We can almost guarantee that you know how important it is to eat a healthy diet. You hear about diets full of fruits, veggies, whole grains, and lean protein everywhere from the popular press to TV lifestyle shows and news programs. Every now and then, some trendy new food comes along, or perhaps a health imposter makes its’ way into the limelight. After hearing its praises, you mean well when you pick it up, thinking it is a healthy choice. But with all the “health foods” coming out of the woodworks, it can be tricky to avoid the trap of the not-so-healthy health foods. We’ve compiled a list of six of the top offenders to help you steer clear of making a foodie faux pas on your next grocery run.
If you’ve been to a health-food store or your corner juice shop lately, then you’ve probably smelled the earthy scent of wheat grass or had it added to your green drink. Sure, it provides a concentrated source of vitamins A, C, iron and E (but so do other leafy greens!) and may make a potentially healthy addition to a balanced diet. However, fans boast that wheat grass not only boosts immunity and kills harmful bacteria in your body, but that it also helps treat cancer, anemia, diabetes and infections. There are, however, few studies about wheatgrass to back this up. And the truth is that although it is generally considered safe and it does have some healthy components, it may cause nausea, headaches, hives or swelling of your throat. And if it’s consumed raw it could be contaminated with harmful bacteria or mold, which makes it not worth the risk, especially when you can easily get the nutritional benefits from other foods.
Alternative: Stick with spinach or other leafy greens that are true superfoods without downsides. Plus, most people find these options a bit more pleasing on the palate, making them more likely to consume them regularly.
Reduced fat Peanut Butter
Although this may sound healthy, when manufacturers reduce the fat in peanut butter, they simply make up for the flavor by adding extra sugar or carbohydrates. The calories usually stay the same, but you lose the heart-healthy fat and gain the extra sugar.
Alternative: Go for regular peanut butter and get the good-for-your-heart fats. For recipe inspiration, check out our post on getting a peanut butter powered morning!
Curious to find out the tricksters that make up the rest of the list? Head over to our article on ACE Fitness.
Don’t let these foods fool you any longer! Show ‘em who’s boss, and stick to the healthy (and delicious) alternatives.