Healthy eating is not a modern ideology, as many would presume. Our ancestors especially the Greek, paid particular attention to their diet. Selecting healthy foods can be quite a task as most processed foods now package themselves as “healthy” alternatives.

These foods seem safe as they are trending all over and everyone is consuming them. But are they harmless as advertised?

Here are a few examples of foods you should not fall victim to:

Low-fat and fat-free foods

Naturally occurring fats such as those present in avocados are healthy and harmless to the body. During processing of low-fat and fat-free products, the fats are removed, but since food with no fat is tasteless, they are thus replaced with other ingredients like sugar, salt, thickeners, etc.
This move increases the number of calories present in food per gram, making it harmful to your body.

Fruit juices and smoothies

Most people believe these drinks are healthy as they are made from fruits. However, there is a huge difference as these drinks have their fiber, water-soluble vitamins lost during processing and chemicals are added as preservatives.

So basically what you consume is sugar: – about 30 to 40 grams in every 250ml of a smoothie plus chemicals.

It is better to eat the fruit itself or make the juice yourself at the comfort of your house.

Sport drinks

Due to the extra strain on their bodies, athletes require an increased intake of calories, especially during exercise. This necessitated invention of sports drinks which contain electrolytes, sugars, and minerals beneficial to the sportspeople. When consumed by a person not involved in the extensive exercise, they add extra calories to your body causing weight gain and tooth decay, especially in children.
During your routine exercise at the gym, stick to plain water to stay hydrated.

Gluten-free products

Gluten is a mixture of proteins present in wheat and other grains including barley and oat. When gluten is removed during processing, minerals, Vitamin B and fibers are lost.

Refined carbohydrates, which cause a rapid surge in blood sugar after ingestion, are used to replace them.

This makes gluten-free products as harmful as consuming junk foods. No need to avoid gluten unless you are allergic, in which case it is advisable you go for gluten-free foods such as animal products.

Commercial salad dressings

As much as vegetables are healthy, most people cannot stand their plain taste and often use dressings such as mayonnaise and mustard to improve flavor. These dressings are loaded with sugars, fats, and chemicals which are harmful to your health.

Others even top their salads with bacon bits, and cheese increases the number of salts and fats served increasing risk for heart disease. Check the composition of the dressing you are purchasing or make your natural dressing at home. Better still, enjoy your vegetable salad with no dressing at all.

Nutrition bars

Because they are made of whole grains, nuts, fruits, and seeds, they are considered nutritional. However, they contain as much sugar as that present in a candy bar. A single snicker bar contains 250 calories and as much as 27g of sugar.

Next time when choosing a nutrition bar for a snack, go for one with less added sugar and more seeds and fruits. Breakfast cereals

Most of these boxes will read, low fat or high fiber or whole grain, deeming them healthy for consumption. Unfortunately, this is just, but misleading information as most if not all contain highly processed sugars, lots of fats and artificial chemicals. Always read the box carefully before purchasing your cereal. Go for that with less than 5g of sugar and 3g of fat per 100g of cereal.

Vegan chips

More people are choosing a vegan lifestyle to improve health. This led companies to come up with vegan junk foods such as vegan bacon and vegan carrot chips, as a replacement for non-vegan foods.

However, these substitutes are so processed that they have lost their vitamins and fibers and are thus not as healthy as the first vegetables. To satisfy your crunchy craving, go for the real carrot and not the processed carrot chip.

It is unfortunate that most of the foods pitched as healthy is the opposite. It is thus essential to read the fine print before making your purchase. Always remember to keep it as simple as possible as the more uncomplicated food is the higher the chances of it being healthy.