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10 "Health" Foods to Avoid

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We live in a scary time for nutrition. Every other product on the shelf of your local grocery store uses marketing words like organic, fat-free or the biggest of them all: natural. This is making it extremely difficult to find foods for you and your family that are truly healthy. We’re here to unveil 10 foods that we’ve all been trained to think are smart nutritional options that are actually hurting your health goals.   1. Wheat Bread Yes, it’s true that whole wheat bread is great! The problem is that most “wheat-breads” aren’t whole wheat at all. Companies mix a bit of wheat flour into their white breads and …VOILA!’s “wheat”. Be sure to verify that the bread claims to be 100% wheat to make sure you are truly getting wheat bread.   2. Fruit Juices Be cautious with fruit juices. Many “fruit juices” contain little or no fruit. These beverages are simply water flavored with chemicals made to taste like fruit. Sadly, most of these products are also loaded with sugar. Your best bet is to avoid fruit juices entirely and stick to eating the real thing!   3. Margarine Margarine must be far better than butter, right? Wrong. That couldn’t be further from the truth! Margarine isn’t technically even a food. It is a combination of chemicals and oils put together to pose as food. Margarine is full of refined vegetable oils and contains trans fats. Just go ahead and have the butter, but in limited quantities.   4. Trail Mixtrail Somehow the fact that this product has trail in the name has convinced many people that it’s a healthy option. The fact is, trail mix is basically candy. Even the nuts it contains aren’t a smart choice due to an extremely high salt content. Along with some nuts, a handful of trail mix will also get you M&Ms and sugar coated raisins. Not exactly a nutritious choice. Even if you’re burning tons of calories out on the trail, eat some unsalted nuts instead. Your body will surely be grateful!   5. Flavored Soy Milk Soy is a genuinely great choice for a healthy lifestyle. It boasts high protein and potassium levels and is low in cholesterol. The problem with flavored soy milk is the flavoring. Those delicious chocolate and vanilla soy milks are pumped full of sugar and unwanted calories. If you need the flavored soy milk in your life, save a small portion for a tasty dessert. Otherwise, it’s in your best interest to avoid the flavored soy altogether and have plain soy milk instead.   6. Veggie Omelet When health-conscious people go out for breakfast they tend to order a healthy omelet to keep calories down. Not a bad idea. However, all of the extras that go into the preparation of that omelet are the real problem. The vegetables are usually first cooked in a bunch of oil and there’s a high amount of oil and butter in the pan. Try ordering a dry omelet with steamed vegetables instead!   7. Fruit Cocktailunnamed Fruit always sounds like a good idea. However, it’s all about how it’s preserved. One cup of fruit cocktail will certainly keep calories down, but the amount of sugar will equal your entire daily value! Again, always go with fresh fruit as the healthiest option.   8. Microwave Popcorn The packaging for most microwave popcorn makes it sound great for you! They use words like low-fat, reduced-fat and light. Combine that with the low calories of the popped kernels and microwaved popcorn seems like an easy snacking choice. The truth is, these popcorn packs contain tons of sodium and chemicals that should be avoided.  Go ahead and pop your own kernels in your microwave or, better yet, on your stove. This way, you’re in control of what you add!   9. Frozen Yogurt Here’s a “health” craze that is sweeping the nation. Fro-Yo, as it’s so often called, seems like an obvious alternative to ice-cream. You can even control the toppings on it, so it’s easy to keep it light and healthy. The problem lies in the dairy product itself. There is absolutely no nutritional value in frozen yogurt and it should be treated as an occasional treat. You’re better off having actual ice-cream in lower amounts. Ice-cream is more filling and it has a much richer flavor.   10. Agave Nectar It sounds so beautiful doesn’t it? Say it with me…A-GAH-VAY NECK-TER. It has long been seen as a perfect substitute for sugar. Believe it or not, you should just stick with sugar. This is because agave nectar contains between 70 and 80% fructose. What does that mean? It actually has more fructose than high-fructose corn syrup. It should be excluded from your diet. Go with honey instead. Honey will sweeten up any dish, naturally and nutritiously.   Do yourself a favor and try to cut-out these 10 foods from your diet. There are a lot of healthy food imposters out there and you need to keep an eye out for them! This is just a short list of some of the more common items, but do some further research on your own. You want you and your loved ones to be as healthy as can be!   By Pat DeRiso   Sources:,,

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