(HealthyResearch.com) – Diet can make or break a person’s health. Many of us do our best to stay on track, but some of the food choices we make might not be as helpful as we think. Several options appear to be healthier than they are, leaving some people unaware of what they’re actually putting into their bodies. These seven deceptive foods can derail any otherwise healthy diet.
1. Most “Diet” Foods
Just because it’s low in calories doesn’t mean it’s healthy. “Low-fat” and “low-calorie” foods targeted toward dieters are often packed with sugar. In addition, these foods are usually highly-processed and ridiculously low in nutrients. Some evidence shows that these high-sugar foods, despite being lower in calories, may contribute to obesity risks. Skip the diet foods and stick to sensible meal choices instead.
2. Veggie Chips
If it’s made from vegetables, it must be healthy, right? Think again. Kristin Niessink of Clients’ Marketplace reminds us that potatoes are also veggies. Like potato chips, veggie chips are usually high in calories, sodium and fat, and they often only contain trace amounts of the veggies they advertise on their packages. Instead of eating veggie chips, choose fresh, crunchy, real vegetables that are full of vitamins and fiber.
3. Flavored Yogurts
Flavored yogurts tend to contain high amounts of sugar; and the ones that don’t have artificial sweeteners instead. Many artificial sweeteners are damaging to our gut microbiomes, which may contribute to inflammation and also increase obesity risks. Yogurt lovers might consider making their own instead of buying unhealthier varieties.
4. Protein Bars
Healthline warns that not all protein bars are made the same, and their ingredients and nutritional content can vary drastically. Some contain high fructose corn syrup, and many use highly-processed oils. Some may also go to extremes on the amount of protein they contain, which might increase risks for cancer, heart disease and a handful of other health issues. Mayo Clinic recommends eating nuts as a great high-protein snack.
5. Packaged Smoothies
They might look great from the packaging, but many commercially available smoothies are packed with filler juices and added sugars. Others contain unnecessarily high amounts of vitamin C and other specific nutrients to make up for low overall nutrition. Homemade smoothies are a far better option.
6. Bran Muffins
Some foods may be deceptive simply because they do contain one or two great nutrients, so buyers assume the foods are better for them overall. A bran muffin may conjure images of a healthy, high-fiber snack, but one can contain over twice as much sugar than a glazed doughnut, according to Prevention. In this case, the good ingredients often don’t outweigh the bad.
7. Veggie Burgers
While many of these products do incorporate moderate amounts of actual vegetable matter, most are also highly-processed. It may take a lot of manipulation to make a plant-based burger take on textures and flavors similar to those of meat, and the transformation often requires the use of chemicals and other agents. Many contain artificial flavors and coloring agents to make them taste and appear more like actual meat, and some of those additives might not be so good for the body. Check package labels carefully.
Not everything we eat is what it seems. Food manufacturers trick us all the time into thinking they have something special or better to offer us when really they can’t outdo simple, fresh, whole foods and a balanced diet. Looking for real health food options? Evidence shows that the Mediterranean diet may be a great choice for most people.
~Here’s to Your Health & Safety!
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