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Unhealthy Foods You Think Are Healthy

Updated on August 28, 2012

Unhealthy Foods You Think Are Healthy

We all know the importance of eating a healthy and balanced diet that replenishes our body with the required nutrients along with providing it with an energy boost. Apart from regulating the various vital body processes and keeping all the vital organs like brain and heart working, healthy food keeps you away from contracting chronic diseases.

However, owing to the extremely fast paced lives that we live nowadays, we are more prone to consuming food items that are readily available rather than a self prepared meal. The biggest disadvantage that comes along with this kind of eating habit is that most of these food items are extremely unhealthy even though their product labels claim otherwise. Hence, it is very important to make sure what you are eating.

The Actual Meaning of ‘Healthy’ within the Food Industry

When it comes to generating revenues by the Food Industry, it relies completely on heavy advertising campaigns. Owing to this, most of the so-called healthy food containers will come plastered with all sorts of healthy phrases to mislead the consumers. For instance, most of the cotton candy and jelly bean packs carry the label of being ‘fat free’ which makes us believe that these are healthy. However, the reality is that these items are loaded with harmful quantities of chemicals and sugar which is extremely unhealthy. Similarly, other labels like ‘Sugar Free’, ‘Low Fat’, ‘No Added Sugar’, etc. are put up to hide the ugly ingredients that a common man wants to stay away from.

The Silently Killing Healthy Foods

As diet conscious and informed consumers, there is every need for you to be well aware of all those supposedly healthy food items that are nothing close to it. Only when you have enough knowledge related to the nutrient content of a food item, will you be able to stop gorging on it mindlessly.

Healthy Food Items That are Not So Healthy

· White Breads and Multi Grain Breads

There are people who firmly believe that bread in any form is good for them. However, the real picture is entirely different. White breads are jam packed with unhealthy amounts of carbohydrates that have been linked to various heart diseases. Even breads that are made out of wheat or multi grains mostly contain grains that are refined or bleached and wiped out of most of the essential nutrients.

· Peanuts

It is a common belief that all nuts are healthy as they contain lots of minerals, vitamins and fiber. But, peanuts are certainly an exception as these are a rich source of unsaturated fatty acids like Omega 6. Additionally, the snacks made out of peanuts are fried, roasted or coated with extra fats and come with a high quantity of salt.

· Salads

Not all salads are healthy, especially the ones that are prepared, like chicken salads or shrimp salads, as these contain a lot of calories and other unhealthy fats due to the presence of mayonnaise.

· Pasta

Although, pasta does come in several healthy varieties but the typical pasta that you consume in the form of noodles, spaghetti or macaroni is simply white flour without any minerals, vitamins or fibers.

· Muffins

Muffins form the perfect snacking or breakfast item but these are much more than a small serving of dessert. These are loaded with unhealthy fats, added sugars, calories and refined flour which can never be healthy.

Not So Healthy Drinks to Stay Away From

· Fruit Juice

People like to believe that anything prepared from fruits is healthy and hence, there is a common tendency to substitute whole fruits with fruit juice. No one can deny the fact that fruit juice is packed with loads of Vitamins but it also contains considerable amounts of added sugar. In some cases, even the pulp might be missing which is rich in fiber content.

· Diet Soda

Regardless of whether it is diet or not, soda will always be unhealthy for you. Diet soda contains artificial sweeteners, artificial colors and flavors as well as caffeine, all of which have been linked to high blood pressure, weight gain, abnormal blood sugar levels and hyperactivity.

· Water that is Enriched with Vitamins

Vitamin-enriched water does sound healthy as it combines water with essential nutrients and vitamins. However, there is more to it. It also contains a lot of calories and sugar that you do not require unless and until you are following an intense workout plan.

· Smoothies

The smoothies that are served in most of the coffee bars and other smoothie outlets are known to be made of blended fruits and healthy dairy products. However, larger servings of this drink, especially when combined with sherbets or ice creams, can be loaded with lots of sugar which can be extremely unhealthy.

Not So Healthy Food Additives

· Soy Sauce

When it comes to soy products, most of them are considered to be unhealthy because of their high estrogenic effects. Although, soy sauce is free from certain unhealthy anti-oxidants but it still contains a lot of salt as well as some carcinogenic chemicals.

· Processed Cheese

All forms of cheese, especially processed cheese, that you commonly find in those delicious hamburgers contains very high quantities of salt and is extremely unhealthy.

· Ketchup

Although, ketchups do contain a lot of antioxidants, these are also packed with high quantities of sugar and salt and are generally non-organic in nature.

· Cooking Oils

Vegetable oils are generally considered to be healthy as they contain good fats. But this is not true for certain varieties like palm oil or corn oil that are rich in unhealthy fats.

The Final Word

This list may have come as a shocker to you, but remember, Reality always comes as a big surprise. It is true that most of these food items may have become a part and parcel of your regular diet plans but it is always worthwhile to have all your facts in place before you take that mindless bite. You should always remember that you can include any drink or food into your healthy diet plan, provided you consume them within moderation. So, next time you are about to bite into something that you believe to be healthy, don’t forget to read beyond the labels.


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    • Matthew Kirk profile image

      Matthew Kirk 5 years ago from Liverpool

      Spot on - but everything in that list in moderation and often a little more than moderate consumption is fine. With things like smoothie and fruit juice it is about the quality of the product, I never buy anything like this without knowing the brand - innocent smoothies for example - what a great brand; nothing added, nothing taken away, just blended fruit! Even too much of this though will rot your teeth and dose you up on sugar!

      Why anyone would eat the dirty processed cheese rather than a proper farmhouse variety or just a traditional variety mystifies me.

    • JakeFrost profile image

      Jake Frost 5 years ago from London, United Kingdom

      It's great that you have written about this, sometimes it is just so hard to determine the difference between good and bad foods.

      It's good to see a bit more guidance.

      Great hub! Well done!

      ~ Jake