Wednesday, August 17, 2016

List: Ten health foods that aren't healthy.

A couple of months back, I re-started my healthy swap challenge to lose a stubborn 5 pounds.  I already told you all about my squats and my new found love for tea.  What I didn’t tell you is that I cut back on carbohydrates, unhealthy snacks, and lazy nights in bed.  It’s been two months and I can’t confirm that I lost weight, but I really do feel better.  I don’t weigh myself.  When you have anxiety, you avoid the things that could trigger a meltdown.

how to make better eating choices

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Ten health foods that aren't healthy.

1.  Smoothies

I’m a huge fan of Tropical Smoothie and have been indulging to my heart’s content.  After checking out their nutrition facts, I learned that I’d be better off with a gallon of ice cream.  Not to mention, their smoothies only come in one size:  gigantic! 

Instead, swap them with a homemade smoothie made with natural ingredients and low sugars.  If you're unable to make at home, ask the place of business for a list of ingredients and nutrition facts before purchasing.

2.  Salad

The main ingredients in a salad are generally healthy.  This includes the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and even to some extend, the cheese.  When you start adding candied walnuts, rich dressings, and dried cranberries, it becomes a calorie bomb.

Instead, swap fresh avocado in place of salad dressing and sugar filled, dried fruits.  You'll find that it's just as delicious less the calories and preservatives.  If you don't like avocado, try to stick with simple oil and vinegar.

Idea:  Motivate yourself to skip the bottled dressing by investing in a gorgeous set like this one.  It's pretty enough to keep on the counter as a constant reminder to use it!

3.  Oatmeal

That daily breakfast of a packet of apple cinnamon flavored Quaker instant oatmeal may be convenient, but it's packed with sugar.  Actually, enough sugar to make you eep!

Instead, swap your oatmeal packets for plain, dried oat bran.  You may need a pot, water, and 15 minutes to make it, but the health effects are totally worth it!  If it's too blah to be enjoyable, try a dollop of real maple syrup and some dried wild blueberries.

4.  Wraps

One popular health food trend is wraps packed with all sorts of different things.  Compare the nutrition facts of your wrap to your bread.  You’ll see that the wraps are significantly worse.

Instead, swap those giant calorie filled wraps with whole grain bread.  Take the thick slice of bread and cut it in half.  You'll get the health benefits of the whole grains without over indulging on that second slice.

Idea:  Try a thin sandwich type of bread like this.  It will have the same health benefit as mentioned above less the mess of crumbs for you to clean up after.

5.  Peanut Butter

Many people eat peanut butter as a form of protein.  Some even buy the reduced fat peanut butter thinking that they made a healthy swap.  Instead they just swapped that extra fat for extra sugar.  A moment of silence for our favorite apple and peanut butter snack..

Instead, replace your popular jar of peanut butter with an all natural almond butter.  That means no added preservatives or sugar.  Just straight up almond butter.  You may find that it actually tastes better.

Idea:  If the almond butter isn't sweet enough, try a dollop of sweet agave nectar like this one or natural honey.  Just don't add too much or it defeats the purpose of your healthy swap!

6.  Diet Drinks

These drinks may have less sugar, but the companies make up for it with chemicals.  Some diet sodas in particular have been linked to Multiple Sclerosis type symptoms.

Instead, just stick with water and natural teasOk, and a cup of coffee..

7.  Cold Cuts

It’s not uncommon for people to roll up a few slices of turkey and stick them on top of their salad, put on a sandwich, or just eat plain.  Turns out that this deli meat is packed with preservatives, sodium, and fat.  When I was pregnant, the doctored banned me from eating any cold cuts.  Red flag much?

Instead, save leftovers at dinner and invest in a fillet knife like this one.  Slice some thin pieces of meat and treat it as a cold cut.  Another idea is to make a hot open sandwich to heat up in the lunchroom.  Be creative, and skip the possibly poisonous cold cuts!

8.  Protein Bars

Like many others, I tried to up my protein intake by buying Cliff Protein bars.  They're yummy but full of sugar.

Instead, swap the protein bar for hard boiled eggs.  It may not be as much protein as the bars, but it's also saving you >100 calories and crazy amounts of sugar.

9.  Sugar Substitutes

Sugar substitutes can be filled with chemicals that are known to cause medical issues.  If you absolutely must use sugar substitutes, make sure that you do your research to ensure that it won't cause any long or short term health effects.

Instead, swap the sugar substitute with sweet agave nectar like this one or natural honey.

10.  Yogurt

Plain yogurt is a very healthy snack, but the flavored ones are full of sugar and preservatives.  This is especially true for some of the children's yogurts.  Ever see the sugar count?  Some should be illegal for kids!

Instead, swap the sugar filled yogurts for an all natural Greek yogurt like Chobani.  After doing a school project on Chobani, I learned how they are one of the best yogurt choices out there.

Did any of these trick you?


  1. yes, everything these days contains either sugar, salt or chemical ingredients. That is why it is best not to use any refined or industrial products especially if you have kids.

  2. I used to eat oatmeal and power bars too thinking I was being healthy. Dang, was I ever a sucker! Now I swap for plain Greek yogurt topped with unsalted pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds and a drizzle of organic honey.

  3. I'm horrible at it but staying away from processed foods is really the best for your diet. But sometimes, a girl's just gotta have her Cheezits

  4. Don't eat anything processed what so ever at my sea, so I'm safe. But yeah, companies sure try to pull the wool over your eyes. Like the whole "Gluten Free" or "Trans Fat" free trick. They can say that when it really isn't, as long as it is below a certain percentage.

  5. Diet soda tricked me and now I can't make myself give it up. I think of it as my treat. I appreciate the warning about the peanut butter.


  6. The best way to loose weight is to eat mostly lean protein and less carbs.
    Don't sweat the sugar so much! If you're dying for something sweet eat dark chocolate or one scoop of ice cream. Eggs or protein bar for breakfast, fat free cottage cheese and fruit for lunch, a greek yogurt for a snack and a sensible dinner. 8 glasses of water a day. I even had a small dessert some nights with dinner. Stay away from bad carbs...bread, cereal, oatmeal, wraps, pasta, etc. I lost 11 pounds in 2 months this summer. No exercise, either!

  7. Check my weight and you'll know the answer to that question, Jax.


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