In order to lead a healthy lifestyle and feel and look good, a well-balanced diet is necessary. But did you know there are tons of foods people eat, thinking they are good for them when they're actually not healthy at all? You'd be surprised to learn that most of these food items are probably sitting in your pantry or fridge right now. Keep reading to discover how some of your favorite foods aren't as nutritious as you once thought and may even be better off avoiding altogether.
Coconut water is commonly thought of as incredibly healthy. It's known to be full of electrolytes, so after a workout or even a night of drinking, this would be your go-to beverage to recover and hydrate. But there's a side to coconut water that most people don't know! It's super high in potassium, so consuming this regularly can cause too much potassium to accumulate in your blood leading to a few harmful side effects.
Regularly drinking coconut water can cause intense stomach pain and, in extreme cases, even lead to serious heart issues because of high potassium levels.
Acai has been a huge health fad for the past few years, making its way into every wellness store, healthy restaurant, and smoothie stand. While, for the most part, acai is packed with antioxidants and believed to be good for your health, there are some surprising things to unpack about it. It's so mass-produced now that most commercially prepared acai is packed with sugar, preservatives, and calories that are not healthy at all.
However, if you are mindful about where you get your acai from and ensure it's as fresh and natural as possible, your acai-eating adventures don't need to stop. Just remember to keep things balanced!
Kids' Yogurt Cups
Many yogurts are advertised for children, suggesting they are packed with nutrients and the perfect healthy snack for a growing child. But most of these yogurt cups aren't as healthy as parents have been led to believe. While yogurt can be good for getting necessary bacteria that are beneficial for bowel health and even calcium, these kids' yogurts are not great. They are over-sweetened and contain tons of artificial colors and flavors.
It's better to opt for something like greek yogurt instead since these yogurts are less of a healthy snack and more like a disguised candy.
Who would've thought fruit could be unhealthy? Dried fruit is believed to be a healthy snack, and of course, it would seem that way because it's just fruit, after all! Despite the dehydration process, which takes a lot of the nutritional benefits away, it's not the best snack to munch on for another reason. Dried fruit is usually sweetened, making it full of sugars and not a great choice compared to fresh fruit.
Dried dates and raisins can be up to 60 or 65% sugar, and apricots are around 50% sugar! You might as well eat a chocolate bar at that point or just opt for a fresh apple.
Cereal may be a fast and convenient breakfast food, but it's not as healthy as people would like to think. Specifically, rice cereals are usually advertised as a healthy alternative for breakfast, but they really lack any nutrition. These types of cereals are highly processed and are loaded with artificial sugars! They are also often dyed with food colors linked to studies suggesting they exacerbate symptoms of ADHD in children.
Most people think cereal is harmless, but it's shocking to learn the side effects that actually come with regularly consuming a bowl of rice cereal.
Coffee is a staple of many cultures, consumed by millions of people, and yet one of those things people will probably never give up. But coffee can actually damage your health! Drinking too much of it can cause caffeine withdrawals, sleep disorders and even worsen anxiety and cardiovascular issues. People are often unaware or take the "ignorance is bliss" approach to admitting that coffee is just caffeine, which is incredibly addictive.
There are many mixed messages about the health benefits of coffee, and excessively drinking it will definitely negatively affect you. So rest assured, everything is better in moderation.
What's the most common healthy snack packed in a kid's lunchbox or taken on a hike? It's probably a granola bar! in most advertisements for granola bars, it showcases someone working out or in nature, so that's what people associate with it. So it might be news to you to learn they're not as healthy as everyone claims! The truth is they usually contain so much sugar they might as well be a disguised cookie.
You can make homemade granola at home that will be way healthier and tastier, but when it comes to packaged granola bars, these are a hard pass.
Canned tuna is often an affordable and accessible protein to add to any meal, and it's advertised as safe and good for you. But is that just a marketing ploy? How healthy can it actually be? Some major concerns with consuming canned tuna include mercury poisoning, sodium overload, and chemicals like BPA. Eating tons of canned tuna can even lead to high blood pressure because of how packed with sodium they are.
Not to mention mercury poisoning or ingesting chemicals from the canning process can be incredibly harmful to your health. Although fish is a healthier protein, these cans of tuna may be something to pass on from now on.
Peanut butter seems to be a favorite snack for those who are looking to eat healthier! It's often smeared on apples, added to chia pudding, or eaten on its own. While many think there is no problem with snacking on this every day, it can quickly become unhealthy in ways people are unaware of. There is plenty of saturated fat in peanut butter that, over time, can lead to clogged arteries and heart problems.
Now snacking on peanut butter all the time doesn't sound like the best idea, so remember to have it in moderation if you don't want to avoid it altogether.
