If you’ve recently undergone weight-loss surgery or have decided to make positive lifestyle changes that involve going on a diet or eating healthier foods,
sometimes it’s easy to fall under the spell of food products that are being advertised as “healthy.” Whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, lean protein, legumes, nuts, and seeds are obvious choices for healthy eating, but what about “healthy” processed foods?
One of the best ways to determine whether a processed food item is healthy is to read the nutrition and ingredient labels. In many cases, commercial food brands will advertise a product as being healthy even when it’s not, and such foods may contain excessive amounts of sugar, sodium, and other additives that can end up setting us back with weight loss.
Here are four foods that might trick you into thinking they’re healthy for you when they’re really not.
Yogurt is one of the healthiest snacks you can add to your diet because it contains live cultures that can fight bad gut bacteria and regulate digestion — furthering your weight-loss efforts. Unfortunately, many yogurt products contain sugar and additives that often equate to the same quantities found in soda. When buying yogurt, read the ingredients label to make sure it contains live cultures and milk. Yogurt should not contain sugar, artificial flavoring, or any other additives. If you dislike the taste of plain yogurt, add natural honey and sliced fruit to enhance its flavor.
Healthy granola is made purely from whole grains, and is best eaten as cereal, added to yogurt, or eaten plain with trail mix. However, most granola available at your local grocer is packed with sugar and other ingredients that can pack on the pounds, especially if you decide to consume more than the recommended serving size of one-half cup. Read the ingredient labels on all your granola to make sure it contains whole grains and lacks sugar. If you want to enhance the flavor of plain granola, mix it with cinnamon, fruit, and natural honey.
3. Granola bars
Most granola bars are touted as one of the healthiest snacks money can buy, but in truth, granola bars often contain far too many calories and too little protein and nutrients. Again, read the ingredient and nutrition labels on all granola bars to determine their sugar content. Stay away from granola bars that contain chocolate coating, chocolate chips, caramel, hydrogenated fats, food coloring, and other additives, and look for granola bars made with whole grains, chunks of dried fruit, seeds, and other healthy items.
Traditional sushi is highly nutritious, and normally consists of rice, wild-caught fish, and vegetables. However, in the United States, many Americans fall prey to processed sushis that contain or are served with cream cheese, spicy or creamy sauces, and fried meats — such as tempura. When choosing sushi, opt for vegetable rolls or keep it simple with rice and wild-caught salmon or yellowtail.