There’s actually nothing that drives me crazier than eating “healthy food,” not getting to enjoy the food I love all to lose weight. Only to end up gaining weight, which would have happened anyway even if I’d eaten the delicious food I actually wanted to eat.
One of the most insidious ways that we miss our fitness goals and gain weight is because we make improper choices in our diets – because we’re tricked by foods that pretend to be something they’re not.
The worst offender here are foods that pretend to be “healthy” for you… but really are anything but.
These “fake healthy” foods can be considered good for you by the majority of the population – but that doesn’t make it true.
So with that in mind, avoid these 10 fake “healthy” foods if you want to lose weight and improve your health:
1. Any Processed Food That Claims To Be “Fat Free” Or “Low Fat”
You know why all the food companies started removing fat from their foods?
It’s because there was a giant backlash and outcry against fatty foods and saturated fat – and food companies jumped on the bandwagon in order to make money.
However, now that the “evidence” saying fat is bad for you has been debunked, people still continue to eat these “fat free” foods.
Why are they so bad for you?
Well, when you take the fat out of a food, most of the time you’re making it taste really bad. So what do the food companies do to make it taste good again?
They add a whole bunch of chemicals and sugar. Stay away from “fat free” foods that pretend to be healthy.
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2. “Phytosterols” That Lower Cholesterol
There are compounds in nature called phytosterols that act like plant versions of cholesterol, and there have been a few studies that show that these phytosterols can lower cholesterol levels in humans.
However, since then, research has been done that shows that phytosterols damage human’s cardiovascular system and can even increase the chance of heart disease. But that doesn’t stop companies from putting phytosterols into products and calling them “heart healthy.”
Don’t eat products with artificially added phytosterols and keep your heart healthy.
3. Vegan “Healthy” Foods
Lots more people are becoming vegan and living a vegan lifestyle every day, both to preserve the environment and because of ethical reasons.
However, one reason that is not valid for starting a vegan diet is because you want to be more “healthy”.
When you see “vegan friendly” products on the shelf like vegan hot dogs or vegan bacon, what you’re really getting is highly processed unhealthy foods full of artificial ingredients. They’re bad for you, stick to the actual natural foods.
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4. Sports Drinks
Yeah! They’ve got electrolytes and the fuel your body needs to keep competing in sports and keep your energy up!
Except that for a normal person, you don’t need any extra electrolytes (aka salt) in your diet, and the “fuel” in the sports drinks is really just liquid sugar.
Yes, it’s important to stay hydrated – but the best way to do that is just to drink water! Not drink sugar packed “healthy” sports drinks.
5. “Low Carb” Candy
We’ve all seen them at the supermarket. Big candy bars that are hiding as “nutritional bars” or “power bars” that promise you no carbs! No sugar! A ton of protein!
The problem is, nothing in this world is free, and if a chocolate peanut butter bar promises you that it has no carbs or sugar, you can bet your buns that it’s got other stuff that’s horrible for you.
These “nutritional bars” don’t actually have any real food in them! It’s just chemicals and artificial flavoring and bad crap that hurts your body. Leave them on the self.
6. Fruit Juice
Fruit juice is baaad for you!
It’s shocking that something with “fruit” and “juice” in the name can be so bad for your body, but it is!
First of all, even in the healthiest, most “natural” fruit juices out there, they’re still just packed with liquid sugar. All you’re basically drinking is liquid sugar with some fruit flavor in it.
And that’s not even counting the fruit juices that don’t even contain any fruit, relying on “natural and artificial flavors” to make your colored sugar water taste “healthy”.
Don’t drink fruit juice. Just stay away from it.
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7. Agave Nectar
It’s no wonder that so many people are looking to eliminate or stringently reduce sugar intake from their diets – sugar is bad for you!
But cutting out sugar has people running to “sugar alternatives” and thinking they’re healthy – when they’re really not.
Let’s take agave nectar for example. It’s used in a ton of “health foods” as a healthy alternative to sugar, but do you know what it actually is?
It’s actually worse than sugar.
It has a ton of fructose in it, which really screws up your metabolism if you eat a lot of it. How much fructose? Well, sugar has 50% fructose, and agave nectar has 70%-90% fructose! It’s not “natural”, and it’s definitely not “healthy”.
8. Highly Processed Breakfast Cereals
OK, so it’s obvious that super sugary breakfast cereals that are shaped like cookies, or donuts, or other high sugar desserts are bad for you. Stay away from those.
