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The Worst "Health" Foods


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The Worst "Health" Foods

A big part of developing a healthy lifestyle is learning how to distinguish legitimately healthy foods from their sugar- and sodium-rich imposters. Companies will try to brand their product as healthy, but a closer look at the nutritional information will reveal otherwise.

Store-Bought Smoothies


Despite what smoothie companies would have you believe, drinking most commercially sold smoothies is not the same thing as eating raw fruits. Additional ingredients like whole milk, peanut butter and ice cream add unnecessary sugar and calories. If you’re craving a smoothie choose a smaller size all-fruit smoothie or, even better, blend your own at home.

Protein Bars


These bars may be rich in protein and other nutrients, but they can also be full of sugar and calories. If you compare the nutritional information between some protein bars and a candy bar with nuts you’ll find that they have comparable amounts of protein, sugar and calories. Avoid bars with names that sound like desserts, especially if they are low in protein.

Canned Soup


With so many low-calorie and low-fat options, canned soups might seem like a good idea. But many canned soups, even those with reduced sodium, contain at least 1000 mg of sodium per can, almost half of the daily recommended value. Consume these in moderation and avoid them all together if you have high blood pressure.

Frozen Yogurt


By itself, a reasonable serving of plain frozen yogurt is a great alternative to ice cream. But people run into problems when they stop worrying about portion sized. Know that the recommended serving size is ½ cup (much smaller than the bowl you’ll be served in) and replace toppings like cookie dough and chocolate chips with fruit or granola.

Store-Bought Trail Mix


Trail mix is another potentially healthy food ruined by added ingredients such as salt and sugar. Yogurt covered treats and candy pieces have no place in health foods. Make your own trail mix at home to control which ingredients you're adding. Nuts, raisins and a bit of dark chocolate are all good choices.

Microwave Diet Meals


Like canned soup, "healthy" frozen meals are full of sodium, as well as low in nutrients and not always filling. Instead of these salty meals, try cooking large meals when you have time. Divide the meals into reasonable portion sizes and you'll never be stuck without a healthy option.

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