With so many choices, you may be overwhelmed when selecting healthy foods. It’s no accident that the design of most grocery stores are laid out in such a way to entice your eye with the most unhealthy foods first. Even though there are many foods that fit into a healthy lifestyle, there are some that might leave you questioning whether or it’s healthy or not. In an effort to be healthy, don’t be fooled into eating these foods listed below.
Raisins+yogurt=great snack right?
Not so fast. Yogurt covered raisins are the healthy friendly snack you’d expect. Because the yogurt used to coat the raisins is filled with sugar, hydrogenated oil and trans fat, something that is usually healthy can quickly turn into something that is detrimental to your diet. A better option? Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts and trail mix (just not the kind loaded with chocolate and sugar coated dried fruit).
While this snack isn’t the worst, it’s not the best by far. Pretzels offer little more than calories. In the way of nutrients and vitamins, pretzels are sorely lacking. If you just can’t shake the craving, pairing it with a protein like peanut butter or a healthy cheese is one way to get more health benefits out of your snack.
Well, maybe not literally, but in terms of calories and fat a muffin is little more than a dressed down cupcake. Bran muffins, low-fat blueberry muffins; they can all contain as much as 500 calories easily. In addition, they contain very little fiber and other nutrients. Even muffins made with whole wheat flour aren’t a great option. If you find yourself in a muffin-mood, split it with a friend or ask the clerk to divide it in half or thirds before delivering it to you. That way, you can enjoy and save some for later (or someone else).
Veggie chips are not superior
Veggie chips sound like a great alternative to regular chips but when you look at the label, they measure pretty much the same in fat, calories, and nutrients. In that case, you may as well indulge in your favorite brand. A better option would be to munch on some real veggies. Carrots, sugar snap peas and other finger-sized veggies are great alternatives to chips or any other salty, crunchy snack.
Broccoli & cheddar soup
Broccoli aside, this soup is really not a great, healthy choice. Sure, the cheese alone will set you back a ton of calories and fat. However, the melted butter, cream and sodium content will turn this small meal into a the caloric equivalent of a feast. The amount of broccoli you will receive is not enough to count as a full serving either. Instead of ordering this, try a black bean soup or anything that has a broth base.
Vitamin Water is not water
Well, technically it is. However, plain ole regular water has no calories, is hydrating and…did I mention it has no calories? Meanwhile, vitamin water can contain up to 80 calories in one serving; and there’s usually two or more servings in a standard size bottle. Also, the sweetener in vitamin waters usually adds more than the nutrients needed to keep you well hydrated. A better choice is to drink water. If you want a flavor, try using lemon or lime to spruce it up.
Granola is one of those foods that, in theory, should be healthy for you. It has whole grains and oats. It usually has a decent amount of fiber. However taking those oats and whole grains and turning them into granola is a process that is filled with added sugar and fat. If you want to enjoy granola without all the hassle, try making your own at home. Or, if pressed for time, read the labels for granola. If the first two ingredients are some form of sugar, keep looking until you find one that isn’t.
Don’t let spinach wraps and pasta fool you
Pasta and wraps that claim to be rich in spinach are sorely lacking. Usually, it’s a better choice to eat a spinach wrap than to a plain tortilla. However, it would be a wiser choice to include fresh spinach in your whole wheat pasta dishes and wraps.
Don’t be fooled by these ‘healthy sounding’ foods. Choose whole foods with low sugar to support a great nutrition program.