5-FOODS-IN-DISGUISE

They’re everywhere! On TV, at the grocery store and even at Grandma’s house. They’re bad foods disguised as healthy foods.
But they’re hard to spot as they hide themselves well.
Do you know what’s really good for you and what’s just pretending to help you hit your fitness goals? Well, we’re here to help and we’ve come up with this list to help you avoid these potential dieting landmines. Some of them will shock you.

1. Fat-Free Yogurt

The days of avoiding fat like the plague have gone the way of cassette tapes and wallet chains. Fat is not the enemy. Okay, let’s clarify saturated fat is definitely something to avoid, however “fat-free” foods like fat-free yogurt have added sodium, sugar and other chemicals to help mimic the full-fat flavor.

A BETTER CHOICE?

For your yogurt fix, try Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is much higher in protein than regular yogurt, and contains roughly half the carbs.

2. Granola Bars

The venerable granola bar is now a mutation of its former self and is fattening up misled adults. In the past, granola bars were basic rolled oats, nuts and spices. Now, with hunks of chocolate, marshmallows, frosted topping and other bells and whistles, the modern granola bar (or “breakfast bar” or “cereal bar”) is loaded with sugar, fat, sodium and a laundry list of chemicals that make adding these to any dieting plan a big mistake. Even if they’re calling out to you with the promise of extra fiber, the actual amount of fiber in these bars is low compared to the damage you’re doing with the added sugar and sodium.

A BETTER CHOICE?

If you’re looking for some on-the-go nutrition, mix some nuts like almonds, peanuts or pistachios with some sunflower seeds and keep them in a bag.

3. Some Store-Bought Fruit Smoothies

Oh, the beloved smoothie. The dieting comfort food of men and women everywhere. Some store-bought smoothies start out with good intentions. After all, most fruit smoothies have 4 to 6 servings of fruit. It’s too bad that, for the most part, their nutritional value is ruined by extra calories and sugar from add-ins like ice cream, chocolate chips and syrups to enhance the taste.

A BETTER CHOICE?

Remove the sugary extras and ask for a smoothie made with whey protein powder, fat-free milk and healthy extras like blueberries, natural peanut butter or flaxseed.

4. “Organic” Foods

If you’re buying organic cakes, chips and cookies thinking that you’re eating healthy, you’re not. They’ll still half your weight loss goals dead in their tracks as easily as their non-organic counterparts.

A BETTER CHOICE?

Organic vegetables are great. Eat as many leafy green vegetables as you can. Otherwise, look for foods that are low in sugar, saturated fat and artificial colors and flavors. Organic or not, they’re the foods you need to reach your goals.

5. Diet Soda

Since the 1980s, diet sodas have been marketed almost exclusively to health conscious individuals as being able to fulfill their craving for sweets, but without the calories. However, diet sodas usually contain artificial sweeteners, which may not be suitable for certain people.

A BETTER CHOICE?

Drink more water and only use diet sodas when your only other options are other high-calorie drinks.

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