The Unhealthy Side to Your Favorite Healthy Foods

girl eating fresh vegetable diet salad

By Deb Lowther  @Deb_Lowther

Sponsored by

bigstock-Refrigerator-Full-Of-Healthy-F-37880104Every magazine cover, every restaurant menu and every grocery store shelf is promoting the same headline – eat this, it’s healthy! Healthy eating is something many of us strive for and although we know the basics – fruit, vegetable, proteins and fibre – we still look for short cuts and snacks that can help us eat healthy when out or on the go. Choosing salads, granola bars and muffins is better than burgers, chocolate bars and donuts . . . or is it?

If we are not careful and diligent about reading labels at the store and nutrition facts, especially at restaurant chains, our efforts to make healthy choices may actually cause us to choose an unhealthy option of an otherwise healthy food!

Confused? I don’t blame you! How do you spot the unhealthy healthy food imposters? Check out this list!

The Unhealthy Healthy Foods

healthy; saladSalad is full of vegetables and greens – all so healthy. Top with chicken for protein and beans for fibre and you have a complete meal. But be careful, the dressings offered with some drive thru salads have as much fat as a burger!

If you buy a salad on the go, bring your own dressing and opt for vinegar or yogurt based dressings with only 1g fat per tbsp.

Drive Thru Chicken Ranch Salad – 31gr FAT, 590 Calories, 25gr Sugar, 1480gr Sodium
Compared to – 1/4lb burger at drive thru – 33g FAT, 590 Calories, 10g Sugar, 1240g Sodium

Peanut Butter
A simple protein that kids and adults love, but if you are not buying Natural peanut butter, you are getting unhealthy ingredients you don’t need. Peanut butter made with JUST peanuts is an excellent health source of protein, but most peanut butter has added icing sugar and hydrogenated oil! Sweeten a natural peanut butter sandwich with apple slices or bananas.

Creamy Peanut Butter – peanuts, sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oil, salt, fancy molasses, maltodextrin, icing sugar.
2tbsp = 16g FAT, 3g Sugar, 8g Protein
Compared to – Natural Peanut Butter – peanuts. 2tbsp – 16g FAT, 2g Sugar, 10g Protein

All healthy and definitely a better choice than a donut right? The next time you go for the Blueberry bran, have a look at the nutritional breakdown. You might be surprised to find your healthy muffin has more fat than a donut!

Drive thru Blueberry Bran muffin – 13g FAT, 280 Calories, Fibre 4g, Sugar 24g healthy; muffins
Homemade Oatmeal Applesauce Muffin – 3.7g FAT, 177 Calories, Fibre 4 g, Sugar 15g (from fruit)
Compared to – Apple Fritter donut – 8g FAT, 290 Calories, Fibre 2g, Sugar 15g
Chocolate Dip donut – 14gr FAT, 270 Calories, Fibre 1g, Sugar 16g

Granola Bars
Easy to pack in kid’s school lunches and have on hand when hunger strikes, but beware! Some granola bars have the same amount of calories, fat and sugar as a chocolate bar not to mention the high fructose corn syrup.

Granola Bar – 28g Chewy chocolate chip – 4g FAT, 1g Fibre, 9g Sugar, 1g Protein
28gr Sweet & salty granola bar – 9g FAT, 11g Sugar, 4g Protein
Compared to – 28g Snickers bar – 6g FAT, .5g Fibre, 13g Sugar, 2g Protein

For a quick snack with protein and fiber reach for a pear, cheese or your own mixture of almonds and dried apricots. Make your own muffins at home and store in the freezer for easy grab and go snacks and always pack your own salad dressing so you can enjoy a low-fat version of your favorite salad on the road.

Read those restaurant and product labels to make sure you are making the healthy choice when buying healthy foods.
Deborah Lowther-341Deb Lowther is a mother of 3 young daughters who, when not running after the kids, is running in the trails. She contributes Family Health articles to many websites and magazines and ensures her own family has fun while eating healthy & staying active.

Follow her on Twitter @Deb_Lowther, and Pinterest and find more inspiring health tips on her website


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