Being healthy isn’t as difficult as it used to be. Because people are demanding healthier and healthier options, healthy eating is becoming something for everyone to invest in, and not just those who can afford it. But with the demand for health increasing constantly, there are many “healthy” products on our supermarket shelves that are nothing but imposters. It’s important to be aware of the food that is parading as a healthy snack, rather than actually being a healthy snack.
Usually we can tell the difference. We understand that a “healthy” brownie is still a brownie at heart. Yet sometimes we need the splurge. But there are other foods that we truly believe fall in the healthy category, yet are far from it. Here are 5 foods you might have wrongly labelled as “healthy”:
1 – Granola Bars
Heading out the door in the morning and need a quick meal on the go? Do you tend to reach for a granola bar for breakfast? Or as a snack for your afternoon energy boost? Well, it seems like a good idea – oats, fruits, nuts. But in reality, many bars are loaded with added sugar, not to mention all the preservatives. Check out the labels before you buy. Make sure you have a bar that is really chock full of the ingredients you need and not the ones you want to avoid. Another great option is to make them yourself. It takes no time at all and you can hand pick which ingredients to include.
2 – Frozen Yogurt
We understand. You really want to reach for the ice cream, but you know you shouldn’t ruin your good eating streak. Instead, you proudly chose the frozen yogurt. You were able to treat yourself, while also eating well, too. Well, not exactly. The idea that soft serve frozen yogurt is healthier is a bit of a misconception. It actually has as much sugar as many ice creams. Plus if you add on scoops and scoops of those delicious cookie crumbles, it suddenly is a lot less healthy than you would have expected. Why not do the same thing at home? Freeze some yogurt and scoop it like you would ice cream. Top it with healthy options like fruit and nuts. Need some sweet? Add a small drizzle of honey.
Your picking up a breakfast or lunch at the store. You think you might grab a salad and a juice to go with it. What a healthy meal! Well, that bottled juice is just as sneaky as the frozen yogurt, maybe sneakier. It wants you to believe that it will fill you full of goodness. But truthfully, it will probably fill you full of sugar more than anything else. Instead, drink water and fill up on whole fruits and veggies. Eating them whole will also provide you with all the fiber and nutrients that are lost during juicing.
4 – Rice Cakes
Nothing says I’m on a diet like a rice cake. But here is lies the problem, it seems like you are denying yourself because you are denying yourself. There really isn’t any nutritional benefit, so you are filling up on wasted calories. You are better off eating something that will be nutrient dense and leave you feeling full and satisfied. Permission to throw out your rice cakes and buy something that actually tastes like something other than cardboard.
5 – Cereal
How many commercials have you seen toting the benefits of eating your daily bowl of cereal? Probably quite a few. We love cereal, right. We enjoyed it as kids. We still love sneaking in a late night bowl before bed. But the same problem pops up that we saw with many of the previous foods, there is still a lot of excess sugar involved. Even if the cereal describes itself as super healthy and packed with superfoods, that still doesn’t mean that is lacking in sugar. Again, labels are your best friends. See how much sugar is really lurking there. Another great option is oatmeal which you can choose to sweeten and top with whatever you desire.
The moral of the story is be careful what people say is “healthy”. Read labels every time you go to buy a product. Know how much sugar and real nutritional value that food will give you. And as always, the best options are the foods that you make yourself.