8 “Healthy” Foods That Are Actually Bad for You

A surprised young athletic man holding a protein bar as he covers his mouth with his hand.

When choosing foods for a healthier diet, it is important for you to actually look at the ingredients and nutrients. It’s easy to be fooled by foods that come off as nutritious when in reality, they could do more bad than good for you. We’ve compiled a list of foods to avoid as well as healthier alternatives to help you start making healthier choices!

If you’re ready to live your life to the fullest, then give our doctor’s office a call at (708) 671-1500 to get started!

Yogurt Parfait 

These sweet snacks are deemed a healthy option for the simple fact that they contain fruit and oats in the granola. But most parfaits contain sweetened fruit and sweetened granola, meaning sugar or honey was added. The more sugar you consume, the more your blood glucose will spike, making you feel tired or lethargic. Some healthy alternatives for a sweet snack include: 

  • Low-fat plain Greek yogurt with chia seeds
  • Fresh berries, bananas, and other whole fruit 

Crunchy Snacks 

Crunchy snacks wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for all the salt and calories they offer instead of any actual nutritional value! Some popular crunchy snacks that people often mistake as healthy include: 

  • Pretzels
  • Popcorn
  • Trail mix 
  • Veggie chips

If you are craving a crunchy snack, a healthy alternative would be crunchy, raw vegetables. You can even use a little bit of peanut butter or hummus to act as a dip! 

Protein Bars 

To many people, it seems like chunks of fruit, nuts, and rolled oats can do no harm. The unfortunate truth is that protein bars and even granola bars contain high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oils. Some foods that contain the same ingredients include soda, cookies, and cakes!

These ingredients can contribute to weight gain, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and heart disease. To prevent these conditions, healthier options for when you’re on the go include: 

  • Unsweetened dried fruit
  • Whole nuts and whole seeds

Multi-Grain Bread 

Multi-grain bread or seven-grain bread creates the misconception of being a healthy choice because they are nutrient-dense. While it is true that these bread products are full of whole grains, they have way more unbleached enriched wheat flour than anything else. The best kind of bread to eat is usually labeled as “whole wheat.” Whole ingredients are what you should aim for when buying healthier foods and produce!

Veggie Dip 

Just because you can see a hint of green or leafy vegetables in a dip doesn’t make it a healthy part of your meal or snack. Some of the unhealthiest dips you could be eating include: 

  • Spinach
  • Artichoke 
  • Cucumber spreads

This is because they are rich in saturated fats from the sour cream, cream cheese, mayonnaise, and other cheeses used to make these dips. If you have a craving for dips, you could try these healthier alternatives: 

  • Hummus (or bean-based dips) 
  • Basil pesto
  • Cashew kimchi dip 
  • Cashew cheese 

Sports Drinks 

Even though you may have heard it a million times before, the best thing to drink to keep yourself hydrated is water. Many sports drinks, such as Gatorade or Powerade, have almost the same amount of sugar as soda. In addition to all the soda, these beverages have potentially-carcinogenic artificial food coloring, meaning they can lead to behavioral problems, allergic reactions, and more health issues!

Dried Fruit 

Dried fruit is a bit of a toss-up since it was once fresh fruit. Unlike fresh fruit, however, dried fruit lacks water-soluble nutrients. Dried fruit is also not calorie-dense. Snacking on dried fruit sparingly should be fine, but it’s necessary to be aware of the potential risks of dried fruit. Risks include weight gain and diabetes concerns.

The best alternative is to eat whole, fresh fruits, such as: 

  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Pears 
  • Oranges
  • Berries 

Canned Soup

Canned soups may feel light on your stomach, but they are actually loaded with salt and sugar. Popular canned products such as Campbell’s are tied to an increased risk of obesity and insulin resistance. It is best to ditch canned soups overall and make your own homemade soup consisting of vegetables such as: 

  • Garlic
  • Onion 
  • Celery 
  • Parsley
  • Chives

Learn How to Maintain a Healthy, Clean Diet with The Pros at Healthonomic  

If you want to make an effort to lead a healthier lifestyle but don’t know where or how to start, you’ve come to just the right place. The medical professionals at Healthonomic are here to help you reach your health goals. Contact us today by calling (708) 671-1500 to get started.