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Health Foods That are Not That Healthy

There are tons of foods that are marketed as healthy. Sometimes you need to pay a little extra attention to really figure out whether something is good for you or not so good for you. A lot of marketers realize that there is a big need for healthy foods, however, sometimes the claims are slightly over exaggerated. Some items named as healthy can be far from it. Foods that are truly healthy for you will not have a healthy label. For example, broccoli is not going to have a “low fat”, “high in fiber”, “Great source of vitamins”, “gluten free”, label on it because it’s broccoli and everybody knows it’s awesome for you.

Some foods that are closer to the not so healthy line can be disguised as healthy by using terms such as low in fat, organic, naked, gluten free, and so on. Here are a few items that are very commonly acknowledged as healthy. I will make the claim that they might not be as good for you as you think they are. These tips are aimed at someone who is wanting to lose a little bit of weight or maintain the weight that they have. If you struggle with getting enough calories and want to gain weight than these tips may not apply to you.

 

Juice is very popular and it is strongly marketed as something that’s very healthy. 

The sugar content in juice is very high. The process of squeezing the juice out of a fruit takes out the time-consuming part of eating as well as the fibrous part of the fruit. It’s not that hard to down a tall glass of orange juice in a couple seconds. If you were to eat the same amount of oranges that are in a glass of juice you’d most likely stop eating before getting the same amount of calories. This can lead to increased sugar intake without providing a whole lot of satiety.

In 1 cup of orange juice, there are 111 calories and 21 g of sugar. In one medium sized orange, there are 62 calories and 12 g of sugar. A cup of orange juice is not a whole lot of juice and most people probably consume more than this at a given time. The orange had half the calories in one whole fruit so the equivalent of having a small glass of orange juice would be eating to whole oranges. The benefit from eating two whole oranges would be that you get an additional 6 g of fiber, probably just as much water, and a much better satiety afterward.

If weight loss and overall health is your goal try and limit liquid calories as much as possible. Drinking juice is not as healthy as eating whole fruits and should be preferred if possible. The same thing applies to ready made drinks, smoothies, and juices of other sorts.

Another food item that’s consistently marketed as healthy is dried fruits. 

Now this falls into a similar category as the fruit juice. It ends up giving you a lot of sugar and calories compared to the amount of food you’re actually eating. It’s made out of regular fruit which is obviously healthy, however, taking all the moisture out of the fruit makes it a lot easier to over indulge in. Just like with the liquid version try to stick to the regular fruit as much as possible and limit dried fruit.

Yogurt and products like Kefir and Greek yogurt are also heavily marketed as healthy for you. 

Yogurt can definitely be a part of a healthy diet. It can be a great source of protein and probiotics. Both of these things will help you achieve a healthier lifestyle. Some yogurts are however a lot better than other yogurts. The ingredient to watch out for is added sugar. Now there will be some sugar in any yogurt which comes naturally from the lactose that it contains. Lactose is the sugar found in dairy products. Some yogurts are packed with added sugar to make them taste a lot better than a more plain yogurt. This is where you can get into some less healthy yogurts. When reading the ingredient list on the backside the content is listed from what it contains the most to what it contains the least. If you find sugar high up on this list then try to find a more plain tasting yogurt. It might not say sugar back on the label since food manufacturer know that this is something to keep an eye out for. They might use different ingredient names such as corn syrup, fructose, fruit juice, juice concentrate, maltodextrin, cane sugar and etc.

Nut butter has increased in popularity significantly the last couple of years. 

Nuts are known for their many health benefits. They are very satiating, contain healthy fats, and is a delightful treat in many situations. Nuts are good for you and should be consumed on a regular basis. The calorie content of nuts are fairly high and just like other high-calorie healthy foods you can’t eat them without paying close attention to servings. Nut butter is very easy to eat a lot of due to its creamy texture and great taste. Peanut butter, almond butter, sunflower seed butter, and etc.  are all items that can be a part of a healthy diet, however, when scooping these out of the jar it’s very easy to consume a ton of calories if you don’t pay attention.

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Oscar Isacsson, M.S., CSCS

Oscar Isacsson, M.S., CSCS

Director of Training and Head Coach at CrossFit TNT
M.S Human Performance from Lindenwood University

B.S. Exercise Science from Lindenwood University

Started CrossFit in 2010.

Favorite thing about what I do:

To help and see people improve their fitness and confidence

Credentials:

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association

CF L1 Coach

CF L2 Coach

CF Endurance

CF Weightlifting

CF Mobility

CF Gymnastics

USAW Sports Performance Coach & club coach

CPR Certified
Oscar Isacsson, M.S., CSCS

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