You go to spin class regularly, you drink the recommended ounces of water daily and aside from the occasional slice of office birthday cake, you consider yourself a pretty virtuous snacker. Or are you?
Turns out, lots of so-called health foods are hiding way more bad-for-you stuff than you might realize. Courtesy of our friends at Pure Wow, here are seven “healthy” foods that aren’t as nutritious as they claim to be, along with substitutes that actually deliver the goods—without the bad.
STORE-BOUGHT GREEN JUICE
Good for you–you bought a bottle of green juice. Unfortunately, most packaged versions try to mask the earthy taste with tons of sugar. (Yes, that includes sugar from fruit.)
More on the fruit subject. In many cases, that handful of banana chips or dried apricots might as well be candy, based on how much sugar is added.
We get it: Granola is so good. But what makes it good are the copious amounts of oil and butter that are often used to make those oh-so-delightful bunches stick together. On top of that, there’s very little fiber or other discernable nutritional value in the store-bought kind.
Let’s dispel a popular myth: Fat does not necessarily make you fat. A moderate amount of fat is actually essential to a healthy diet. Fat-free or reduced-fat snacks are dangerous for two reasons: First, you’ll probably end up eating more since you think it’s healthy. Second, these snacks are often full of sugar to make up for lost flavor and texture. Case in point: Low-fat potato chips. The calorie difference is minor, and the reduced-fat version often has more sodium.
Just when you think you’re being virtuous by ordering a salad for lunch, it shows up covered in indulgent add-ons and topped with highly processed dressing. Not so worth it anymore.
Ahh, rice cakes. Frenemies to dieters everywhere. While these disks of cardboard aren’t actively bad for you, they’re completely devoid of nutritional benefits–and basically the most boring food in the entire world.
VEGAN OR GLUTEN-FREE JUNK FOOD
Just because it’s compatible with a healthy-sounding diet doesn’t mean it isn’t super-processed and loaded with bad-for-you, albeit cruelty- and wheat-free, ingredients. Vegan cupcakes are still cupcakes, you guys. Vegan does not necessarily equal waistline-friendly.
More from our friends at Pure Wow…
12 of The Best Sandwiches Of All Time
19 of The World’s Best Cauliflower Recipes
Healthy Summer Grilling Recipes
Healthy Weeknight Dinner Recipes
The Best Breakfast Recipes In The Whole Entire Universe