One of the most popular and favorite fruits ever is strawberries. But how can this little fruit be considered unhealthy? There is nothing inherently wrong with a strawberry but with how they are grown. Strawberries are the one fruit that's the most likely to be contaminated with pesticides! Ingesting these toxins can harm your body, and sometimes even rinsing them is still not enough. Unfortunately, most strawberries are grown and produced this way.
Although they are delicious, no one wants to eat pesticides and chemicals galore. Either find a good disinfectant fruit spray or skip these on your next grocery run.
Cashews are a typical snack that people have believed to be super healthy for ages! It's usually in trail mix and encouraged to be eaten as opposed to chips or some junk item. But raw cashews are actually not that safe to eat. Raw cashews actually have a substance called Urushiol, also found in poison ivy, which can cause severe skin reactions and even become toxic. So it's best to keep cashew consumption to a minimum.
Although nuts are supposed to be healthy, consuming too much of them can be really dangerous. Who knew this snack you could find in every grocery store could be bad for you?
How on earth could there be anything wrong with drinking water? Water is the healthiest thing you could ever consume! But when it comes to sparkling water, it's surprising to learn that it really isn't the case. Sparkling water actually has many harmful chemicals that arise during the carbonation process. Although not every bottle could be contaminated with these chemicals called PFAS, if they are, the side effects are not great for you.
Water seems harmless, but if these chemicals are present, they can cause major health problems linked to thyroid hormone disruption. Not a fun thing to experience from drinking water.
Artificial Orange Juice
Orange juice is a go-to breakfast drink that's delicious and fruity. But if it's not all-natural, then it's packed with tons of harmful ingredients. Most artificial orange juices have so much sugar and food dyes that they are really horrible for your body, especially if you drink them every morning. Also, it has no nutritional value compared to a cup of real orange juice, so you better skip out on this one.
Most orange juice bottles say they're freshly squeezed when they're not, so make sure you double-check because most of the time, there's nothing fresh about them!
It's no surprise that those who exercise frequently and care about their diets are no strangers to protein bars and protein drinks. But did you know that these commonly consumed products can harm your health? Some studies have found traces of metal in protein used in these drinks, and consuming too much can lead to digestive problems and be very tough on your kidneys. These protein drinks may seem like a good idea initially, but it's not worth the risk.
Most people would never guess these products advertised as health and energy boosting could potentially be so bad for your health!
Sunflower seeds sound healthy, right? Unfortunately, although it's a seed and most consider it to be a great healthy option, it can still be bad for you. These seeds are super high in sodium, and since most people eat a ton at once, it's too common to set your salt intake into overload. But another concerning thing about sunflower seeds is that they are high in a toxin found in mold, called aflatoxin!
Obviously, consuming something that's full of toxins is horrible for your health and pretty scary to think about, so skipping these seeds and opting for a healthier snack is your best bet.
Soy and Almond Milk
It's incredibly common nowadays for people to have dairy sensitivities and intolerances, so alternative kinds of milk are super popular. The choices seem endless, from oat to soy and almond milk. Although they seem like a healthier alternative to dairy products, it's not as healthy as you'd think. Most of these flavored soy and almond milks are filled with tons of sugar and flavorings like vanilla which adds up and makes it very unhealthy!
With just one glass or bowl of this milk, you could easily surpass your daily intake of sugar, so you have to be cautious when regularly consuming these types of milk.
People tend to think applesauce is nutritious because it comes from an apple, and fruit is healthy after all, isn't it? Oftentimes people think it's a great snack to give kids every single day after school, but this is a big mistake. It's not very common knowledge, but applesauce is usually jam-packed with sugars and various corn syrups! So rather than get vitamins and nutrients, you're really eating tons of artificial ingredients!
Now before you go on your next shopping trip, you'll know exactly what's healthy and what's not so you won't end up buying unhealthy snacks!
Whole Wheat Bread
The best tool for healthy eating is knowing what's nutritious and good for you and what isn't so you don't harm your health. Whole wheat bread has long been considered a healthier alternative to white bread but did you know it's not actually the most nutritious option? Most wheat bread contains enriched flour which is full of sugar; eating bread with no nutrients and just sugar is never a good move.
So don't be fooled by the labels; wheat bread is not your healthiest option. Instead, try multigrain or sprouted grain bread!
Rice cakes are often considered a healthy replacement for chips or bread and are supposed to be very low in calories. But there is a downside to these little rice snacks that should be talked about! They're full of sugar, comparable to a donut or cake. So if you're looking for a healthier alternative, rice cakes are not the move. Especially if you eat a ton in one sitting, it can spike your blood sugar.
Rice cakes are often advertised as healthy, so who knew there could be a hidden side to them? They're severely lacking in nutritional value so snacking on these is questionable.
Iced tea seems like a healthy drink when you're not in the mood for water, but who knew it could be so bad for you? When you think of iced tea, you probably imagine water steeped with a teabag and then poured over ice, so how bad can it really be? Most beverages sold as tea are actually closer to soft drinks and can have over fifteen tablespoons of sugar!
