As a nutrition major, I often offer consulting to people on how to shop for healthy foods at the grocery store and avoid the fake health foods that so often confuse shoppers wanting to eat healthy. It can be a tricky task, let me tell you! I am often so agitated by the health claims on packaged foods today and I used to be a confused consumer myself, until I learned what to look for. If you have ever bought a product, claiming it is healthy for you, yet you don’t see any benefits or promised results, then be warned: most health foods in stores are impostors. Though there are a few good options out there, I’m going to give 7 of the most common fake health foods to avoid, so you can shop a bit smarter next time you’re at the store.
1. Protein Bars
You’ve seen them, and probably bought them, but I’m here to tell you that most protein bars are one of the worst offenders when it comes to fake health foods. Not all brands are bad, such as raw fruit and nut bars, but many such as Slim Fast bars and Clif bars, which appear to be healthy, are loaded with sugar, salt and unhealthy fats. Kit’s Organic bars by the Clif brand are an exception, as are brands like Kind, Larabars and Think Thin bars. Vega One and Amazing Grass also make a good raw protein bar. No matter what the package says on the front, turn it over and read the ingredients. If you see sugar, any type of syrup, cane juice or honey as one of the first ingredients, it’s loaded with sugar. Also, look at the sodium. It should never be more than 200 mg. per bar. Anything else is a salt bomb full of preservatives. Fat grams should be around 10 grams at most, and should never contain the word hydrogenated in the ingredients list. Protein should always come from healthy sources like raw nuts and seeds, quality whey protein or hemp, rice or pea protein.