The never-lasting dilemma of finding ourselves healthy food items that we actually like to eat has become more significant over time. It has effectively made the process of navigating the grocery aisles and searching for nutritious foods more complex than it needs to be. We can either blame wrongful marketing tactics used by various companies to make their products sound healthy or ourselves for not being properly informed about the choices we make in our food or both for it.
The use of claims such as low fat, gluten-free, organic, low-carb, or vegan is used aggressively by these companies to appeal to customers who are trying to introduce healthier foods in their diet. Unfortunately, these claims do not guarantee them being healthy or a good choice for you.
Here we are introducing 10 “so-called healthy” food items that may not be as healthy as they are known to be:
1. Protein Drinks and Bars
Just because a food product claims to be higher in protein content doesn’t necessarily mean it is healthy for you or fulfilling the protein intake in your body. Foods that are naturally high in protein such as eggs, beans, pulses, fish are certainly a healthy choice for you. However, products such as protein shakes and protein bars are not as healthy as you think they are.
If you are taking a balanced diet on a daily basis, you don’t need to worry about consuming this extra protein via these supplements. However, people following a vegan or a vegetarian diet and those who remain extra active regularly will certainly benefit from some extra protein intake. To fulfill this requirement in your body, going the natural way is the only way to go rather than relying on artificial alternates loaded with added sugar, oils, thickeners, artificial colors, and other unnecessary ingredients.
2. Gluten-free Snack Foods
People with gluten-related disorders should definitely avoid consuming gluten. However, only because a food is labeled to be gluten-free does not make it healthier as compared to gluten-containing foods. Some of the processed snacks that claim to be gluten-free contain an equal amount of, if not more, added sugar and calories as other food items.
Various studies on the matter have revealed that. these gluten-free food items are actually lower in certain vitamins, miners, protein, and fiber than their gluten-containing counterparts. They also tend to be costlier.
3. Wheat Bread
Wheat is a common ingredient in food items that are rich in carbohydrates. With that being said, food companies actively use this convenience to make their food sound healthier while labeling it as a wheat product. Technically, it may be true but there is a whole lot of difference between food items containing wheat and food items entirely made of wheat.
Whole wheat bread is certainly a healthier option but not all bread that is claiming to be wheat bread may not be as healthy for you as you think. They can contain enriched flour that provides you with a sugar crash without adding any nutritional value. You can swap it for fiber-rich bread made of 100% whole wheat to get the most amount of nutrition.
4. Organic Snack Foods
Nowadays, food companies are adopting a strategy when they are labeling every other food item as organic to target customers who are trying to eat healthily and boost the sale of their products. However, in terms of nutrients, organic foods are not very different as compared to conventionally grown foods.
In a study it was also found, organic plants also have the tendency to produce more natural toxins that can be harmful to humans. Not just organically grown foods but other food items that claim to be organic are not as healthy for you either.
5. Granola Bars
Granola bars are championed as a healthy food for decades. Even though they may have some nutritional value to them, they are still added with a lot of sugar and tend to be very high in calories. As recommended by experts, for optimal health, it is always best to limit your added sugar intake as much as possible as it comes with a risk of increased health conditions.
These health conditions could lead to:
6. Flavored Yogurts
Yogurts are certainly a healthy food choice but only when you decide to take them without any added sugar. You may have heard a lot of chatter about flavored yogurts being a healthy choice for you, as they contain fruit at the bottom. However, you would be surprised to know the amount of added sugar they contain.
A typical 150-gram container of flavored yogurt contains 15 grams of sugar. Additionally, yogurts having candy toppings have even more. To make your choice in yogurt healthier, try swapping it with unsweetened yogurt with fresh fruit.
7. Diet Soda
Contrary to popular belief, Diet Soda, like other so-called healthy food items on this list, is not exactly guilt-free. Even though they may contain no added sugar and zero calories generally, they are still not very healthy for you. Various studies have found that those who drink diet soda regularly are more likely to develop certain health issues than those who don’t.
They can be associated with a higher risk of metabolic syndrome that could lead to higher blood pressure, increased belly fat, fat levels, and even blood sugar.
8. Some Low Fat and Fat-free Products
Low-fat is a word that automatically makes any food item sound healthy for people trying to make healthier choices. However, as much as we would like to believe it, they are not exactly healthy for you. Food manufacturers tend to replace fat with sugar in fat-free or low-fat products to compensate for the flavor loss.
Fat-free products may actually be less filling than their fat-containing versions because as a macronutrient, fat is really important for supporting feelings of fullness and making food more delicious.
9. Premade Smoothies
Smoothies are actually a great way to add fruits and vegetables to your daily diet but only when they are fresh, natural, and unsweetened. Premade smoothies or sugar-added smoothies contain massive amounts of calories. They are certainly not a healthy choice for you to consume on a daily basis and should be replaced with a much natural version for best results.
10. Some plant-based meat products
Plant-based diets are certainly more healthy that can benefit your overall health. However, not every plant-based product is good for you. Especially, plant-based meat replacement products that are packed with salt, sugar, and other ultra-processed ingredients.
Instead of consuming plant-based meat products, try using whole-food ingredients to make a natural approach. There are a lot of healthy alternatives to plant-based meat products such as black beans, mushrooms, cashews to eat vegan and delicious food items.
This era may be all about making healthy choices and eating healthy to keep our health in check. However, as we are becoming more desperate so are the companies who are trying to sell us their so-called healthy food items.
Nowadays, you can add fancy healthy-sounding words to any other food item to target a particular customer base who is seeking a healthier diet. This is why it is always better to be informed about the food you are consuming and make better choices.