These pre-packaged iced tea drinks can spike your insulin, and that's terrible for your health, especially if you drink them regularly. However, making homemade iced is super easy and way healthier, so you don't have to give it up completely.
A fun snack that is at almost every party, movie theatre, and sports game is popcorn! It's usually a healthier option than most junk food because it tends to be very low in calories. But most premade popcorn sold contains high levels of salt and adding a ton of flavoring, sugar, or butter only makes it worse for your health. Yet people still tend to think popcorn is a healthy snack.
However, it's time to unveil the truth about these snacks that only make you feel bad in the long run.
It might sound bizarre that a tomato could be unhealthy, but it's not for the reason you may think. Tomato skin is so thin that when sprayed with pesticides, the tomatoes absorb all of the chemicals. This is why even removing the outer layer doesn't solve the problem! Organic tomatoes that are grown without harsh chemicals could be the route to go, but there's one more thing to be cautious about.
Tomatoes are highly acidic and can be very harmful to people who have issues with their digestive systems! Most people are unaware that tomatoes could pack such a punch, but it's worth knowing.
It's common knowledge that fruits and vegetables are healthy, and you should eat them daily to have a well-balanced diet. But how could it be any different when it comes to canned fruit? Fruit is just fruit, so how can it become unhealthy suddenly? Canned fruits have a long shelf life and can sit in your pantry for probably years without spoiling. This is precisely why they no longer have the same nutrients commonly associated with fruit in the first place.
Canned fruits are usually full of sugars, corn syrups, and intense preservatives that are not very healthy for you. Fresh fruit is always the better option.
Coconut oil seems to be the new superfood that people can't get enough of. It's great to use on skin and hair and, compared to most cooking oils, seems to be the healthier option when baking! But there are some warnings about consistently consuming coconut oil that make it less healthy than people boast. The problem is that it's made up of mostly saturated fats, which means it's full of bad cholesterol.
High cholesterol levels can cause serious heart issues, so although this won't happen immediately, it's something to keep in mind if you eat coconut oil regularly.
A favorite snack for many happens to be veggie chips. And while they might seem like the better option compared to regular potato chips, they really are not all that much healthier. Just because they are advertised to be made of vegetables, they are still processed and have tons of salt. It might be shocking to learn because they are advertised as a great chip alternative but don't be mistaken; they aren't nutritious.
The oil and sodium levels make veggie chips pointless, so snacking on carrots or celery is a better way to get your veggie intake!
Beans are a great source of protein and packed with fiber which can only mean they are a healthy superfood. But that's where people go wrong. This actually doesn't apply to all beans, and when it comes to refried beans, it's best to learn that you can't rely on them for nutrition. Refried beans are highly processed and full of salt and saturated fat, which, unfortunately, takes away all the health benefits!
Although people usually rely on beans as healthy food, stay far away from refried beans because of the harmful ingredients they're loaded with.
Potatoes are probably most people's most-eaten food item, but it's rarely mentioned how bad they actually can be for your health. Potatoes aren't just a natural vegetable that you can eat all the time. In fact, they are full of carbs and are primarily prepared in a way that drenches them in oil, butter, and salt. But that's not even all! Potatoes can quickly go bad and have glycoalkaloids that can lead to food poisoning.
This doesn't sound too healthy anymore, does it? Next time you are grocery shopping or cooking, you can keep this in mind!
What is supposed to be the healthier alternative to sugar? It's agave nectar! So don't freak out once you learn it's actually not all that healthy. This may come as a shocker, but it's been heavily marketed as a natural and better sugar replacement when the reality is it has just as much, if not more, sugar. This is because of the high fructose and calorie content which makes it harmful, especially if eaten every day!
So ultimately, the healthier choice would be honey over table sugar and agave! Avoid misleading advertisements, and don't settle for agave nectar.
Hot dogs are a favorite convenient, easy item to whip up and a staple of barbeques. But did you know they're actually pretty harmful to your body? This is because they are highly processed! It's not just a clean piece of meat; it's a mixture of animal meat that's full of extra salt and preservatives. Plus, it's mostly made of unhealthy fats rather than nutrients that are actually good for you.
Although you may think hot dogs are perfectly fine, it's not worth putting those harmful ingredients in your body. Just because they are cheap and super accessible doesn't make them good to eat!
Oh no, not onions! What could possibly be wrong with these too? Well, you might be surprised to learn that onions can be very harmful to some people. They are highly acidic, and if you're not careful, you can mistakenly eat onions and cause your body some significant and uncomfortable harm. If you're one who suffers from colitis, ulcers, and heartburn, you'll want to avoid these pungent veggies at all costs!
