Have you been duped into thinking any food with a health claim on the packaging is good for you? If so, you’re not alone. The wily ways of marketing have most of us convinced that any foods labeled “low fat” or “all natural” are healthy foods. Sadly, this isn’t always the case.
Many foods that attempt to convince you of their health benefits simply aren’t healthy. It’s a good idea to be wary of any foods that make lofty claims on their packaging. In fact, the healthiest foods are the ones that don’t have packaging at all — think fresh fruits and veggies. Let’s take a look at five “healthy” foods that can actually contribute to weight gain.
Yogurt has typically been regarded as the king of health food. But, only plain yogurt with no added sugar maintains health food status. Flavored yogurts — even those with fruit flavor — are typically laden with added sugar and even artificial sweeteners, all which contribute to weight gain. Your best bet is to treat yourself to plain, Greek yogurt with fresh berries mixed in. You’ll get all the delicious flavor without the unhealthy additives.
2. Gluten-free chips and baked treats
Just because your favorite pita chip, veggie chip, or cookie is gluten-free does not make it a healthy food. Gluten-free chips and baked goods are processed foods. That’s all there is to it. These are refined foods that have no business being called a health food. Sure, they may be better than their more conventional counterparts, but they can still cause weight gain — and that’s not what you’re after!
3. Granola bars and trail mix
We’ve all been conditioned to believe granola bars, granola, and trail mix are healthy foods. Some aren’t bad, but many cause weight gain due to their sugar content. Just take a look at the label on a granola bar the next time you’re shopping for “healthy” snacks. You might be amazed at how many grams of sugar you find. Always check labels and don’t buy the product if it’s loaded with sugar, preservatives, or artificial ingredients of any kind.
4. Artificial sweeteners
We’ve been told that no-calorie sweeteners like Splenda, Aspartame, and the like are great substitutes for sugar if you want to lose weight. Sure, they have no calories, but that doesn’t mean they’re good for you. Studies show that artificial sweeteners don’t help people lose weight. In fact, it’s the opposite — they’ve actually been linked to weight gain, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.
5. Store-bought green juice
The green juice craze has taken on a life of its own — so much so that purveyors of healthy foods now sell pasteurized green juice in your local supermarket. But these drinks are often packed with added sugar and other preservatives that actually cause weight gain.
Homemade green juice, on the other hand, is ripe with nutrients that will help you lose weight. But, you’ll have to juice at home with a high-quality juicer. It’s worth it to avoid the bottled stuff.
Confused about what’s healthy and what’s not? SmartFit offers personalized diet plans to help you look and feel your best! Contact us today for a FREE consultation!