7 Junk Foods that are Disguised as Healthy (But Are Really Not)

Most of us are constantly trying to shift to a healthier lifestyle by changing our dietary intake by making better food choices for our family. However, many of the foods labeled as ‘healthy’ in supermarkets are rather misleading. Not to mention, several big brands endorse their unhealthy products by false advertising. We never really take out the time to check all the ingredients listed on food packaging, and blindly purchase whatever ‘health food’ is trending on social media. If we knew better, the number of personal injury claims for product liability would be overwhelming.

According to nutritionists, the following foods and snacks we frequently mistake as ‘healthy’ are purely junk food

1.      Fruit Juices

Anything that says ‘fruit’ sounds like a good bet health-wise, yet that is not the case. Most of the juice packs and bottles at the grocery store only contain a small percentage of real fruit, while the rest are entirely composed of artificial ingredients. The average juice you pick up at the supermarket is a fruit-flavored sugar solution. Freshly squeezed fruit juice without any additives is better, though it is still a natural sugar concentrate, which is high in calories; it lacks all the good stuff in the fruit, essentially fiber. You can certainly enjoy a glass of fruit juice every now and then, but eating whole fruits would be a better option if your child is craving something sweet.

2.      Margarine

Margarine is thought to be a healthier substitute for butter that is rich in animal fat, but that is a myth. If a nutritionist tells you to replace butter with margarine in your diet plan, know that they are not the real deal. Margarine is loaded with trans fats and refined vegetable oils, which can do more damage to the heart than any butter. Trans fats are unnatural and are made in a factory. Look for the words “partially hydrogenated” or “hydrogenated” in the ingredients lists as these are trans fats and find healthier options such as organic butter, ghee, or coconut butter.  Fats in smaller quantities are actually good for your health, as long you consume them in controlled quantities.

3.      Multigrain Bread

If it contains grains and it isn’t white, then the bread is probably healthy, right? Unfortunately, the majority of multigrain breads at grocery stores are made of refined grains or “enriched” flour, which make them no better than the standard white bread. They will spike your blood sugar and lead to increased food cravings shortly after consumption. Breads that say “made with whole grains” or “multigrains” is not the same as “100% whole wheat or whole grains” Look for breads that are genuinely made from 100% whole grains or look up a good recipe and bake at home.

4.      Trail Mix

Dried fruits, oats, and nuts are among the healthiest snacks out there, but commercial trail mix products do not make the cut. Packaged trial mix is usually high in sodium, fat, and carbs. Nuts are fried and salted for added taste and preservation, whereas dried fruits are coated with sugar, sweetened milk chocolate, and other unhealthy ingredients. If you make your own trail mix with natural raw ingredients, cheers to you!

5.      Canned Beans

First of all, anything that comes in a tin is not healthy, because it contains a ton of preservatives and has lost all its nutritional value in the canning process. Legumes are a healthy food that are rich in plant proteins, but the canned ones are drenched in sugar, syrup, or molasses. Avoid processed beans, and get them in raw form to cook at home.

6.      Salad Dressings

Salads can be very healthy if they consist of lots of raw greens, fresh fruits, and only unprocessed organic ingredients. Commercial salad dressings do tend to make the salad a lot more flavorful, but at the expense of your health. The processed fat, sugars, and carbs in these dressings turn your salad into the unhealthiest snack ever. If you absolutely need some dressing, you either stick to virgin olive oil or find a healthy recipe to prepare one yourself.

7.      All ‘diet’ processed foods

To be honest, any processed food labeled as ‘low fat’ or ‘fat-free’ should raise concerns. What are the manufacturers replacing the fat with to get the same texture or consistency? In most cases, the substitutes are a lot worse, and they do not even cut down on calorie intake. If a manufacturer is going to remove fat from the product, they are going to add sugar or sodium and vice versa with products that are labeled sugar-free products. 

If your child is confused about all the misinformation online about nutrition, then enroll your child into our next nutrition class. 

Introduction to Nutrition for Preteens

Introduction to Nutrition for Preteens will discuss topics such as food foods, food processing, how our bodies digest and use food and so much more

Fundamentals of Nutrition for Teens Part 1

This introductory nutrition class will teach students basic nutrition principles and theory so they can take steps to live a healthier lifestyle.

John Adams

John Adams is a lifestyle blogger who creates content focused on healthcare and personal well-being. He also enjoys travelling for his love for nature and wildlife. He is rather adventurous when it comes to food, always eager to try exotic dishes in strange places and then recreate them (with a twist) at home.

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