There are a number of foods that are well-known for being junk food, but there are other foods that many people have come to accept as being healthy that are actually secretly terrible for you. This is due to misunderstandings or hidden ingredients. Keep reading as we expose 9 secret junk foods that you might have thought were healthy.
When you make a smoothie at home and include all fresh ingredients, it can be the best thing for you. However, when you pick one up from a juice bar, you will likely get one that is full of added sugars and artificial sweeteners. Because of this, they end up being high in calories and low in nutrition.
2. VEGETABLE OILS
Whether they are made from seeds or vegetables, these types of oils are not as good for you as their packaging implies. There are numerous studies that have shown that some of them will help to lower your cholesterol. While this is true, there are other studies that have shown how much they increase your chances of developing heart disease and cancer. Instead, pick olive or coconut oil.
3. SPORTS DRINKS
If you are an athlete or doing some pretty intense workouts, then sports drinks will benefit you because of their high electrolyte and sugar content. However, salts are included in that list of electrolytes and if you’re not working hard enough to need to replace them, you’re just filling yourself with extra salt and sugar. Studies have shown that water works just as well and it’s better for you.
4. PROTEIN BARS
Many people will skip breakfast in lieu of eating a protein bar. There are some high quality protein bars out there that you can safely do this with, and most protein bars are higher in protein which can be beneficial. However, most protein bars also include copious amounts of sugars, trans fats, and fructose. All of these have a negative impact on your health, so do yourself a favor and have a couple of eggs in the morning instead.
This may be one of the sneakiest of the secret junk foods because it has been called a healthy alternative to butter since its creation. Butter does contain quite a bit of saturated fats, but margarine is high in vegetable oils and questionable chemicals that could be doing a number of harmful things to your body. If you insist on using Margarine then spread lightly.
6. FROZEN MEALS
Frozen meals are a staple for people that don’t have the time or the motivation to make their own food. While they often include vegetables and other seemingly healthy food choices, the reality is that frozen meals are processed and then pumped full of sodium and preservatives. If you don’t have the time or motivation to cook your own food, local restaurants are a much better choice to frozen meals.
7. DRIED FRUIT
This secret junk food is one that many people choose because they believe that dried fruit has the same nutritional value as fresh fruit. However, the drying process usually results in a loss of quite a few of the nutrients, plus most dried fruit has a great deal of sugar added, nearly doubling the calorie content and unnecessarily increasing your sugar intake.
8. FAST FOOD SALADS
It’s a myth that all salad is healthy. Most fast food restaurants use low quality iceberg lettuce that has no nutritional value as the base of their salad. Then, it is topped with large amounts of salad dressings to make it taste better. These salad dressings are chock full of sugar, fat, and extra calories that completely negate any possible health benefits from the salad.
9. FRUIT JUICES
Similarly to dried fruit, many people are deceived by the fruit part and believe that fruit juice is the same as fresh fruit when it comes to nutrition. However, most commercially made fruit juices contain very little actual fruit juice. Instead, they are primarily made with sugar, chemicals, flavorants, and water. If you can make your own fruit juice at home, you can be sure that what you are drinking is all fruit juice and no harmful ingredients, especially if it’s organic.