Now that we’ve discovered the 7 unhealthy foods that are actually healthy, let’s take another look at your go-to healthy foods that may not really be your best choice…
Maybe it’s clever marketing, or maybe it’s deceiving nutrition labels, but nowadays, it’s easy to be confused about what’s healthy and what’s not. Rather than blindly sabotaging your diet, replace these 7 sneakily unhealthy foods with their healthy alternatives.
1. Peanut Butter
Although delicious and high in protein, spoonfuls of peanut butter may not be the healthiest snack. This is because peanut butter’s fat content is very high. Only two tablespoons of Peter Pan’s natural creamy peanut butter can contain 210 calories, 17 grams of fat and 3 grams of sugar… yikes.
For guilt free spoonfuls, try Bell Plantation’s PB2, a powdered peanut butter spread with 85% less fat than traditional peanut butter. Two tablespoons of PB2 have only 45 calories, 1.5 grams of fat and 1 gram of sugar. However, despite being lower in calories, PB2 can lack the healthy fats found in real peanut butter. Ya win some, ya lose some.
2. Protein Bars
With 250+ calories, 43 grams of carbohydrates and 21 grams of sugar, Clif bars are made for high-intensity athletes who need those extra calories to sustain them on their climb up Mt. Everest. PSA: those ingredients are not necessary for girls heading to a pure barre or spin class.
Instead, reach for a Nature Valley Chewy Protein Bar for the same amount of protein with half the calories and sugars.
Despite yogurt generally being considered a healthy breakfast option because of it being filled with good bacteria and calcium, let’s make sure the labels agree. Many yogurts are packed full of sugar for artificial flavor and color. Yoplait’s original strawberry yogurt is a prime example of this trickery.
Although only 170 calories, Yoplait’s sweet taste comes at the cost of 26 grams of sugar, modified corn starch and high-fructose corn syrup. What’s more, Yoplait does not contain live cultures at all – one of the main reasons to even eat yogurt. Busted.
Therefore, you should choose Fage’s 0% plain Greek yogurt instead. Fage’s Greek Yogurt has only 100 calories, 7 grams of sugar and no artificial flavors or sweetening.
Pro tip: Add in your own fresh fruit, nuts or chia seeds for flavor that you know is real.
4. Trail Mix
If you’re not hiking on the trail, maybe skip the mix. The mixture of salted peanuts, M&M’s and sugar-coated raisins is a quick energy snack designed purposefully for those who actually need those extra calories to burn.
Each handful contains some 300+ calories. Trail mix sans trail isn’t the best option for healthy, everyday snacking. Instead, try for a handful of unsalted nuts or almonds for a protein-filled snack that will sustain you without all the added calories of trail mix.
Turns out those Naked smoothies may not help you look that great naked. Not only do Naked Smoothies contain fruits and vegetables, but also a whopping 29-35 grams of sugar per bottle. That doesn’t seem so natural…
Instead of processed sugar and fruits, try for the real thing by looking for fresh smoothies made from real or frozen fruits. Additionally, avoid any “creamy” add-ins, and be sure to use low-fat yogurts or non-fat milks instead.
Although the word “granola” is usually used to describe healthy, outdoorsy people, please don’t automatically associate the same description with the actual food. Depending on which brand you choose, this crunchy, fiber-filled breakfast cereal can ironically be one of the unhealthiest ways to start your day.
Brands like Kellogg’s have masked the heart-healthy benefits by saturating their granola in sugars and artificial ingredients that make granola not so healthy. Just 1 cup of Kellogg’s low-fat granola with raisin’s contains 450 calories and 17 grams of sugar. No joke.
It’s important to check the nutrition information of your granola to find a brand that doesn’t compensate the health benefits for taste. Try Purely Elizabeth’s Granola for an alternative that is low in calories and sugars while also being high in protein, gluten-free, vegan, and without refined-sugar.
Just because popcorn has the word corn in its name doesn’t mean it is as healthy as the vegetable. Although delicious, stay away from the butter-soaked popcorn brands that can contain 450+ calories per bag. If you really want to fix your salty craving, reach for a bag of Skinny Pop. This alternative is much lower in both calories and fat.
For more info about how to make the most out of your healthy alternatives, check out these articles: