“Healthy” Foods that Aren’t

One of the hardest parts of eating a healthy diet is discerning which foods really are healthy choices. It may seem like a simple matter, but some less-than-ideal foods come disguised as healthy, natural, or low-calorie – when they’re actually anything but. Watch out for:

Cereals. Just because a cereal is organic, high in fibre, made with whole grains, or full of flax seeds does not automatically make it a healthy choice. Organic sugar is still sugar, and many organic cereals contain just as much as junk cereals.

Veggie crisps or chips. These snacks, which often claim to be full of vegetables, are typically made of corn flour or potato starch. Try making your own veggie chips instead!

Parfaits. A fruit-and-yoghurt parfait may seem like a good option when sitting next to coffee shop muffins and croissants, but most of them have way too much sugar. Try buying your own plain yoghurt instead and mixing in fresh fruit. You can even sweeten with a bit of honey if you’d like.

Granola bars. Many packaged granola bars are closer in nutritional content to candy bars. Look for a short list of ingredients that includes nuts and whole grains for the best snack.

Bottled green juices. It may offer all the benefits of spinach, but it also comes at a huge caloric price. Juices in general tend to be very high in sugar, and even though it comes from a natural source, it hits your bloodstream just like soda. Drink water and eat whole fruits and vegetables instead.

Veggie burgers. Particularly the frozen variety is often made from highly processed soy or wheat – not veggies. These are best left on the shelf.

Yoghurt-covered pretzels. Sorry to break it to you, but that’s not yoghurt, it’s icing. And it’s highly doubtful the pretzels themselves contain any whole grains.

Rice cakes. Rice cakes do come out looking pretty good when their caloric content is compared to other foods on this list, so there are times when they can make good snacks, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. But their nutritional content is not as praiseworthy. Whole grain crackers are usually a better choice when you want a crunchy snack.

These are just a few examples of foods that many people assume are healthy, but can wreak havoc on your diet. Remember to read labels carefully and don’t be distracted by claims like “all natural” or “high fibre” on labels when you shop.

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