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Here is a list of unhealthy foods that one may think are “healthy” :

  1. Diet sodas

If you’re the type of person to grab the diet coke over the regular in your never-ending quest to eat healthy, you may want to think again. To be sure, soda in general should be cut out of your diet as much as possible, but there’s evidence leading to the conclusion that diet soda can be even worse for you in some regards. First of all, diet soda may actually lead to weight gain, despite the appealing zero calories. Second of all, in order to successfully reduce the calorie and sugar count to zero, the company has to add in artificial sweeteners, which can be even worse in a lot of ways. Diet soda contains phosphoric and citric acid, which can lead to tooth decay. While it doesn’t have sugar, so it won’t contribute to cavities, the acid can strip the enamel from your pearly whites. You may think you’re saving yourself calories by opting for the diet soda, but the truth is much more grim. Everything is okay in moderation – but you may not want to make diet soda a daily habit.

  2. Store-bought granola

Here is yet another snack that makes our list for unhealthy foods that are popularized as health foods. Granola is advertised as a healthy alternative to other snacks. We immediately picture a healthy hiker when we say the word “granola,” but unfortunately, it’s misleading. Keri Gans, author of Small Change Diet, says this food has far too much sugar and far too little fiber. In fact, most store-bought granola carry a powerful punch when it comes to calories and sugar, sneaking in a substantial portion of our daily allowance. Instead, try eating a small amount with fruit or plain yogurt.

  3. Protein Bars

Snacks like Clif Bars are filling because they’re packed with sugar. Athletes who burn thousands of calories every workout sometimes eat them to get a quick burst of calories and energy, but for a regular person looking for a filling snack, you’d be better off with a banana. If you see any syrups in the ingredients list, you’d better avoid that particular bar.

  4. Fruit Smoothies

You would never think food smoothies would be in the list of unhealthy foods. Eat your fruit, drink your vegetables. When you puree your fruit in the way smoothies do, you end up eliminating many of the good-for-you parts of fruit and are left with only sugar. When you also consider that smoothies utilize juice, which packs in the calories, and sometimes even amplifies the flavor and texture with sorbet or ice cream, smoothies aren’t healthy after all. They won’t satisfy you in the way a meal would have, so you’ll be adding on the calories later on when hungry strikes again. Try a green smoothie instead, just avoid the ice cream.

  5. Fat-free foods

What’s replacing the flavor fat provides? Most likely, sugar and other preservatives. Fat fills you up, and it’s impossible to avoid it in your diet, so just make sure you’re getting your fat from healthy sources. Nuts, Greek yogurt, and healthy oils are solid choices. Always make sure you read the labels, and don’t fall prey to marketing ploys. When you read the ingredients, keep in mind that they are in order of prevalence. So, if sugar is in the first few ingredients on the list, that means it’s one of the most prevalent. Avoid long lists of ingredients, and especially try and make sure sugar is as low on the list as possible.

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