If you’re trying to eat healthy, but feel like your diet isn’t effective, you might be consuming some foods that are secretly sabotaging you. We all know that kale is healthy and that donuts aren’t exactly our BFFs (as delicious as they are), but other foods are junk foods in disguise when they seem healthy.
Lucky for you, we did some research and found the top five foods to be aware of that may be killing your diet.
Reduced Fat Products
For years people thought that fat was the enemy, so products like reduced-fat peanut butter and fat-free yogurt became very popular. The problem is, when companies take out the fat, they add other unhealthy ingredients such as salt, sugar, and thickeners into the product to improve taste. Now that we know fat is not the problem, stick to eating smaller portions of full-fat foods so you’re not consuming unnecessary processed ingredients.
Don’t get us wrong, we love a good fro-yo, but it isn’t exactly considered a health food — although many people tend to think so. “It’s still a dessert,” says Shannon Garcia, MDS, RD, LD with KISS in the Kitchen. “What’s even worse are all the toppings we like to add in. Rule of thumb: Choose more fruit than yogurt, add a few nuts, and remember it’s still a splurge.”
But it’s made with all fruit, so it must be healthy, right? Think again. If you’re making smoothies with only fruit, you’re consuming a lot of sugar. “I’m all about a smoothie for breakfast, but make sure there’s a balance of protein, carbs, and healthy fats instead of just loaded with tons of sugar,” says Garcia. “If you want to add something extra to a smoothie, add a veggie.”
While we’re talking about sugary drinks, soda isn’t the only other culprit. “Many folks, especially when getting back in the workout game, think they need sports drinks, but they may end up consuming more calories from sugar than they burned off in the first place,” says Garcia. “Good ol’ water will likely do the trick for most workouts.”
They’re filled with protein, they’re convenient, and you can stick them in your purse to quickly eat after the gym. However, protein bars are also loaded with sugar and refined carbohydrates that can have the same negative effect as a candy bar. You’re better off eating whole foods after a workout, or try looking for bars with minimal ingredients and low amounts of sugar.
xx, The FabFitFun Team