Fat-free foods, smoothies, and wheat bread are all supposed to be items that should be incorporated into your diet. Right? Not according to some health experts, who instead say these foods should be added to your unhealthy list. Curious about which ones you should try to avoid? Here’s a list of ten health foods that actually aren’t healthy.
1. Multigrain and wheat bread
According to Cooking Light, “terms like multi-grain, 7-grain, and wheat sound healthy, but they may not actually contain heart-healthy whole grains. Many breads labeled ‘multi-grain’ and ‘wheat’ are typically made with refined grains, so you’re not getting the full nutritional benefit of the whole grain.” There are some wheat breads out there that contain whole grains — look for those. Make sure to read the nutrition labels. If you spot a refined flour as the first flour ingredient (look for bleached or unbleached enriched wheat flour), you’re not getting 100 percent whole-grain bread.
2. Premade smoothies
The idea of a smoothie sounds great. It’s supposed to give you a huge serving of both fruits and vegetables all in a great-tasting drink. But smoothies can actually have anywhere from 650 to 1,000 calories, and often can have simple sugars and syrups added in as well, according to Doctor Oz.
3. Breakfast cereal
Cereal boxes often have messages that make them sound like healthy options. Terms such as “high in fiber,” “vitamin D,” and “heart-healthy” are all phrases that companies like to throw around. In actuality, cereal has a lot of synthetic vitamins and minerals, says PBS. Processing the cereal damages the vitamins and fiber it does have, so by the time cereal reaches your bowl, there’s nothing healthy left.
4. Prepared salads
Just because it has salad in the title doesn’t mean it’s good for you. If you’re eating tuna salad, chicken salad, or shrimp salad, you’re going to be bombarded with hidden fats and calories (mayonnaise is the main culprit there), Cooking Light says. Instead, try to request low-fat mayonnaise, and if it’s a giant salad, only eat a half of a portion.
5. Light yogurt
“It may sound like you’re doing yourself a favor by cutting down on the excessive sugar so often found in containers of flavored yogurt, but what’s often added in to replace the sugar — namely artificial sweeteners — may be even worse,” PBS says. Instead, opt for plain yogurt and add your own sweetener, such as honey, to give it a little more flavor.
6. Reduced-fat peanut butter
Reduced-fat does not mean reduced-calorie. Many of the reduced-fat peanut butters have just as many calories as the full-fat versions, due to added sugars, sodium, and partially hydrogenated oils (unhealthy fats), Preventionwrites. Try all-natural peanut butter instead — you’ll be able to avoid the unwanted sugars, carbs, and sodium.
Most granola will actually provide you with a bunch of trans fats, sugar, and calories. A serving size is relatively small too, so most people will eat more than the recommended serving, according toDoctor Oz.
8. Dried fruit
According to Prevention, when fruit is dried out, it reduces the water volume and increases the amount of sugars per serving. Fresh fruit is mostly made out of water, making it a much healthier option. Dried fruit packs on calories and can send your blood sugar spiking and then crashing.
9. Energy bars
“The reputation of these bars, also known as meal replacement bars, is that they are healthy, aid in weight loss or help build muscle. In fact, they are calorie bombs: candy bars with vitamins, protein or fiber added. For most of them, sugar is either the first (predominant) or second ingredient,” according to the Washington Post. Rather than an energy bar, go for some fresh fruit or vegetables — your body will thank you.
10. Packaged turkey
While turkey offers lean protein, the packaged meat is also loaded with sodium. It’s a decent option for a quick lunch or dinner, but look for the low-sodium option, says Cooking Light. Better yet, choose fresh turkey slices instead. Always look for a brand with less than 350 milligrams of sodium per 2-ounce serving.