There are many “superfoods” or “healthy” foods on the market today that are said to have extraordinary health benefits. But just because a food says it’s a “superfood” or the packaging looks like a healthy food doesn’t mean it’s automatically good for you. Some of these foods can be pretty harmful. Whether it’s their high levels of sugar, fat, or sodium, the ingredients used to make these foods, or even how we buy and eat them. This article will take a look at some foods you should avoid!
Granola bars are one of the most popular snacks in America. They can be healthy because they pack a lot of fiber and protein, but many granola bars are made with lots of extra sugar and fat to make them taste better. Some granola bars come in packages claiming to have only 100 calories, and these companies count each tiny square as just one serving. So if you eat three granola bars (which is not uncommon), those 100 calories turn into 300.
Energy drinks claim to boost your energy and increase metabolism while curbing your appetite. While these claims seem too good to be true, some studies back them up. But there is much more research needed before the long-term effects of these caffeine-packed drinks are known. The FDA does not regulate energy drinks, so there is no way to know how much caffeine you’re getting when you buy them. Plus, they contain ingredients like guarana and taurine that can be harmful if too much is consumed in one sitting. Studies have also linked energy drinks with acne breakouts, stomach problems, caffeine overdose, and even early death.
Today’s artificial sweeteners are up to 700 times sweeter than table sugar and don’t contain calories. But what is the effect of consuming something that has absolutely no calories? One study looked at people who consumed foods and beverages with aspartame, a common artificial sweetener. They found that the long-term damage of aspartame can include memory problems and congenital disabilities.
Salad dressings are often labeled healthy because they have low- or no-fat ingredients. But all it takes is a quick look at the nutritional label to see that salad dressings are anything but good for you. On average, one serving of salad dressing has about half of your daily recommended value of fat and sodium; those numbers increase when you eat a salad full of toppings and dressing. Do your best to steer clear of salad dressings, especially with words like creamy, cheese, honey mustard, or thousand islands. Instead, opt for a low-fat dressing like balsamic vinegar and oil or plain old vinegar and oil.
Whether it’s orange juice, apple juice, or grapefruit juice, fruit juices are far from the healthy drink they claim to be. A 100% fruit juice cup contains around 20-30 grams of sugar and no fiber. Fiber is found in whole fruits and vegetables and can help slow down how quickly your stomach empties after you eat. It also keeps your hunger satisfied. One study found that people who drank a cup of fruit juice within 2 hours burned 50 more calories digesting the drink than those who had an actual piece of fruit.
Additionally, 100% fruit juice is not as nutritious as you might think. Most of its vitamins and antioxidants are destroyed during the pasteurization process. This means you’re better off eating the fruit!
Yogurt is often considered a healthy breakfast or snack. It’s high in protein and calcium, but the extra sugar you get from flavored yogurt makes it anything but healthy. The average cup of plain low-fat yogurt has 9 grams of sugar, while some flavored yogurts have as much as 30 grams! That’s almost double the recommended six teaspoons of sugar for an entire day. For comparison’s sake, a can of Coke has 39 grams of sugar. When buying flavored yogurt, read the ingredients list carefully.
It seems like a good choice: you just add hot water, and it’s ready to eat in minutes! But instant oatmeal turns out to be one of the worst options available. To start, most flavors of instant oatmeal have high-fructose corn syrup as their first ingredient. Always choose steel-cut oats or rolled oats over instant oatmeals. If you’re in a rush, choose plain oatmeal and add your flavors with fresh fruit or cinnamon and nuts.
As you can see, some beautiful foods are not nearly as harmless as they seem. This is why it is vital to research the ingredients of any food product before buying it. Avoiding these foods will prevent long-term health issues, including diabetes and cancer. Eating these foods in moderation also doesn’t hurt, but don’t make them a daily part of your diet. Remember to read the nutrition facts on the back to know what exactly you’re eating.