Not-so-healthy foods

Foods like salads, smoothies, and energy bars may be notoriously healthy foods, but in reality, they are not as good for you as you think. Photo courtesy of Google images

By: Lauren Harper

            With body image being one of the most important things on not only teens’ minds, but adults as well, there are many things that people attempt to do to improve their look these days. Exercise programs and plastic surgery are among the most popular, and along with these is dieting. Thanks to programs like Jenny Craig, people can have ready-to-eat low-fat meals to cut down on fat and carbs, but there is also a variety of other foods that people turn to that they think will help them cut the pounds. To their surprise, some of them may actually be adding the ‘lbs’ and not taking them off.

            When most people think of healthy, they think of green things like salads. Depending on which dressings and toppings you use, that salad could be giving you just as many calories and fat as the cheeseburger you considered ordering. The fatty dressing, croutons, and cheese all amount to hundreds of calories and over 30 grams of fat. Experts suggest that when it comes to salad, use minimal dressing and don’t go crazy with the nuts, sesame seeds and salty toppings like chickpeas, artichoke hearts and olives. Be sure to load up on the vegetables, which are basically free of fat and calories, and use vinegar-based salad dressings.

            Another healthy go-to snack that people usually associate with healthy food is a fruit smoothie. With all of the sugar and concentrate that goes into some smoothies, they can contain hundreds of calories and sugar; not exactly what most people want in their “healthy” frozen treat. Instead of adding things like sorbet, ice cream and sweeteners, which can add a lot of sugar, be sure to stick to fresh fruits when making the smoothies and use low-fat yogurt or protein powder. Along with smoothies, many people will turn to enhanced waters to stay more health conscious. With popular brands like Vitamin Water, Sobe water and Propel, many people believe that this alternative to pure H2O is better for them. In actuality, it really isn’t, and the 50 calories that it advertises only applies to one serving size, while the entire bottle has anywhere from two to three servings. This causes the drink to contain up to over a hundred calories instead of being healthy for you. Along with the calories, these drinks also contain sugar as well. When it comes to the vitamins that the drinks have, they may do some good, but overall it isn’t worth it when it comes to sugar and calorie count.

            Energy bars are also a choice that many people believe is beneficial to them. With the large assortment of these bars at grocery stores and health markets, you have to be careful that you are choosing one that is going to be good for you, and won’t leave you feeling hungry an hour later. For this, it is recommended to choose energy bars full of protein, and ones that aren’t merely full of chocolate so that they’re more like a candy bar. Along with protein, bars full of fiber and low on calories are ideal.

            There are many foods that are notorious for being ‘healthy’ when they really aren’t. When it comes to salads, smoothies, enhanced water and energy bars, be careful what you’re eating. So whether or not you’re calling Jenny yet, be sure to pick the right foods and the right ways to eat them.


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