One of the hardest parts of a diet is deciding what you will be eating. When making your list, it’s a good idea to research what foods to eat. If you don’t, you may not notice that some so-called “healthy foods” are not healthy at all. There is a laundry list of foods that have this same problem. Here’s a list of different foods that aren’t as healthy as you may think and which you may want to avoid while on a diet.
1. Protein Bars
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read the nutrition label of a protein bar and realize that it’s worse than your average candy bar. That’s because many protein bars are loaded with sugars and often contain high-fructose corn syrup, the same syrup used in many processed and fattening foods. Not all protein bars are unhealthy, however, as there are a few options that include wholesome ingredients such as nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and unsaturated oils.
2. Readymade bottled smoothies and protein shakes
Just like protein bars, these beverages are viewed as healthy, but once you take a look at the nutrition label, you realize that some of these drinks can contain as much sugar as a milkshake. You are much better off making your own protein shakes at home with your own ingredients and protein. Smoothies can be tricky if you load up on fruits due to the high sugar count. Adding in vegetables can alleviate this but as is the case with all smoothies, the loss of fiber from blending won’t give you the full nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables.
Granola is a favorite in the diet community as both a snack and as an ingredient in protein bars. However, not all granola is created equally. Many granolas are made using butter, processed sugar, and various saturated oils. Make sure to buy or make homemade granola that is low in sugar content and contains healthy nuts.
4. Instant Oatmeal
While homemade oatmeal is a staple of a healthy diet, Instant oatmeal is quite the opposite of that. As with many instant meal food products, Instant oatmeal is filled with processed sugars and carbs added in. Stick with homemade oatmeal and throw in some other fruits and vegetables to add flavor and more fiber to your bowl.
5. Salad Dressing
You may be surprised to hear, but most salad dressings are not good for you. While many get slapped with a “low fat” label to mask this fact, most salad dressings contain unwanted preservatives, high sodium and other less than healthy ingredients. Looking to add flavor to your garden salad? All you need is some balsamic vinegar or some extra virgin olive oil.
6. Gluten free foods
Just because a food has a gluten-free label on it doesn’t automatically make it healthy. In some cases, gluten-free foods can be just as unhealthy as foods that contain gluten. Often these foods contain much more processed ingredients to make up for the loss of gluten. Not all gluten-free foods are unhealthy of course, but be careful with the ones you ultimately decide to use.
When deciding what to eat, it is important to read the ingredients label to give you an idea of what exactly is going into your body.