Understanding what food is good for your health isn’t always as easy as it seems


10 seemingly healthy foods that aren’t that good for you

Knowing which foods are healthy and which aren’t isn’t as straightforward as you might think. Often seemingly healthy foods are packed with hidden salt, sugar and fats that aren’t good for a healthy lifestyle. Here are ten surprising foods that might not be as good as you first thought…

1. Energy Bars

Some energy bars contain as much sugar as candy

Processed energy bars can provide a great snack on-the-go or provide a pre-workout energy boost, however they can be packed full of sugars. NHS guidelines suggest that most adults and children have too much sugar in their diets and snacks like these can be partly to blame with some bars racking up as much sugar as candy!

2. Baked Crisps

While they can You need to keep an eye on portion sizes even with healthier optionsbe better than regular fried crisps, experts advise that you need to keep an eye on portion size as although these ‘healthier’ options  tend to have reduced fat, it doesn’t mean they are low in fat, salt or sugar.

While they can be better than regular fried crisps, experts advise that you need to keep an eye on portion size as although these ‘healthier’ options tend to have reduced fat, it doesn’t mean they are low in fat, salt or sugar.

3. Frozen Yoghurt

Frozen yoghurt can contain almost all of your recommended daily sugar intake

It’s important to keep an eye on added sugars, even when you think you’re swapping a dessert or sweet treat, such as ice cream, for a ‘healthier’ option. Frozen yoghurt for example can contain almost all of our daily recommended sugar intake, regardless of added sauces and toppings.

4. Diet Drinks

Highly processed sugar substitutes can be worse for your health

These options do contain less sugar, however there is little evidence to support that sugar-free or diet drinks prevent weight gain, with some researchers arguing that sweetened drinks can stimulate your sweet tooth causing you to crave more sugar!

5. Margarine

The chemical process to manufacture margarine means it’s now thought to be worse for your health than butter

For years, expert advice was to limit fat intake by switching from butter to margarine, however more recent studies show that although butter has a higher fat content, it’s the trans fats in margarine that are linked to heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

6. Skimmed Milk

Full fat milk contains more nutrients than skimmed or semi-skimmed

It’s often believed that a low-fat diet is better for you. However, when it comes to milk, the process involved to ‘skim’ the milk reduces the nutritional benefits, which can often mean that the full-fat option is better for your health.

7. Sports Drinks

Sports drinks can be packed with sugar

Sports drinks can help elite athletes better themselves, however more often than not for non-athletes they are a sure-fire way to get a big sugar hit.

8. Reduced Fat Peanut Butter

Peanuts are a great source of healthy monounsaturated fats

Peanuts are a natural source of the good monounsaturated fats that we need in our diets to stay healthy – not only does the reduced spread have less of these, but it can also contain more sugar as a result.

9. Shop Bought Smoothies

Smoothies are rich in natural fruit sugars

Homemade smoothies can be a great way to pack your diet with fresh fruit and vegetables, however, watching how many you consume is important as they can have very high levels of sugar, especially those that are shop bought.

10. Fat Free Salad Dressings

Fat free salad dressings can limit absorption of key nutrients

When it comes to choosing a salad dressing, don’t be fooled by the fat free or light options. Although lighter options tend to have less fat and calories, they are often higher in salt and sugar, so look to see what other ingredients are in the dressing. And if in doubt, make your own, this way, you can control what ingredients are added.

Often healthy foods have hidden ingredients that aren’t that good for you. By understanding what is in the foods you eat, you can manage your daily nutritional intake, allowing you to enjoy most things in moderation and remain fit and healthy.