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4 Foods That Aren't As Healthy As They Seem

Aug 6, 2014
In our health-conscious world we are all looking to make the right choices when it comes to eating right.  Unfortunately, it is not as simple as it should be. Hidden fats and sugars can make or break the "healthy" choices you are making.  Some of the most common foods that have that "healthy" feeling include granola bars, smoothies and yogurt. But it is important to read and understand food labels to be an informed consumer. In this article, you will get some helpful tips on making better choices.

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You might want to try this:

Nutri-Grain Cereal Bar                        
  • 120 calories per bar
  • 3 grams of fat
  • 12 grams of sugar
  • 2 grams of protein
  • 3 grams of fiber
Filling: high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, blueberry puree concentrate, glycerin, sugar, water, sodium alginate, modified corn starch, etc.
Reading and understanding the food label and the ingredient list is key to making healthy choices.  When you read the ingredient list, remember the ingredients closest to the top of the list are more concentrated in the food item.  Therefore, if high fructose corn syrup is the first ingredient in your ingredient list, this means there is a lot of high fructose corn syrup in the product you are consuming.

Better Choice: Kashi TLC Chewy Granola Bars - Trail Mix                
  • 140 calories per bar
  • 5 grams of fat
  • 6 grams of sugar
  • 6 grams of protein
  • 4 grams of fiber
As you can see there is twice the amount of sugar in the Nutri-Grain Bar than the Kashi bar.  There is more protein and fiber in the Kashi bar as well.  These nutrients are considered essential nutrients and a necessary part of a healthy daily diet.

Another popular snack item is yogurt.  Yogurt is considered a complete protein as it contains all the essential amino acids you need in one food item.  However, not all yogurts are created equal.  

Yoplait, Low-Fat Yogurt 
                           
  • 100 calories per 6oz
  • 0 grams fat
  • 14 grams of sugar
  • 5 grams of protein
Vosko's Greek Yogurt                        
  • 120 calories per 5.3 oz
  • 0 grams fat
  • 14 grams of sugar
  • 13 grams of protein
The Greek yogurt is by far the better choice due to the higher protein.  It is important to note that low fat yogurt has substantially less calories than regular or original yogurts.  Again, be sure to read your food labels and understand what you are reading.

Below are some other common food comparisons.

Panera Bread Company
: Baked Potato Soup  (8oz serving)
  • 227 calories
  • 14.7 grams of fat (7.3 grams saturated fat),
  • 807 mg sodium
  • 4.7 grams protein
Better Choice: French Onion Soup  (9.2 oz serving)
  • 167 calories,
  • 8.4 grams of fat (3.5 grams saturated fat),
  • 1540mg sodium,
  • 6.3 grams protein
Wendy's:  BLT Chicken Salad, with Homestyle Chicken Fillet
  • 790 calories
  • 53 grams of fat (14 grams saturated fat)
  • 1,660 mg sodium
  • 37 grams protein
Better Choice: Mandarin Chicken, with Grilled Chicken Fillet
  • 370 calories
  • 16 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat)
  • 890 mg sodium
  • 30 grams protein

The FDA has mandated food labels for most all foods.  You can find food labels and nutrition information on the back of food items and on company website's.  Start by making informed choices about your food intake - EAT Well, LIVE Well!

Angela Hattaway is a Nutritionist and Personal Trainer with over 15 years experience. She got her BS in Nutrition and Dietetics from Stephen F. Austin State University and she also has a Master's Degree in Business with an emphasis on Healthcare. Angela is experienced in working with both children and adults and loves working with clients to help them set realistic goals and expectations. She is passionate about nutrition and fitness and feels this comes through when she works with people. Angela loves giving clients the tools, motivation and encouragement they need to be successful throughout their lives. Visit her blog at blog.ultimatenutritionnfitness.com. She can be reached via email at at foodjunkie@nutritionnfitenss.com.


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