Hey Angels and Alphas,
We all know that the quest to maintain a healthy, balanced, nutritious diet can be difficult and confusing – especially with all the food labels marketed as “healthy.”
But next time you’re trying to make an educated choice about what to buy from the grocery store for your next meal, you should remember this list of 7 foods that mask themselves as healthy yet can actually sabotage your weight-loss goals and kill your progress. And, when you’re in doubt, always scrutinize the labels and make your own versions of those meals at home.
Here are our picks for the foods that are healthy, but only sometimes…
When combined with healthy ingredients such as rolled oats, dried fruit or nuts, granola might fool you into thinking it’s a pretty healthy meal. But the danger lies in all the sugar levels and mismatched portion sizes. You always have to make sure you’re checking the nutrition labels at the grocery store so you can opt for a brand that has the least amount of added sugars. After that, stick to the portion size suggestions – it can be very easy to overindulge if you’re not being extra careful.
#2 NUT BUTTER…
Just like granola, countless nut butter brands (especially the ones that claim to be all-natural) have a ton of added sugar, trans fats, and other ingredients counterproductive to your weight loss efforts. When you are reaching out for a protein-rich spread you can use for your toasts or breakfasts, always remember the number 1 rule that nut butter should generally just contain 1 ingredient: nuts. You can also try to make your own and customize it however you want it.
#3. WHITE BREAD!
White bread is super tricky. Especially when you’ve got countless options on the grocery store aisle, bread can be difficult to deal with. Most whole-wheat bread is actually FAR from whole wheat. Unless the package explicitly says “100% whole-wheat,” the bread is probably just white bread with some wheat flour sprinkled in. When you’re looking at white bread labels, make sure you grab one without sugar alternatives such as corn syrup.
#4 SALAD DRESSING!
Let’s get one thing straight – store-bought salad dressings are jam-packed with preservatives, added sugars, and salt, which is a recipe for weight-loss disaster. Their high calorie count can literally cancel out the fact that you’re eating a salad and turn it into a calorie bomb. When it comes to salad dressing, this is one thing we believe you should always do your best to make at home and mix up for yourself. There are plenty of simple, delicious, and healthy salad dressing recipes that won’t skyrocket your calorie intake. When in doubt, just use some olive oil, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and salt… and shake it! It’s tasty, simple, and actually healthy.
#5. GLUTEN-FREE SNACKS.
Every time you’re purchasing a snack that is altered to be gluten-free, you are essentially stripping away a big part of its taste and texture. When this happens, something has to pretty much make up for that loss… and brands usually choose sugars and chemicals. If you’re genuinely intolerant to gluten, then these will be the better option overall, but if you’re not… they’re definitely not as healthy as they seem.
Yes, some smoothies are actually great for you – the ones that are properly portioned and contain only real fruit and veggies. But then, there are smoothies packed with sugars and unnecessary additives. Popular brands and chains often use sugar-packed yogurt or ice cream as a base for their smoothie which makes their calorie count go through the roof. That’s why you should always be sure to ask for the full list of ingredients when you’re ordering, or better yet, just make your own smoothies at home.
#7. ENERGY BARS.
If that’s all you’ve got time for, an energy bar can be a delicious and healthy option for fitting inside your macros. However, when the grocery store has way more brands than you could ever hope to count, it’s time to go deep on exploring the label. Many mainstream protein bars are full of trans fat and sugars, meaning you’re much better off eating whole foods after you’re finished with your workout. When you’re in a hurry, look for the energy bar with the shortest ingredient list… one with ingredients you actually know and can pronounce.