It's important to read ingredient labels thoroughly.
A lot of foods we think of as healthy hide some not-so-healthy ingredients. Sugar is the biggest culprit. Most packaged foods, including “diet” foods, have added sugar. “Healthy” foods can also sneak in preservatives, nitrates, and lots of sodium. It’s important to read ingredient labels thoroughly, so you know exactly what you’re putting into your body. Foods with the fewest ingredients are usually the healthiest, so don’t buy foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce. Check out these 7 surprising foods that add to your waistline, and start shopping carefully.
1. Flavored Yogurt
Plain yogurt is very healthy, and a great source of probiotics, but flavored yogurt is almost always packed with sugar. If you want to add some sweetness to your yogurt, use fresh fruit or make this Skinny Strawberry Yogurt.
2. Protein Bars
Protein bars and granola bars are also often high in sugar, which makes them no healthier than a candy bar. Try these No-Bake Workout Bars instead!
Granola is touted as a light, healthy snack, but store-bought granola can hide lots of sugar. Look for granolas that have lots of oats, nuts, and seeds, and not a lot of dried fruit. You can also make your own. Our Slow Cooker Cranberry Pumpkin Granola is easy to make and has no refined sugars.
4. Whole-wheat bread
Read the ingredients before you buy whole-wheat bread. Whole wheat should be the first ingredient. Also try to avoid bread with any added sweeteners, including honey.
5. Nut butter
Natural peanut, almond, or cashew butter is a delicious source of protein and healthy fats, but can also sneak in sugar. Look for nut butter that’s made with just nuts and salt.
6. Dried fruit
Fruit is a wonderful source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and natural sweetness. Dried fruit, however, is also high in sugar and calories. Even dried fruit that doesn’t have added sugar is high in sugar. Opt for some fresh fruit instead – it has less sugar and more fiber.
You might think you’re making a healthy choice by stopping by a smoothie stand, but that’s not always the case. Many of the smoothies you buy are made with sugary fruit juice. Make your own smoothie instead. Throw in some veggies, nut butter, or yogurt to create a nutritious treat. Here’s How to Build a Perfect Skinny Smoothie.
Healthy swaps help weight loss! Try these 9 Snack Swaps for Weight Loss!