Don't be tricked by these fake health foods!
When it comes to food, healthy is a very subjective term and not all "health" foods are created equal. In fact, some foods we deem as healthy aren't actually that healthy at all!
Before you guzzle that "low-fat" smoothie or scarf down that bag of "fat-free" chips, take a little peek at this list. There's a chance you'll be surprised, disgusted and just plain uncomfortable with the foods you thought were healthy. Remember that Seinfeld episode where Jerry gained weight eating low-fat frozen yogurt? The same could happen to you if you aren't careful and aware of what you're putting in that body of yours. And there's no better time to pay attention to what you're eating -- it's almost swimsuit season!
Anything labeled fat-free
In today's culture where size is everything, the allure of something being completely free of fat is certainly hard to ignore, especially when it comes to food. However, those fat-free foods can lead to weight gain! Those packaged boxes of "fat-free" cookies may not have any fat, but they are more often than not loaded with sugars and preservatives as well as more calories than the original! Plus, when we think we're eating something "healthy" or "low-fat" we often take that as meaning we can eat more without any repercussion. So before you know it, you've eaten half the sleeve of cookies and almost 1,000 calories. My advice? Eat one regular cookie and call it a day.
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I know what you're thinking. "What? A smoothie! No way, it's just veggies, fruit and milk in my drink!" And that's where I have to step in and show you what you're really drinking: sugar, sugar and more sugar, plus some fancy 10-letter preservatives. Although this certainly isn't the case for all store-bought or fast food smoothies, it's the case for many of them. For example, the orange dream machine smoothie from Jamba Juice has as many calories as a sausage McMuffin with cheese! Skip the store-bought and make your own healthy smoothie instead.
Check out these healthy smoothie recipes >>
Energy or protein bars
These sound harmless enough, right? High-energy and high-protein bars should be good for you! However, most of the bars out there now contain more sugar and calories than a bowl of kid's breakfast cereal or a candy bar! Don't completely avoid all bars, though. Some bars, like Larabars and Rise Bars, are 100 percent organic, gluten-free and made with natural ingredients, including less sugar! If you have to have one, look for a low-sugar, low-carbohydrate variety, so you don't crash later.
For those watching their calories, diet sodas are a better option than their higher calorie siblings, but not by much. Diet sodas lack any nutritional or health benefits and can actually cause health risks if you aren't careful! A recent study found an increased incidence of metabolic syndrome in those people who consumed diet soda versus those who didn't. The artificial sweeteners are to blame. A diet soda once in a while will certainly not wreak havoc on your body or health, though. For a healthier option, drink water or coffee for an energy buzz.
Check out these 4 alternatives to diet soda >>