Healthy Foods

5 'Healthy' Foods That Aren't Really Healthy

You may want to second guess your favorite foods labeled as 'healthy'. They could be affecting your weight loss while meeting with a personal trainer. Check out this list and see if your grocery cart is undermining your fitness efforts.


The health-foods aisle has a way of making people fat—and unhealthy—and understandably pretty ticked-off. After all, isn't munching on (nasty-tasting) health foods supposed to be good for you?

If food manufacturers were really out to boost your health, yes. But their end goal isn't making consumers healthier. It's making money. And packaging foods as "healthy," "smart," and "natural" is an easy way to make a buck. Unfortunately, apart from suckering you into eating foods that really aren't any healthier than whatever it is you're trying to sub out, those healthy labels can make you overeat big time.

In fact, in a 2015 Penn State study, researchers found that the more fitness-branded foods dieters bought, they more they ate and the less they exercised. So, potentially, your health-foods diet could pack more calories, fat, and ridiculously convoluted chemicals than your unhealthy diet ever did.

That's especially true if you are noshing on any of these 5 health foods that—sorry to break it to you—can torpedo your health.


"Even though they're packed with healthy nutrients like vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, juices—even green ones—are loaded with sugar. Juicing extracts all of the fiber in fruits and vegetables that help you feel full and condenses a large amount of sugar in one small bottle that's too easy to drink in one sitting," says nutritionist Rania Batayneh, M.P.H., author of The One One One Diet: The Simple 1:1:1 Formula for Fast and Sustained Weight Loss.

If you're set on having a bottled juice or smoothie, first check the ingredients label and make sure it contains no more than 15 grams of carbohydrates per serving, says Kari Ikemoto, R.D., a registered dietitian with Health Care Partners medical group in Southern California. Ideally, it should only contain one serving of fruit. The rest should be veggies.


If your carrot chips are carrot chips and your parsnip chips are parsnip chips, that's one thing. But, more often than not, veggie chips are just potato chips with some veggie powder sprinkled in for coloring, Batayneh says. "Look at the ingredients panel if you want to see how much 'vegetable' your veggie chips actually contain: Ingredients are listed in descending order by weight, so whatever ingredients appear at the top of that list are the ones that make up the majority of the food."

Also look at the calorie, fat, sodium, and carb counts. Many veggie chips are just as fattening as the potato chips you're likely trying to avoid. You can also make better, healthier (and better-tasting) veggie chips at home. Thinly slice beets, carrots, and sweet potatoes, drizzle them with olive oil, and bake them at 425 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until they're crisp, Ikemoto says. Sprinkle them with herbs and spices for some extra flavor.


"When you remove the gluten out of a food product, you're taking away the ingredient that provides that delicious, chewy texture in breads, muffins, cakes, pasta, and more. To make up for the loss of flavor and texture, food manufacturers often add in other fillers, including sugars, fats, and other chemical additives," Batayneh says.

"Ultimately, your gluten-free snacks end up with more calories and sugars and don't even taste as good!" Sure, if you are gluten intolerant you shouldn't eat gluten-containing packaged foods. But every guy should shoot to remove all packaged foods, not just ones with gluten, from his diet.


Far too often, "smart," "whole grain," "healthy" cereals aren't all that different than the sugary stuff you ate as a kid. Case in point: On average, foods displaying the yellow Whole Grain Stamp contain more sugar and calories than do whole-grain foods that don't sport the label, according to research from Harvard University.

Instead of looking at the front of the box to make your selection, look at the back. The cereal should contain fewer than 10 grams of sugar per serving, at least 5 grams fiber per serving, and contain bran in the ingredients.

"The fiber in bran has been shown to help reduce cholesterol, regulate blood sugars, and contain beneficial antioxidants. However, commercially produced fiber like resistant starch, polydextrose, indigestible dextrins, and inulin may not provide the same benefits of plant-based fibers like wheat and oat bran," Ikemoto says.


"Many protein bars contain as much sugar as a candy bar but with a few extra grams of protein. As a result, you're getting a few grams of protein—often from questionable sources—along with copious amounts of sugar, trans fats, and other fillers," Batayneh says. Get your protein from whole foods like eggs, meat, poultry, fish, beans, and legumes, even after a workout.

Picture Credit: mythja,

Article Credit:
Author: K. Aleisha Fetters from Details
5 'Healthy' Foods That Aren't Really Healthy (adapted from 10 'Healthy' Foods That Aren't Really Healthy)
Choose the right foods while losing weight with a personal trainer in Chicago.