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20 Foods that are commonly mistaken as healthy

by Thomasina Oseye
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20 Foods that are commonly mistaken as healthy

When it comes to maintaining a healthy diet, it’s important to be aware of the foods we consume.

While some foods may appear to be healthy choices, they may actually be packed with hidden sugars, unhealthy fats, or artificial ingredients.

In this article, we will uncover 20 foods that are commonly mistaken as healthy, but in reality, aren’t as nutritious as we might think.

1. Granola Bars

Granola bars are often marketed as a convenient and healthy snack option. However, many store-bought granola bars are loaded with added sugars, artificial flavors, and preservatives. Instead, opt for homemade granola bars using natural ingredients like oats, nuts, and dried fruits.

2. Fruit Juice

While fruit juice may seem like a healthy choice, it is often stripped of its fiber content and loaded with added sugars. It’s better to consume whole fruits or make your own fresh fruit juice without any added sugars.

3. Flavored Yogurt

Flavored yogurts are often high in added sugars and artificial sweeteners. Instead, choose plain yogurt and add your own fresh fruits or a drizzle of honey for natural sweetness.

4. Energy Bars

Similar to granola bars, energy bars can be deceiving. Many of these bars are filled with processed ingredients, unhealthy fats, and excessive amounts of sugar. Opt for whole food snacks like nuts, seeds, or fresh fruit instead.

5. Veggie Chips

While veggie chips may sound like a healthier alternative to regular potato chips, they are often high in unhealthy fats and sodium. Instead, try baking your own vegetable chips using thinly sliced vegetables and a drizzle of olive oil.

6. Diet Soda

Diet soda may be calorie-free, but it contains artificial sweeteners that have been linked to various health issues. It’s better to opt for water, herbal tea, or naturally flavored sparkling water.

7. Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter

Reduced-fat peanut butter often compensates for the lower fat content by adding more sugar or artificial sweeteners. Choose natural peanut butter without any added sugars or oils.

8. Frozen Yogurt

Frozen yogurt is often marketed as a healthier alternative to ice cream, but it can still be high in added sugars and artificial flavors. Enjoy a small portion of regular ice cream as an occasional treat instead.

9. Rice Cakes

Rice cakes may seem like a low-calorie snack, but they are highly processed and lack essential nutrients. Opt for whole grain crackers or air-popped popcorn for a healthier snack option.

10. Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are designed to replenish electrolytes during intense physical activity, but they are unnecessary for most people. Water is usually sufficient for hydration, unless you are engaging in prolonged or intense exercise.

11. Multigrain Bread

While multigrain bread sounds healthy, it is important to check the ingredient list. Many commercially available multigrain breads contain refined grains and added sugars. Look for whole grain breads with minimal ingredients.

12. Pre-Packaged Smoothies

Pre-packaged smoothies may seem like a convenient way to get your daily dose of fruits and vegetables, but they often contain added sugars and preservatives. Opt for homemade smoothies using fresh ingredients.

13. Fat-Free Salad Dressing

Fat-free salad dressings often compensate for the lack of fat by adding more sugars or artificial ingredients. Choose dressings made from olive oil or vinegar for a healthier option.

14. Agave Syrup

Agave syrup is often marketed as a healthier alternative to sugar, but it is actually higher in fructose and can contribute to weight gain and other health issues. Use natural sweeteners like honey or maple syrup in moderation instead.

15. Pre-Packaged Sushi Rolls

Pre-packaged sushi rolls may seem like a nutritious choice, but they often contain high amounts of sodium and unhealthy additives. Opt for freshly made sushi or make your own at home using whole ingredients.

16. Gluten-Free Snacks

Gluten-free snacks can be a good option for those with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, but they are not necessarily healthier than their gluten-containing counterparts. Read labels carefully and choose snacks with whole food ingredients.

17. Baked Potato Chips

Baked potato chips may be lower in fat than regular potato chips, but they are still high in calories and often contain unhealthy additives. Enjoy a small portion of regular potato chips as an occasional indulgence instead.

18. Fat-Free Yogurt

Similar to fat-free salad dressings, fat-free yogurt often contains added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Opt for plain yogurt and add your own toppings like fresh fruits or a sprinkle of granola.

19. Pre-Made Smoothie Bowls

Pre-made smoothie bowls may seem like a nutritious breakfast option, but they are often loaded with added sugars and processed ingredients. Make your own smoothie bowls using fresh fruits, yogurt, and natural toppings.

20. Protein Bars

Protein bars can be a convenient snack, but many of them are highly processed and contain excessive amounts of added sugars. Look for bars with minimal ingredients and natural sources of protein.


It’s important to be mindful of the foods we consider healthy choices. By being aware of hidden sugars, unhealthy fats, and artificial ingredients, we can make more informed decisions about our diet.

Remember to read labels, choose whole foods, and opt for homemade versions whenever possible. Eating a balanced diet that consists of real, unprocessed foods is key to maintaining good health.

This article was updated 2 months ago


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