When it comes to choosing food that is good for you, it can often get confusing. There seems to be a constant shifting of what foods are supposedly good for you and it's often difficult to keep track. What's worse, many of the foods that you might think are good for you actually aren't (you can thank advertisers for that). Below you'll find some foods that you might have thought are good for you, but actually aren't nearly as good for you as the manufacturers of them would like you to believe.
Many people seem to think that granola is a healthy item to put in yogurt, trail mix, or other baked goods or dishes. While it is high in fiber and unsaturated fats, it's also full of more sugar than you really need in one snack. Granola is one of those foods that is good in moderation, and something that becomes significantly unhealthy the more of it you eat.
For a long time, a lot of people were under the assumption that bran muffins were a healthy alternative to other breakfast muffins. However, while bran muffins are high in fiber, they're also very high in calories, sugar, preservatives, and fat. Many prepackaged or chain stores have bran muffins that are around 800 calories. So, next time you reach for that bran muffin for breakfast, you might want to think twice.
Whole Wheat Sandwich Wraps
In the past few years or so, you might have heard people saying that wheat bread or wheat grains are a healthier alternative to white bread and white grains. While that may be true in some cases, it's not true when it comes to sandwich wraps. Depending on the brand, whole wheat sandwich wraps are low in fiber and high in calories, adding up to almost 300 calories for one wrap.
Fat Free Products
There are a lot of people who assume that a product labeled fat-free is also calorie free. But many of these items are high in other areas. For instance, fat-free candy is also very high in sugar, and sometimes almost doubles a normal piece of candy. Additionally, sometimes fat-free food products don't make you feel as full and you end up eating more than you normally would.
Light Salad Dressings
Have you seen the multiple commercials and ads that talk about how “light” salad dressings are so much better for you than reduced fat or full fat salad dressings? Light salad dressings are designed to make you feel as if you're cutting out unneeded fats from your dressings. But many of these light dressings are full of extra sugar or high fructose corn syrup. If you need an alternative, consider a healthy oil such avocado oil or olive oil.
This is why it's so important to actually read the labels of the food that you buy and not go with impressions (that the advertising industry has conveniently put into your head). These manufacturers are counting on you reading a word or phrase and putting a meaning to it that might not be accurate. While not a perfect solution in picking out good foods, a good rule of thumb is understanding that the less processed food is, the healthier it usually is for you.
(Photo courtesy of Celeste Lindell)