 years
i love nature valley granola bars because they're delicious & free of hydrogenatd oils!
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
I have those granola bars in my desk right now! :)
Lovely_1 Lovely_1 9 years
I always thoguth granola bars couldn't be THAT healthy!
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Katikins thank you for that. I will now continue to eat AND enjoy my Nature Valley bars. :)
ktacce ktacce 9 years
i really love peanut butter - but i've switched to skippy natural without transfat, it's really yummy and isn't all weird like some of the organic peanut butter i've gotten from whole foods.
DigitalAngel DigitalAngel 9 years
The funniest "healthy label" I've ever seen was on Hellman's mayo. It said "Contains heart-healthy Omega-6 fatty acids." I wonder if that offsets the saturated fat?
merymery merymery 9 years
Oh my. This is upsetting.
Katikins Katikins 9 years
sorry -that's Peanut FLOUR, not Peanut FLAVOR! :D
Katikins Katikins 9 years
oh and there are 2 bars per pack of the Nature Valley Bars - one pack is 180 calories. So if you just eat one of the bars that's only 90 calories - another plus as well! :)
Katikins Katikins 9 years
For those of you who love Nature Valley Bars like I do, I happen to have some in my desk at work for snacks. They do not contain HFCS! Here is the list of ingredients - this is for the Oats & Honey kind: Whole grain rolled oats Sugar (sure it's not great that it's one of the first on the list, but it's not HFCS) Canola Oil Crisp Rice with Soy Protein (Rice Flour, Soy Proten Concentrate, Sugar, Malt, Salt) Honey Brown Sugar Syrup Salt Soy Lecithin Baking Soda Natural Flavor Peanut Flavor Almound Flour Pecan Flour I know it's not the most fabulous list of ingredients, but all things considered they aren't as bad as a lot of granola bars out there. I love Lara Bars and the like b/c they are so pure, but decent snack bars on a budget are hard to find and trust me I've looked! Nature Valley Oats N' Honey seemed to be the best for the price.
aimeeb aimeeb 9 years
Fit you just totally bummed me out. I live for Nature Valley bars. :(
mtiger mtiger 9 years
I buy the all natural applesuace, too! It's also unsweetened. It's great, and you get a serving of fruit in!
Renees3 Renees3 9 years
I always buy the applesauce that's unsweetened. I like the trader joes brand. All it is is apples and water. I like applesauce for breakfast, especially on pancakes!
marygrace marygrace 9 years
i'm glad that these things were pointed out because they are very true. instead of sugary granola bars, why not try a luna bar or lara bar instead? i think they are even more delicious, and are good for you too! regarding english muffins, thomas brand makes a light whole grain muffin that is 100 (versus 130) calories and packs in around 8 g of fiber and 9 g of protein per muffin. they are really tasty and much healthier than the white flour version.
emilyplayscello emilyplayscello 9 years
Very true. Marketing will make anything look like a healthy food; it's very important to take a real look at what you're eating! My entries on The Truth about Granola Bars and The Truth about Vitamin Water both touch on this in detail. -Emily from the Healthy Eating blog
elle86 elle86 9 years
I've been more conscientious of Granola Bars lately --- I took a health class where we discussed how they aren't actually that healthy for you, because although they contain grains and all that goodness, it becomes so overprocessed that by the end they're pure carbs.
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