If you're someone who has a sensitive stomach, constantly eating onions could be the cause of some horrible symptoms, so you better take these off of your next grocery list.
A hugely popular snack is nachos, and despite being delicious, tortilla chips aren't very good for you. They seem simple and only made of a few ingredients, so how bad can they actually be? But because they are fried, they are overflowing with salt, fats, and calories. So if you frequently snack on these, you can set yourself up for some serious side effects like hypertension, so you better stick to munching on them in moderation.
Although tortilla chips are mostly made from corn, they surprisingly pose no nutritional benefits. Unfortunately, another snack to add to the long list of unhealthy food items!
People who are trying to eat healthily and watch what they consume tend to think frozen yogurt is a good replacement for regular ice cream. But that is where they go wrong! Just by the name, it seems it would be way better for you. It's even supposed to be way lower in fat and calories than plain old ice cream, but it's definitely not lacking in sugar. Don't be fooled because it's yogurt; it's just as unhealthy!
As long as you don't eat this frequently, it shouldn't affect you. Just don't forget frozen yogurt is a sweet treat with no more nutritional value than ice cream.
Jell-O is believed to be healthy because it's a common snack that's served to children and even in hospitals. So how could it possibly be bad for you? It's just made of gelatin, and do you know what gelatin is made of? Gelatin is a mixture of boiled animal tendons and bones! It's unclear how safe it is to consume this; it is not the healthiest treat you want to be serving your children.
Jell-O is also colored with various food dyes that are carcinogenic. So it's probably not the greatest food you should be eating every day.
One of the first things you think of when asked for a burger alternative is, of course, a veggie burger. It seems to be way healthier than eating red meat, and if it's made of vegetables, how could you go wrong? Actually, most frozen premade veggie patties are flawed. They are packed with salts and preservatives, most of the time more sodium than a beef patty even has! So if you're looking for a healthier alternative to a burger, this isn't necessarily it.
Unfortunately, the list of preservatives and chemicals that are bad for you is never-ending in these tasty treats, so they're not as healthy as people would like to think.
Rice is a staple in most households, so the thought of it not being good for you could be mind-boggling. But when it comes to pre-packaged microwavable rice, the nutritious value tends to drop. It may be convenient and fast, but these products have way more preservatives than normal. Rice itself has no sodium, so although it would take longer to cook, it's worth it because packaged rice usually has sodium galore.
The longer cooking time on regular rice is worth the health risks you take with regularly eating those pre-packaged flavored rice packages. So do yourself a service and purchase real rice only!
Traditionally butter was used for everything when cooking and baking, but margarine became a cheaper and more accessible alternative. However, it's not common knowledge that margarine is packed with unhealthy ingredients. Rather than being made from animal milk, it's primarily made of various oils. So why would this be so bad for you? Well, all the oils are full of saturated and trans fats that are linked to horrible and unfortunate side effects like diabetes and heart disease.
If you eat this every day, it's time to replace it with something that is actually good for your health and avoid exposing yourself to harmful ingredients.
Chewing gum is an excellent way to freshen your breath, yet people don't really think about what chewing gum means for your health. But because most gum is packed with sugar, chewing gum all day can quickly become really bad. You can erode your teeth with all the sugar and easily consume over your daily sugar intake without even realizing it! It's better to opt for a sugar-free mint rather than take a risk, it may be shocking, but it's better to know now than never.
So why not just buy sugar-free gum? Chewing gum is linked to stomach problems because of the constant swallowing of air pockets. This leads to abdominal pain and bloating, so forget the gum altogether!
Want a quick and easy snack? Well, pretzels seem like a great option. It may be disappointing to learn that these are also not a great snack choice. They seem harmless, but they're really just made of carbs and salt without offering any nutrients. They're processed and usually don't have any fiber, so eating too many of these can give make your tummy hurt. Especially if you're already prone to digestive issues, it's best to avoid these.
Who knew this simple snack could be so inflammatory to your body? Now you'll know to keep these out of your diet.
What's one of the most popular and common condiments? Hot sauce, of course! It's added to everything from veggies to burritos and chips. But it's not common knowledge that despite hot sauces being tasty, they are not good for your health. The whole point of hot sauce is to add some spiciness to your snack, but it can seriously irritate your stomach lining. If you eat this daily, you can even develop gastritis.
There's a common misconception that hot sauce can burn belly fat, but these are just burning sensations and side effects that are actually causing you harm!
When eating breakfast, choosing turkey bacon versus pork bacon or sausage seems to be a healthier alternative. So learning that turkey bacon isn't great for you can be super heartbreaking for breakfast lovers. Turkey is supposed to be a healthier meat, so why would this be so bad for your health? Turkey bacon is very processed, which means it's full of chemicals, added sugars, and fats that can take a toll on your body.
It's best not to eat this every day to avoid these side effects that can seriously harm you! The key is to do everything in moderation.