Our society is becoming more focused on healthy habits every day. Our favorite restaurants and top food brands are attempting to keep up with the needs of nutrition conscious consumers by adapting their menus and creating “healthier” options for people to choose from. While there are definitely some great options out there, many of the foods that we believe to be healthy for us are actually just junk food in disguise. Here is a quick list of some food options that might sound healthy but really aren’t.
Sports drinks have snuck into our diet and they pretend to be good for us. While it is true that they can help us recover from physical exercise and give us a little boost, they are also loaded with sugar. One 20oz bottle of Gatorade contains 35 grams of sugar! According to the Food and Drug Administration we should only be consuming 75 grams of sugar per day. So the average sports drink is on average 47% of our daily sugar allowance. That number is even higher for individuals planning to cut weight.
Another victim of added sugars are fruit smoothies. If made from scratch at home and you’re being conscious about the types of fruit you use, smoothies can be an extremely healthy way to go. Unfortunately, like much of the pre-made or processed food in our culture, the smoothies you get at restaurants can contain upwards of 900 calories. Many smoothie shops add sugar or syrups to their recipe to appeal to individuals who have developed a palette for sweets and can be surprisingly unhealthy for those not paying attention to the ingredients.
Much like fruit smoothies, fruit juices can contain enormous amounts of sugar. Every gram of sugar has more than twice the calories in a gram of protein or carbohydrate. If you’re looking to cut back on calories you will definitely want to watch out for fruit juices that contain a lot of sugar. Fruit juices that are 100% juice with no additives or from concentrate contain many vitamins necessary for human health and can also boost our fiber intake. If you love fruit juice make sure you’re drinking 100% pure juice and watch the sugar content.
Like many of the foods on this list salads can go either way. There are plenty of healthy salad options available. Salads that have grilled chicken, are high on vegetables, and low on bacon or cheese fit into this category. However, many people choose to go with fried chicken salads and load up on the cheese, bacon, and top it off with dressing that is high in fat. When you’re ordering a salad stick to grilled meats and watch the additives that contain large amounts of fat.
When it comes to the difference between healthy and unhealthy the way something is made makes a drastic difference. Just because a food or drink fits into a particular category doesn’t automatically make it healthy. Make sure you’re watching which ingredients are being used to make your food products and keep a close eye on those sneaky added sugars.