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5 Pleasing, Enjoyable Foods That Are Surprisingly Bad for You

Being a health-conscious person sometimes means facing some inconvenient truths. The real mark of a responsible dieter is knowing when to ease up on certain foods and when to let them go entirely. Some of the following foods seem innocent. Some even have the reputation of being healthy foods. But all need to be eaten in moderation. Prepare to be bummed out with this list of favorite foods that are surprisingly unhealthy.

You put it on your burger, you dip your french fries in it, and you couldn’t eat meatloaf without it. Ketchup is a staple condiment of our culture, and it’s also not all that great for you. If you’ve been conditioned from an early age to love this tomato-based sauce, brace yourself for some startling news—sugar makes up nearly one-third of ketchup. While you’re not going to see many ill effects from having a little red sauce on the side, there are better dipping options like salsa and mustard.

What?! Margarine is supposed to be the healthy alternative to butter. While that might sometimes be true, it oftentimes isn’t, depending on the type of margarine you’re buying. Margarine is made from vegetable oil, and it can be packed with trans fats. As a rule of thumb, the more solid your margarine is (for example, if it comes in a stick), the more loaded with bad fats it is. Keep your eye on the ingredients and watch out for those pesky fats.

If your average day starts with a hearty bowl of granola cereal, you might need to rethink your breakfast strategy. While granola is often championed as a healthier alternative to sugar-packed breakfast cereals, it’s not so innocent itself. In fact, granola is typically high in sugar as well. Plus, a single cup serving of granola can contain as much as 600 calories – that’s nearly a third of the average daily recommendation! Keep your granola intake to a minimum, and go for whole fruits and raw nuts, instead.

Deli Meats
Yes, they’re high in protein, and yes, they’re great on a sandwich. But what you buy packaged, or even from the deli clerk at your local store, might not be the most healthy option for you. Sliced meats can be high in preservatives, and they’re usually chock-full of sodium. So, if you’re used to having a turkey sandwich on the daily, it might be time to start using your own home-cooked turkey – or going with a salad instead.

Energy Bars
What’s the difference between an energy bar and a candy bar? Depending on which ones you’re comparing, it might not be much. While energy bars are typically packed with more protein and vitamins than you’d find in a candy bar, they’re almost as calorie-dense, with only a little less fat. Not all energy bars are bad for you, but many definitely don’t live up to their reputation as healthy snacks. Take a look at the nutritional label before tossing a box of these into your shopping cart.

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