4 Not-So-Healthy Health Foods- Dean - WI

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Published on October 13, 2015

4 Not-So-Healthy Health Foods

It seems like every day someone is claiming this or that is the next miracle health food. With all the varying opinions out there, how can you know what’s actually good for you? Unfortunately, there are a lot of misleading products out there.

  1. Smoothies and Parfaits: Many cafes and restaurants offer smoothies and parfaits as the healthy option on their breakfast menu, but these sweet snacks are often treated as just that: snacks. Many people don’t consider a smoothie or parfait to be a meal, despite the fact that they’re often only served in large sizes, so they tend to consume extra food along with them. A Starbucks smoothie, however, contains nearly as many calories as two scrambled eggs with cheese. Not to mention café smoothies are often extremely high in sugar from sweetened yogurt. Instead of grabbing something at the café in the morning, try making your own smoothies at home with skim milk, plain Greek yogurt and a little honey.

  2. Low-Fat Snacks: Pretzels have long been touted as a low-fat snack because they’re low in calories, but they’re also low in just about anything good for you. Often made from refined flour, pretzels are generally just empty calories because they have little protein or fiber. Substitute baby carrots for pretzels with your hummus or apple slices for pretzels with a spoonful of almond butter.

    Similarly, veggie chips sound great for you because we could all use a little more vegetables in our lives. But these salty snacks are mostly made from potato starch or corn flour with few vegetable ingredients. You’re better off making your own veggie chips with kale or Brussels sprouts.

  3. Prepared Salads: Tuna, chicken and egg salad are packed with calories from mayo and often served in portions that can contain as many as 700 calories. Other prepared salads can contain high-calorie cheese cubes, hard-boiled eggs, slices of packaged meat and bottled dressings loaded with sugar. Replace expensive store-bought salads with homemade ones. Make your own leafy green salads with fresh, local veggies and a simple dressing of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette. Or make your own chicken salad using plain Greek yogurt, like in this Cinnamon Chicken Salad.

  4. Multigrains: 100% whole grains are definitely good for you; however, packages claiming to be multigrain are deceptive. Breads, pastas and cereals are often labeled multigrain, but according to the Whole Grains Council, “multigrain” may describe a mix of both whole grains and refined grains. The whole grain contains more nutritional benefits than refined grains, so it’s important to read the label carefully and stay away from ingredient lists with “bleached” or “unbleached enriched wheat flour.” Look for products with the Whole Grain Stamp or that specifically say whole grain or whole wheat (as opposed to wheat, wheat flour or multigrain).

Are you wondering if your favorite snack is really “healthy?” Ask us in the comments below! 

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