There are a lot of foods that are billed as healthy. In fact, it’s rare to see a food item that doesn’t have health-themed marketing spin somewhere on the packaging. And with a lobby for every major food commodity throwing big dollar signs at propaganda, it’s no wonder everybody’s confused about what’s actually good for you. These are a few of them, and are foods to avoid.
Maybe the most iconic health food, it turns out granola isn’t exactly as much of a health boon as it’s cracked up to be. Especially granola bars. If you looked at their nutrition facts side-by-side with candy bars, you’d have a difficult time distinguishing between the two. Granola bars are usually loaded with added sugar, and for the most part are very low in protein. This means they don’t satiate, leading you to spike your sugar and then get immediately hungry again.
Skip the granola and just eat the ingredients in the bars that are actually good for you, like nuts and dried fruits.
Low Fat / No Fat Mayo
Mayonnaise has never been considered a health food. But its healthed-up replacements are actually worse for you than the original. When they cut out the fat, they added in food starch, soybean oil, high fructose corn syrup and tons of preservatives. If you’re going to use mayo, just use whole mayo. Sparingly. Or replace it with a healthier spread like hummus or guacamole.
Canned soups, even “healthy” organic ones, are foods to avoid. Even if they’re low-calorie, they’re probably loaded with sodium and even BPA. A standard can of soup usually has anywhere from 600 to 1000 mg of sodium. And it’s not uncommon for the cans to have BPA in the lining, a chemical linked to cancer.
Instead of buying canned, make your own in large batches and then store it. You can also get reduced-sodium broths and ingredients. Avoid salt in your beans altogether by buying them dry and soaking them yourself.
Way back when, when we thought that high cholesterol foods were the primary cause of heart disease, eggs came under intense scrutiny. They were considered a taboo food for a while. Now their reputation as a healthy food has been restored. But many people still choose egg substitute over real eggs.
When you eat substitutes, you get none of the satiety or nutrients of eating whole eggs. Eggs keep you full for longer than almost any other breakfast food. And they’re also very high in protein. Egg substitutes, not so much.
The choice between pork bacon and turkey bacon seems an obvious one. How could turkey not be healthier for you than pig? Well, when you dig into the nutrition facts, the picture isn’t so clear. Most turkey bacons have an equivalent amount of calories and fat as the pork they’re meant to replace. And they usually have higher sodium.
These are just a few foods to avoid. There is a seemingly infinite variety of other foods to avoid as well. Stick to fruits, vegetables, beans and all the other proven health food staples and you’ll be in good shape.
Turns out some foods can actually help you tan naturally. Three servings a day will make you glow.