10 Foods You Think Are Healthy, But Aren’t

Florent Tanet Florent Tanet

Don’t be fooled! Here’s ten foods that aren’t nearly as healthy as you might think:

  1. Muesli Bars – Check the fine print! Some museli bars are loaded with as much as four teaspoons of sugar. Instead, you want one that lists a whole grain as its first ingredient and contains at least two grams of fibre.
  2. Couscous – With its high glycemic index and low nutritional content of fibre, vitamins or minerals, couscous is a low-quality carb. You’re much better off replacing it with quinoa.
  3. Cottage Cheese – While it may be low in fat, cottage cheese doesn’t offer much in terms of calcium and can be high in sodium.
  4. Reduced Fat Peanut Butter – One of the biggest benefits of peanuts is that they’re full of monounsaturated fats. Remove that from peanut butter and all you’re left with is tons of sugar and the same amount of (now empty) calories. So, you’re much better off sticking with the real thing.
  5. Dried Fruit – Sure, dried fruit contains fibre and vitamins but it’s also got a heap of added sugar and sulphur to preserve it longer. And since it’s dried, each serving has at least three times more calories per volume than its fresh counterpart.
  6. Protein Bars – When used in their whole form to make things like tempeh and tofu, soybeans are a nutritious legume. But by the time soybeans become soy protein (the main ingredient in protein bars) nearly everything nutritious except protein has been lost or discarded through a process that uses hexane, a neurotoxic product of petroleum refining.
  7. Vitamin Water – When it comes to sugar content, one serve of Vitamin Water contains as much as five teaspoons of sugar – so you might as well be having a soft drink!
  8. Agave Syrup – While this natural sweetner has been gaining popularity, the truth is it is processed just like other sugars and is no better for you. In fact, agave syrup is as high as 90% concentrated fructose with the rest being made up of glucose.
  9. Rice Cakes – At about 60 calories a pop, rice cakes are crunchy and semi-tasty. But at the end of the day, they’re also void of any decent nutrients, low in protein and are pretty much empty calories. Plus, the favored versions have a tonne of extra sugar. Opt for corn, quinoa or rye-based biscuits instead.
  10. Skimmed Milk – Whole milk  contains around 4% fat per 100ml, while skimmed milk only contains 0.1% fat, so unless you drink litres of the stuff, switching from whole to skimmed milk won’t make a huge ­difference to your overall fat intake. In addition, skimmed milk is far less nutritious because it’s missing out on cream that contains fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. And to top things off, research by Cardiff University has revealed that full-fat milk could actually boost metabolism and help you burn more calories, while lowering your risk of heart disease.


Image: Florent Tanet
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