15 Foods That Seem Healthy but Actually Are Not

Eating healthy when you know what you’re eating is hard enough. Eating healthy when food companies sneak heaps of sugar and fat into seemingly nutritious products is impossible.

Many unhealthy foods masquerade as nutritious whole foods. To help you weave through deceitful packaging, false commercial claims, and harmful trends, we’ll reveal some “healthy” foods that are actually terrible for you.

From your favorite fruit yogurt to Beyond burgers, these popular foods are catfishing you. You should skip these foods if you want to eat healthier, give your body the nutrients it needs, and avoid artificial garbage.

1. Green Juice

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People like Martha Stewart promote green juice as the key to healthy living and graceful aging. However, many types of green juice are not as healthy as you might think.

If you make your green juice from fresh garden vegetables every morning, like Martha Stewart, it is healthy. If you buy it from the store, like most of us, you’re drinking a sugar bomb with fewer nutrients than expected.

2. Yogurt

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Yogurt can be wonderful for your body, especially your gut health and digestive system. It delivers prebiotics to help balance your gut, which is a good thing!

The problem is all the added sugar. Flavored yogurts or pre-packaged yogurts with fruit are loaded with sugar and calories. If you want prebiotics without the sugar, opt for plain Greek yogurt.

3. Veggie Sticks, Straws, and Chips

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When shopping for snacks, people trying to be healthy will often reach for vegetable-based snacks, such as veggie sticks, straws, or chips. While they may seem like a healthy alternative to potato chips and Doritos, they’re not much better.

These veggie-based snacks are typically just as healthy and fattening as Lays potato chips. However, their sodium, fat, and oil content is shockingly high, so maybe skip these and just eat Doritos in moderation.

4. Hazelnut Chocolate Spread

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Hazelnut chocolate spreads — yes, we’re talking about Nutella — are not nearly as healthy as the commercials say. When Nutella gained popularity in the 2000s, all the ads said it was far better for you than peanut butter, jam, jelly, or butter.

This was a blatant lie. Many people wonder how it could taste so good and still be healthy, and the answer is that it’s not healthy at all. It’s high in sugar, saturated fat, palm oil, and calories.

5. Snack Bars

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Sadly, protein, energy, granola, and similar bars are not as healthy as people think. Many choose these bars as healthy snacks, as they boast fiber and other nutrients.

Most snack bars are high in soy, sodium, sugar, corn syrup, and artificial colors and flavors. Sugar-free and low-carb bars are just as unhealthy, so avoid them if you want to be healthy.

6. Whole Wheat and Multi-Grain Bread

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People often choose whole wheat or multi-grain bread over white bread, thinking it’s healthier. While these types of bread can have more nutrients than white, they can also be loaded with sugar and fat.

Many types of bread have added sugar, especially flavored ones like honey, whole wheat, or cinnamon raisin. Look for organic or sprouted bread without added sugar.

7. Granola and Oatmeal

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Granola and oatmeal seem like healthy whole foods, but they’ve been tainted by sugar, artificial ingredients, and fat. Premade granola mixes or oatmeal cups often contain butter, vegetable oil, corn syrup, molasses, and other unhealthy ingredients.

If you can buy plain rolled oats and make granola or oatmeal from scratch, this is the best option. That way, you can avoid adding extra sugar, fat, and calories.

8. Dried Fruit

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If you want to get in your five portions of fruit daily, dried fruit is not the way to do it. How could fruit that has just been dried be bad? Unfortunately, most companies add a ton of sugar.

Manufacturers will inject and coat dried fruit with sugar and sulfite preservatives. These additions are unhealthy and well-known allergens. Dehydrating fresh fruit at home is better.

9. Water Additives

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There are countless water additives these days. People mix liquids and powders into their water to add vitamins, electrolytes, flavor, protein, and more.

While this may help you consume more vitamins, it also adds more sugar and calories to your diet. Flavor packets and flavored waters frequently contain the same amount of sugar as soda.

10. Gluten-Free Snacks

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It’s a common misconception that gluten-free snacks are healthier than traditional foods. Gluten-free foods are excellent for those with gluten allergies or intolerances. For everyone else, these foods are unhealthy.

To replace the gluten, these foods often contain more sugar and calories. Gluten-free products typically contain more sugar and calories than foods with gluten, making them horrible choices for weight loss.

11. Plant-Based Meat Alternatives

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Similar to gluten-free foods, some people assume plant-based meats are substantially healthier than animal meat. However, this is not always the case. Many meat alternatives contain more sodium than natural animal meat.

They often use added sugar, artificial coloring, and unhealthy bulking agents that are not beneficial to the body. For example, carrageenan and methylcellulose additives are highly controversial and potentially carcinogenic.

12. Flavored Rice Cakes

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Luckily, plain rice cakes are still healthy, so you can keep munching on those with reckless abandon. However, rice cakes with any flavor are not great. Chocolate, caramel, cheese, and even salted rice cakes are unhealthy.

The flavored rice cakes feature more sugar, fructose, and maltodextrin, along with plenty of artificial ingredients. Steer clear of the flavored rice cakes and stick to the plain ones, as the flavor toppings are the problem.

13. Coconut Water

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Some health nuts love to say coconut water is the ultimate health drink. People say it hydrates more than water and is just as healthy, but this is far from the truth. Don’t fall for the coconut water propaganda.

An eight-ounce serving of coconut water has roughly 60 calories, while an eight-ounce serving of soda typically has 100 calories. As you can see, the caloric content is comparable, and coconut water also contains similar levels of sugar.

14. Sushi

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It breaks our hearts to include this on the list, but we’re here to inform you, not hide behind our love of sushi. To be fair, the simplest and most traditional sushi rolls are healthy, like traditional tuna or salmon rolls, avocado rolls, and cucumber rolls.

However, your spicy tuna roll, spicy mayo, Philly roll, and tempura roll are loaded with saturated fat. The good news is you can still enjoy sushi without guilt; just make sure you choose the simpler rolls that only include fresh fish and vegetables or fruit.

15. Bran Muffins

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People might make jokes about how bland and dry bran muffins are, but they eat them anyway because they’re so healthy. Surprisingly, with a high caloric content and plenty of sugar, bran muffins might not be that good for you.

It doesn’t give us pleasure to tell you that 90% of muffins are unhealthy, as they’re loaded with sugar and saturated fats. If a muffin is your go-to breakfast, maybe it’s time to switch to egg whites.

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