While some people in your life may be using this day to fool you, USHEALTH Group is here to share some truth with you on this otherwise untruthful day. Over time, certain foods make it onto society’s “health foods” list and it turns out, some of those foods are not as healthy as we think they are. Keep reading to find out just what foods are “fooling” you:*
Veggie burgers can be a healthy choice if made at home with whole ingredients. However, many frozen versions and those served in restaurants use loads of butter and oils to hold all the ingredients together to look like a hamburger patty. The butter and oils often overpower the quantity and nutrition of the vegetables and make the “healthier” alternative to beef not as healthy as you had hoped.
So, when you are looking through the frozen food section for the hamburger alternative, take a quick look at the nutrition label to make sure the vegetables are listed at the beginning of the ingredients and any other ingredients are not taking away from the nutritional value of the vegetables.
While fresh fruit juice and the fruit itself is good for you, the typical fruit juice you find in the grocery store aisles is not as great as it seems. In truth, most fruit juices contain little to no actual fruit juice, and even the brands labeled “100 percent fruit juice” do not pose the same health benefits as eating a whole apple, banana or any of your favorite fruits.
The fruit juice you find in the store more often contains chemicals mimicking the taste of fruit and is basically fruit-flavored sugar water. And while “100 percent fruit juice” brands may be honest in that claim, the production of fruit juice removes all the best parts of fresh fruit and leaves only sugar—the part you do not want. So, in this case, it is best to just drink water and stick to whole, fresh fruits instead.
Gluten Free and Vegan Junk Food2,3
In recent years, gluten-free and vegan diets have increased in popularity— some individuals are following these diets because they have dietary restrictions and others because they believe it is a healthier diet. As a result, brands began releasing gluten-free and vegan products to accommodate the trend. However, people opting for products manufactured as “gluten-free” or “vegan” are not always making a healthier choice.
Gluten free and vegan counterparts to your normal junk food, for example, are just as processed as the regular versions, so what is the point? As Shape2 puts it, the best gluten free and vegan products are not products at all—they are fresh fruits and vegetables.
Do not let the green color distract you from the fact that spinach pasta is just like regular pasta with a little bit of spinach incorporated. The amount of spinach in these noodles, and even spinach tortillas, is not enough to permit you eating more than you would regular pasta.
Therefore, if you want the benefits of spinach, you can add spinach to your meal in other ways. For example, add fresh spinach leaves to your whole-wheat pasta dish or a spinach side salad to your meal. In the end, you can still enjoy your regular pasta while also benefitting from the many nutrients found in spinach.
While not all protein bars are unhealthy, it is safe to say many brands are hiding their high sugar content and processed ingredients behind the labeled benefit of protein. Because of this, you should be more selective of the protein bars you pick out by taking a quick look at the nutrition label. If the bar has more than 200 calories or eight grams of sugar, you are better off without it.
Instead, choose brands containing only organic ingredients, which typically boast more benefits than just protein. That way, you are avoiding artificial ingredients and gaining even more from the real ones!
These are only a few of a long list of foods fooling you and hiding behind labels to seem healthier. USHEALTH Group suggests you make sure you scan the labels of foods you are unsure about. This way, you can to ensure all your healthy choices are just that—healthy.
*This material is provided by USHEALTH Group ® for informational/educational purposes only and should not replace medical/clinical advice or direction from your health care provider.
- Gelman, Lauren, “17 Surprising Unhealthy Foods You might Want To Avoid,” Reader’s Digest, accessed March 18, 2019, https://www.rd.com/health/healthy-eating/unhealthy-foods/
- Walters, Jennifer, “50 Seemingly Healthy Foods that are Bad for You,” Shape.com, accessed March 18, 2019, https://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/diet-tips/50-seemingly-healthy-foods-are-bad-you
- Gunnars, Kris, “15 ‘Health Foods’ That Are Really Junk Foods in Disguise,” Healthline.com, last modified August 27, 2014, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/15-health-foods-that-are-really-junk-foods#section12