In recent years, the general public has become more and more aware of their health. This has led to good and bad outcomes. More farmer’s markets and health food stores have popped up all over the United States, and major companies are revamping to accommodate the call for natural and healthy alternatives. But this overhaul has created the opportunity to market foods as healthy when in reality they are adding to the obesity weight. The list below gives you ten examples of foods that, while healthy in some aspects, are still adding to your waistline.
1. Trail Mix
Trail mix has been touted as a healthy snack for decades. While some varieties offer more natural and energizing mix of ingredients than others, those ingredients are high in sugar and fat. And often the bag of trail mix you munch in one or two sittings was meant to feed eight people.
2. Rice and Beans
If you’re as much of a Mexican food lover as I am, you may just have got a bit defensive. After-all, don’t do-gooders send rice and beans to impoverished countries to feed starving children? Yes, yes they do because rice and beans have a perfect blend of complex carbohydrates, and those carbohydrate calories add up. Even healthier brown rice still punches a whopping 216 calories per cup! And beans offer a very similar count.
3. Fat-free and low-fat dressings
Be careful what you put on those salads! It’s really easy to see the label on your favorite dressing that screams low fat or fat free and instantly throw it in your cart. Hold on, there shopper!
Those dressing bottles are packed with preservatives and harmful chemicals like aspartame.
4. Diet soda
You remember those science experiments with displays about sugar in different types of soda right? Buying their diet counterparts isn’t much better. Sure the sugar may be less, but to keep the sweet, those companies are adding aspartame or another type sweetener. And studies suggest that choosing diet soda over regular won’t prevent weight gain.
5. Roasted nuts
Roasted nuts have a lot of reasons to be considered a healthy snack. Most are rich in magnesium, calcium, and protein. They are also chock-full of fat. A half cup serving of dry roasted almonds is a quarter of your total daily calorie intake!
6. Sugar Free Drinks
Similar to diet soda, sugar free drinks such as Mio, Crystal Lite and Vitamin waters are sold as healthy, tasty alternatives to water. (Just so you know, no other drink does what water can for your body. But I digress.) These drinks often have artificial sweeteners, flavors, or colors that add to the overall marketing strategy, to convince health-conscience people to buy their products.
As a major ingredient in cereals and trail mixes, granola has a lot of health benefits when eaten in small quantities. It can help with heart health and up your fiber intake. In its’ purest form it’s great for you. The problem is that most granola contains large amounts of sugar or honey to make eating it more enjoyable. Plus, fancy blends with fruit and nuts add hundreds of calories to each serving.
Oh the fruit of summer! Who doesn’t love a good avocado? The vitamins contained around its pit are great for your skin and hair, but don’t eat more than a quarter of one a day, or you’ll gain some weight. The fat and calorie contains of an avocado might astound the unsuspecting. This luscious topping for salads and tacos contains over 300 calories and almost 30 grams of fat per medium-sized fruit!
9. Fruit smoothies
With the increasing popularity of juicing and the hot summer months, it’s no wonder fruit smoothies are available all over the place. But skip the commercially produced ones. Whether you’re grabbing a bottle out of a store refrigerator or ordering one at a local place consider the possibility of what you’re drinking. Aside from the fruit, there are sure to be artificial colors, added sugar, and in most cases, a big healthy dollop of fatting whipped cream.
10. Low fat frozen yogurt
Ice cream is another summer favorite, though it’s hard to find a truck trolling neighborhoods these days. With the demand for healthy options, many companies turned to making frozen yogurt as a great substitute. But watch out! Many frozen yogurt options, even the reduced sugar and slow churned types, still tip the scales in fat.