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Foods That May Surprise You, Badly

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It seems just about everything is marketed as a health food these days. With the exception of obviously bad fast food or processed chips and cookies, other health hazards are masquerading around as “good for you” and “filled with nutrition” when they’re really filled with empty calories, sugar, and fat.

The top unhealthy health foods are:

Anything “Multigrain”

Wheat. Multi-grain. 7-grain. These are all terms that relate to refined grains, a.k.a. processed and not good for you! Instead, look for breads and cereals described as “whole grain.” That’s your ticket to nutrition.

Granola Bars

Yes, granola is good for you when it’s plain, but those ooey-gooey bars that actually taste good aren’t. Most brands are loaded up with sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and saturated fat. Stick to a bowl of plain granola and add your own toppings like fruit to cut down on the refined sweets.

Pre-packaged Salad

If it has a bunch of greens in it, it must be good for you, right? Not exactly. Pre-packaged salads that contain chicken, tuna, or other proteins are often loaded up with preservatives, fats, and oils that increase your caloric intake without packing the nutritional punch you were hoping for.

Smoothies

Yes, smoothies are definitely good for you, but the ones you buy in the smoothie shops? Not always. Yes, those fresh fruits, and sometimes veggies, are nutritious, but they’re often accompanied by ice cream, sherbet, and sugar, which add up the calories and load you up with refined sugars you just don’t need. To get the full benefit of smoothies, make them yourself!

Vitamin Drinks

Health drinks that are chock full of vitamins and minerals might seem like a healthy choice but that’s not guaranteed. Yes, you might get some nutrition out of them, but added sugars and artificial sweeteners can cancel any potential benefits out. Stick to water, tea, or coffee instead.

Anything “Fat-Free

Well, not anything, but a lot of processed treats that are marketed as “fat-free” means people think they can chow down to their heart’s content. But that’s a misguided assumption. Fat-free cookies and cakes still contain sugar and are often high in calories, which are two things you still need to watch out for.

Now that you know some of the biggest unhealthy food offenders, you can make healthier decisions at the supermarket. Happy shopping and happy eating!

About Brenda Stokes Barron

Brenda Stokes Barron
Brenda Stokes Barron is a freelance writer, editor, and SEO specialist from southern California. When she's not hunched over her laptop, she's taking long walks with her daughter in the California sunshine, watching Doctor Who with her husband, and wrangling two very good/bad cats. You can find out more about her atwww.thedigitalinkwell.com, or follow her on Twitter @digitalinkwell
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