10 Foods Most People Think Are Healthy But Are Definitely Not
Ever gorged on a piece of food for weeks, thinking it was oh so healthy, only to be later told that, actually, it’s one of the primary causes of heart disease, diabetes, liver failure, and so on? Yup, we’ve all been there and it’s a pretty darn frustrating – and scary – moment. There are certain foods that we’ve been told for years are healthy and that we should eat more of. Our grandparents and parents will tell us to eat this and that, because it will make us healthier, and the media backs it up.
Alarmingly, though, there are a lot of so-called healthy foods out there that are actually not so healthy at all. It’s as though we’ve been brainwashed into believing that these foods will make us live longer, even though the reality is that they can kill us off sooner. So if you’re scared that your “healthy” cupboards are actually filled with cancer-causers that are sending you to an early grave, why not take a look at our list of 10 foods most people think are healthy but are definitely not, and improve your diet today. You never know, you might end up living longer. Yay for a longer life!
1. Commercial Salad Dressings
We love vegetables, but the problem for many people is that veggies just don’t taste all that great on their own. To force ourselves into eating them, we have to coat them in salad dressing which add flavour, colour and a bit of spice. And don’t get us started on kids; kids often won’t go anywhere near a vegetable unless there is salad dressing involved. The problem is, though, that the most popular commercial salad dressings are actually really bad for you. High in sugar, salt and trans fats, many salad dressings dress your salads up in cancer-causing badness. Eww.
2. Fruit Juices
The proper name for fruit juices should be liquid sugars. Seriously, that’s what they should be called, because that is essentially what they are. Many fruit juices that you find in a supermarket are deceptively termed, because there often isn’t even any fruit in there! And if there is, it’s like 1% or something. All you’re drinking is fruit-flavoured sugar water. Really. Even the top quality fruit juice is still bad for you, because the good stuff has been taken out of the fruit. The only thing that’s really left is the sugar. Don’t go there.
I know what you’re screaming right now.
‘No! Surely not Granola?! Oh please, NO!’
Yes. Granola makes this list because it is seriously deceptive. Okay, sure, it’s packed with nuts, rolled oats and dried fruits, but have you ever taken into consideration the extra calories and the sugar? A single bowl of granola can smash the 500 mark for calories, and this is before you’ve doused it in milk. Oops.
Margarine or butter?
Butter or margarine?
It’s a question many of us have wrestled with over the years, and margarine apparently won the health round. So, as soon as butter was stigmatised for being bad for us, the health freaks converted to margarine. But margarine is still packed with refined vegetable oils, and is basically a nasty collage of chemicals and these oils. If you replaced butter with margarine, you’re actually more like to develop heart disease, icky.
5. Pre-made Smoothies
That pre-made smoothie you bought the other day? It has more calories than a cheeseburger! Yep, it’s true. Smoothies come loaded with fruit and vegetables, but also with sugar. Rather than extracting the fruit’s good qualities – such as fibre – smoothies extract the bad – sugar. A pre-made smoothie often comes with added sugar and syrups. So the next time your friend posts a photo to Facebook of her smoothie with the caption, “I’M HAVING A HEALTH DAY”, tell her she’s not.
6. Artichoke Spinach Dip
I know what you’re thinking. How can artichoke spinach dip be unhealthy? Unless there’s a chocolate bar in there somewhere, or a donut that no one’s telling us about. But then it would be artichoke spinach donut dip which…wow, that sounds amazing!
Anyway, back to the point. Artichoke spinach dip makes this list thanks to the fact that one little teaspoon is loaded with hundreds of calories, as well as a wealth of fat. You’d be healthier if you ate a bowl of chips.
You’re still thinking about that donut, aren’t you?
We’re talking protein, fibre and energy bars here, all of which are just a step away from being a fuller fledged candy bar that can cause health problems. Because most of these bars are termed protein bars or energy bars, we’re seduced into chomping on them for snacks, believing we’re being healthy. But there are pretty much nil nutrients and they are pale in comparison to an apple.
8. Reduced Fat Peanut Butter
When you reduce the mono saturated fats from peanut butter, all you’re left with is the sugar and pointless calories. You see, ‘reduced fat’ peanut butter is such a sneaky way of putting things, because peanuts are actually crammed with good fats. But because we’re so obsessed with fats, we think every fat is bad for us. So when we see ‘REDUCED FAT! COME AND GET IT!’ we go and get it. In peanut butter’s case, you need to stick with the real deal.
9. Flavoured Fat-Free Yogurt
The fat-free thing is just a trap, and we recommend that you stay well away. We’re seduced by the ‘fat free’ label, but if something is fat free, it doesn’t automatically mean that it’s healthy. Did you know, as an example, that most flavoured yogurts contain more than 15 grams of sugar? And that’s just in a 6 oz serving.
10. Dried Fruit
Yeah, we can hear you. “BUT DRIED FRUIT HAS FIBRE!”
Sure it does. But it’s also rich in added sugar, as well as sulphur. Does that sound tasty? We didn’t think so. When fruit dries, it needs to be preserved for longer, and when it is, it comes with three times the amount of calories per volume than it had when it was nice and fresh. For example, if you eat a bag of banana chips, you’ll be eating 20% more fat.