Are You Still Eating These 7 “Healthy Foods”?

  • Post last modified:August 11, 2021
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When talking about healthy foods, what comes to mind? Fruits, vegetables, milk or something labeled as low-fat or sugar-free?

The fact is, many so-called healthy foods are “wolves in sheep’s clothing”. Not only are these foods low in nutritional value, but eating too much of them may harm your body.

The following are 7 common fake “healthy” foods.  Be cautious when choosing them.

1. Sports drinks

Sports drinks are very popular in the fitness field. They not only replenish water but also replenish the energy and electrolytes lost during exercise.

This type of drink is good for those who do strenuous exercise for a long time. 

Especially if you exercise for more than an hour, on a hot day, you should drink carbohydrate-rich beverages to ensure that your muscles get enough energy.

However, if you do not exercise regularly and prefer to drink this beverage, it is easy to consume too much sugar and too many calories.

Many sports drinks that contain electrolytes also contain added sugar. They are generally classified as sugary drinks.

Therefore, drinking too much of this type of sugary beverage is not good for your health.

2. Yogurt

Although it looks healthy, you should choose plain yogurt instead of those with different flavors.

Many times, you may not see added sugar on the product label. However, you will find that they contain artificial sweeteners, such as saccharin and aspartame. These sweeteners may have a negative impact on your health.

If you like yogurt, you can DIY or buy plain yogurt and add some sliced ​​fruits or nuts.

If you like a sweeter taste, you can also add some stevia or erythritol. These healthy sugar substitutes have only a small effect on your blood sugar.

3. Dried fruits

Dried fruits are also a very popular snack. Dried fruits seem healthy because they are directly processed from fruits.

However, the sugar content in most dried fruits is much higher (twice, three times or more) than fresh fruits. 

For example, a cup of fresh cranberries contains 4 grams of sugar, while a cup of dried cranberries contains 70 grams of sugar.

Many pre-packaged dried fruits have added more sugar.

Do you know high-sugar and high-carb diets can cause Candida infections?

In addition to sugar, dried fruits may also contain vegetable oils, chemical additives, preservatives (such as sulfur dioxide that many people are sensitive to) and flavoring agents.

However, these additives are mainly found in pre-packaged dried fruit products. If you have the ingredients to make your own dried fruits, you should not have this problem.

4. Fruit juice 

The first thing to emphasize is that the fruit juice you purchase from the store is different from the fresh fruit juice squeezed by yourself.

Commercial fruit juices contain more calories and sugars than freshly squeezed fruit juices. In addition, they have lower fiber content.

For example, a medium-sized orange contains about 60 calories, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber and 12 grams of sugar.

However, an 8-ounce glass of orange juice contains twice as much sugar and almost twice the calories of fresh oranges. An 8-ounce glass of orange juice also contains almost no fiber.

More importantly, you can drink a whole glass of juice in the time it takes to eat half an orange. 

In other words, you have consumed more calories in a short period of time. This also means that your blood sugar will spike.

Therefore, EAT fruit instead of “drink” fruit.

5. Protein bars 

Protein bars have become popular in recent years. They are even more popular in sports, fitness fields and with people who like outdoor activities.

Protein bars are snacks that supplement protein. They are usually packaged like biscuits. Each protein bar contains about 20 grams of protein.

However, this seemingly healthy snack may actually be unhealthy for you.

Most Protein bars are just “candy” bars filled with various grains, dried fruits or nuts. They contain a lot of sugar and additives.

In order to reduce the calorie and sugar content in protein bars, some manufacturers use sugar substitutes ( for example sorbitol, maltitol, sucralose and so on ) to increase the flavor. 

However, most sugar substitutes have a different aftertaste, which is not liked by everyone. Some people may also experience indigestion.

Many protein bars contain “real” carbohydrates. These carbohydrates come from high fructose corn syrup, honey, fruit juice, white sugar or jujube puree.

You don’t have to give up protein bars altogether. If you exercise regularly or do a lot of exercises, then the easy-to-carry protein bars can help restore physical strength and repair or increase muscle mass.

However, if the purpose of your exercise includes fat burning and weight loss, protein bars may be counterproductive. 

If you choose improperly, you can easily consume too many calories and see your weight rising, instead of decreasing.

6. Diet beverages

Diet beverages are usually labeled as zero sugar and zero calories. 

It sounds healthy, right?

Unfortunately, the answer is “NO”.

The sweetness of diet beverages comes from artificial sweeteners.

A number of human and animal studies have shown that drinking beverages containing artificial sweeteners have little effect on promoting weight loss or improving health. 

Furthermore, studies have shown that many participants have actually increased the risk of type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome and obesity.

The figure above shows the changes in consumption of sweetened beverages and obesity rates in the United States from 1962 to 2000.

It can be clearly seen that the increase in consumption of artificial sweetener beverages (red line) did not reduce the obesity rate (blue line). The blue line even showed a sudden rise.

In addition, compared with people who do not drink carbonated beverages, drinking carbonated beverages every day is also associated with an increased risk of dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease) and stroke.

Studies have shown that some artificial sweeteners (such as aspartame) may have effects on the nervous system.

This can lead to an imbalance in the levels of key neurotransmitters, including dopamine and serotonin. 

These symptoms can be common. Some people have headaches or insomnia after drinking soda or other foods containing artificial sweeteners.

7. Granola

Granola is a very popular American breakfast that contains a lot of oats, honey, dried fruit and nuts. It’s regarded as a healthy and delicious food.

However, most granolas available on the market (including organic forms) are rich in refined grains, added sugars and hydrogenated vegetable oils that are prone to inflammation.

More importantly, commercially available granola is a high-calorie food. For example, a cup of granola can contain up to 300-600 calories and 30 grams of added sugar.

American nutritionist Cassie Bjork described that when it comes to granola, she thinks of a pile of sugar. Also, the granola should be considered a dessert.

If you like granola, it’s best to make your own. This way, you can easily control the ingredients, sugar substitutes, and fat content. 

In addition to the most common fake health foods mentioned above, whole wheat bread and nut butter may not be 100% healthy either.

The best way to judge whether a food is healthy is to spend some time understanding the ingredients on the label.

If you prefer, you can DIY delicious healthy food at home. You control the nutritional content and also avoid some unhealthy additives, preservatives, sugar, excessive salt and hydrogenated oil.

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