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7 Healthy Foods That Are Actually Frauds

These foods seem healthy, but they are definitely hiding something.

 Caesar salad with croutons and dressing 

Each day you have to make decisions about your health, and food plays a significant role. From meals to snacks and beverages throughout the day, finding a balance in your nutrition is essential to living healthy.

Some foods and drinks are easy to label as healthy or unhealthy, then there are those that seem nutritious but actually have a side that packs a nasty punch (high sugar, etc.) if you’re not ready for it.


These seven foods are commonly perceived as healthy, when in reality, they aren’t as balanced or nutritious as you may think.


1. Caesar Salad


You may think healthy because you heard the word salad. The truth is, a small portion of Caesar salad often contains 300 or more calories and up to 30 grams of fat. Yikes! Much of that is due to the dressing itself, but when push comes to shove, are you really going to eat the salad without dressing? After all, the dressing is what makes it a Caesar salad.


Caesar isn’t the only culprit—salads in general often contain added calories due to extra ingredients like cheese, croutons, and dressing.

2. Orange Juice


You may enjoy the taste and high vitamin C content, but orange juice purchased from the store is a wolf in sheep’s clothing when it comes to sugar. Popular brands contain up to 22 grams of sugar per eight ounces. That's nearing the maximum daily allowance for adults in one measly glass; men: 37.5 grams or nine teaspoons and women: 25 grams or six teaspoons. 

3. Granola


Granola is popular in energy bars, as a snack, and with yogurt. Granola touts high fiber and iron content but also contains a significant amount of sugar and calories. Granola is a more plausible option on days you plan to exercise and burn a lot of calories.



4. Flavored instant oatmeal


Flavored instant oatmeal contains high amounts of sodium (240 grams) in each serving or packet. Popular brands also have up to 12 grams of sugar per serving. It’s much healthier to eat regular oatmeal (think big cylinder package at grocery store) then add your own flavoring, like cinnamon or fruit.


5. Skim milk


Whole milk contains more fat than skim milk, but it also contains more nutrients. According to menshealth.com, skim milk cuts down on fats and nutrients then adds synthetic vitamins to make up for the lost calcium and protein. The bottom line: That’s a lot of extra processing and in the long run the difference may not be as healthy as you think.

 milk being poured into glass


6. Packaged meats


If you’re going to bake a turkey or ham then use the leftovers for a sandwich, you’re on your way to a healthy and extremely tasty meal. Packaged meats, however, don’t have the same health benefits as leftovers from a home-cooked meal. Watch for high sodium (240 grams per serving or more) and added preservatives in packaged deli meats.


7. Store-bought smoothies


Stores and franchises commonly use fruit juice, yogurt, or sherbet as key ingredients in smoothies. The flavors can be great, but the nutrition goes down because that bump in flavor is packed with sugar and calories. A smoothie made from a common franchise may contain 400-600 calories and won’t fill you up like a meal would.

 woman at smoothie shop pouring smoothie


There you have it—seven foods that commonly deceive. Now you can see through the charade and make an extra effort to keep your nutrition balanced. While you're here, check out our other healthy living articles.



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The content presented here is for your information only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, and it should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns.


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Post Author

Bobby Macey

Bobby Macey is a marketer and writer by trade. He’s been published nationally and writes on myriad topics—particularly healthy living.