Far worse are the cereals that pretend to be healthy, with claims like “low fat” or “whole grain” all over the box, that actually contain nothing but artificial ingredients, with a ton of sugar and processed grains.
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If a cereal is trying really hard to convince you that it’s healthy, then it’s probably not. And you should probably keep away from it.
9. Vegetable Oils
You’ll see a big push in the media and magazines for vegetable oils like soybean oil, grapeseed oil, and canola oil, on the grounds that they lower blood cholesterol.
However, while higher blood cholesterol increases the risk of heart attack, it’s not a disease or a symptom that needs treatment.
And in fact, by slightly lowering your risk for heart attacks in the short term with these vegetable oils, you put yourself at greater risk for other more devastating illnesses, including heart disease and cancer.
Stick to healthy fats like olive oil, butter, and coconut oil, and keep the processed vegetable oils out of your shopping cart.
10. Any Salad Dressing From A Big Manufacturer
So you want to eat more salad. That’s great! Salad is really healthy for you.
In fact, no matter what vegetable you’re eating it’s probably going to be healthy for you. It’s just not going to taste like much.
The problem is when you slather those healthy veggies up with tons of fatty, oily, chemical packed salad dressings that totally negate any health benefits of eating veggies, and actually put you further behind than when you started.
These salad dressings are packed with sugar, trans fats, chemicals, and vegetable oils, and they wind up harming your health more than the salad would have helped it. Stay away from them.
These Are The Worst Healthy Foods That Are Actually Junk Food
- Any processed food that claims to be “fat free” or “low fat”
- “Phytosterols” that lower cholesterol
- Vegan “healthy” foods
- Sports drinks
- “Low carb” candy
- Fruit juice
- Agave nectar
- Highly processed breakfast cereals
- Vegetable oils
- Any salad dressing from a big manufacturer
If you loved this article, then check out these other must-see related posts:
25 Fattening Foods You Should Never Eat
10 Health Foods You Should Never Eat
My g/f and I were talking about this the other day. There is so little food that does not contain something that is bad for you. Nutritionists always say that as long as you shop around the OUTSIDE of the store, you are getting the freshest foods that you can.
All very good tips! Thank you for posting these to share!
More foods that I cannot eat :( That eatable list is getting harder to navigate these days.
Getting rid of sugar is hard enough to do, but trying to find a suitable alternative looks to be just as hard. I did not know that about Agave Nectar.
I would think that as long as you can pronounce the ingredients in your food, you should be good. Great tips!
Sports drinks are so bad. I still cannot believe that the are pushed for those that are in sports. Nothing beats a good bottle of water.
Junk is junk, right? I guess that is what we need to pay attention to. Fresh food is always the best.
Junk is junk, you got that right. Just pay more attention to what you are putting into your mouth and get more fresh veggies and fruits to make the most of your meals.
For those that are not used to being healthy, they can really be fooled by some of these. That is the sad part.
Very sad indeed. The word “healthy” is used way too often these days!
Very disturbing to read about all of these. I dislike the fact that bigger companies have the worst reputation when it comes to things like this because they have the biggest push to keep the prices down.
The food debate is really starting to get annoying. The fresher, the better. If you are buying food in a bag or a box, there is something that you can avoid in many cases.
Low carb candy?!? I just cannot believe that companies go that far just to make a simple sale. Shoppers should know better and if you are trying to stay away from carbs, you shouldn’t be eating candy either.
Oh this list is only the beginning. If you are going to watch your food that closely, you are quickly going to learn that there is little food that you can actually eat that is healthy for you.
I think it is important for others to keep an eye on what they eat on a normal basis. The vegans and vegetarians are usually a bit healthier, but now companies are creating “fake” meat related items that might not be any good for you!
It is hard enough to make sure you are eating the right things and now you have to worry about impostor foods? LOL.
It is funny to see so many people move towards the “fat free” foods. If it is processed already, how do you think they got the fat out?
There are so many people out there that are snowballed into believing some of these foods are better for you than others. Of course, these are going to be not as “healthy” for you as others, but at the same time, if I have a sports drink one time per month is that a bad thing?
Any time you can reduce your normal consumption, you are in good shape!
Yeah, I am guessing that sports drinks are one of the worst things that you can put down your throat in terms of drinks. So much sugar and other ingredients that barely belong in liquid.