If you want to live a long and healthy life, there are certain things you need to do. For instance, getting plenty of exercise is definitely a key component to staying healthy, but it’s not everything.
Eating mindfully is also a critical if you want to take care of your body. You might think that you’ve got healthy snacking down to a science—if the package says “all natural,” it must be good for you, right?—but sometimes, appearances can be deceiving.
Check out these 10 so-called “healthy” snacks that are actually totally terrible for you. You might be surprised just how much you’ve been deceived…
1. Fruit juice: In theory, this stuff should be as pure as it gets and plenty good for you. The reality, however, is anything but. Most fruit juices get their color and taste from chemicals. Even if you’re buying “100 percent fruit juice,” all you’re consuming is the sugar—and none of that beneficial fiber from the fruit itself.
2. Granola bars: Even if these suckers are high in fiber, your favorite granola bars usually also pack a very sugary punch and contain very few nutrients. If you’re looking for energy on the go, try sticking with a handful of raw almonds instead.
3. Baked beans: All on their own, beans are pretty nutritious for you. After all, they are packed with natural protein! However, protein means nothing in the face of all the added sugar and sodium that comes with baked beans. Stick to kidney beans instead; just be sure to cook them first!
4. Pretzels: People praise this treat for being so low in fat, but other than that, they don’t have much going for them. Pretzels are high in sodium and they don’t add anything to your diet. Rather than eating an entire bag of pretzels, pair only a few with low-fat hummus or a sliced apple.
5. Veggie chips: If you’re trying to soothe your guilty conscience by eating veggie chips, stop right there. By the time those chips have been processed and fried, they lack practically any and all nutrients. If you want veggie power, you’re better off with the real thing!
6. Most low-fat foods: When saturated fat was declared bad, manufacturers raced to rid their products of any trace of it. However, without that fat, food ended up lacking flavor. How did companies fix this conundrum? By simply adding sugar, which is even worse than fat. Remember: fat in moderation is necessary for a balanced diet.
7. Rice crackers: This popular snack among dieters isn’t as innocent as it seems. These carb-rich crackers lack fiber and protein, so you’ll be tempted to eat a lot of them without much of the nutritional benefit. Rather than eating an empty-calorie food, you’d be better off finding a more nutrient-rich and filling snack.
8. Sports drinks: Unless you are a professional athlete, you do not need the extra salt and sugar that most sports drinks contain. You’re better off sticking with simple bottled or tap water if you want to stay nice and hydrated.
9. Nuts: Yes, nuts are a power food, but you’ve got to eat them the right way. Make sure the nuts you eat are raw; anything that’s been salted, sugared, or roasted is just adding unnecessary salt and sugar for no reason. You also don’t need to eat many to feel full; six nuts should provide you with everything you need. Any more than that and you’re just adding extra calories.
10. Organic or gluten-free food: Just because a product is organic or gluten-free doesn’t mean it’s actually healthy. Organic and gluten-free foods still can contain high levels of oil, sugar, and refined grains. If you want a healthier snack, try a couple carrot sticks.
Did you have any idea that so many of your favorite snacks were not so healthy for you? This will definitely change the way you shop for food at the grocery store!
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