It is hard to eat a healthy diet. One reason it is so challenging is that even things that we think are good for us often contain tons of sugar or salt, are high in calories, or other gross things that don’t belong in our bodies. Even foods that are typically labeled as health foods can be problematic. These culprits are hiding in plain sight, but Plunkett Fitness is here to tell you about 10 supposedly healthy foods that you should avoid.
1. Fiber/Protein Bars
Fiber and protein bars contain chemicals, sugar, and all kinds of garbage that can lead to gas, bloating, and even diarrhea. Instead, dietitians will recommend that you consume high-fiber fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. As for protein, you can get plenty of protein from natural products like beans and nuts, too.
Fruit-flavored yogurts are the real problem here. Added fruit means added sugar. Instead of purchasing flavored yogurts, buy plain yogurt and add in fresh fruit. Plus, the artificial colors and flavors aren’t good for your waistline or health.
Even cereals without a ton of added sugar aren’t super healthy. Cereal often lacks nutrients, even if it is high in fiber and low in sugar. The empty calories found in cereal aren’t worth it for most people looking to eat more healthily.
4. Fruit Juices
Fruit is healthy, so many people believe that fruit juices will also be good for you. Unfortunately, fruit juices tend to have a lot of added sugar. Instead of slurping down fruit juice, grab the actual fruit instead. Fresh fruits will give you the vitamins and minerals found in fruit juices without all the added sugar and calories.
5. Whole Wheat Bread
Whole wheat bread is touted as the “healthy” alternative to white and other breads. What you’ll discover is that many wheat breads don’t contain whole grains and may still contain refined flour. Even worse, whole wheat breads can actually contain partially hydrogenated oils as well as artificial sweeteners, preservatives, food coloring, and high-fructose corn syrup.
6. Fat-Free Salad Dressings
Salad dressings are generally frowned upon for making an otherwise healthy meal less healthy. To make it healthier, many people opt for fat-free salad dressings. However, fat-free salad dressings can be high in sugar, salt, and additives. Fat generally isn’t the problem with salad dressings in the first place.
7. Turkey Bacon
Turkey seems like a great alternative to pork bacon. However, it is still processed, which means that it will likely have added salt to help make it taste more like pork bacon.
8. Dried Fruits
Dried fruits are basically candy with fiber and other vitamins and minerals. All the sugar and preservatives make dried fruits unhealthy. It is best just to eat a piece of fresh fruit. You will consume fewer calories and sugar with fresh fruit.
9. Microwave Popcorn
Popcorn is a high-fiber, healthy snack, but the microwave version contains chemicals to create the butter flavor. These chemicals can cause respiratory toxicity and lung disease. The added salt in microwave popcorn can also overload your body with sodium. It is best to use an air popper to make healthy popcorn without all the butter, oil, and salt.
10. Veggie Chips
Often thought of as a healthier alternative to potato chips, veggie chips aren’t as healthy as manufacturers want you to believe. The first ingredients in most of these products are potato or potato flour and oil. Basically, potato chips and veggie chips are the same levels of unhealthy.
For nutrition and exercise help, the Overland Park personal trainers at Plunkett Fitness are here. Our trainers can put together personalized nutrition and fitness plans that will have you feeling your very best. With expert recommendations for nutrition, you won’t be led astray by these and other misleading food choices.
To get started with a consultation call us at 913-390-3360. One of our trainers will sit down with you to discuss your goals and lifestyle. At this point, they will be able to develop a specialized plan for you, and you can start personal training sessions with us right away.