6 So-Called 'Healthy' Foods Nutritionists Wish You Would Stop Eating


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Eating healthy should be as easy as strolling through a park on a sunny afternoon, but it's actually more like maneuvering through a minefield. You may think you're eating good-for-you-foods, but you could be wrong. There are a lot of things out there that sneakily pack in unnecessary sugars and extra calories, all the while parading around like they're part of a well-rounded diet. The worst part? Even the most diligent clean-eaters get tripped up by these so-called healthy foods from time to time. Seriously, no one is safe.

If you aren't sure about the nutritional value of something, check out that ingredients list. If sugar, or some mysterious, unpronounceable ingredient is towards the top of list, you may want to opt for something else instead. According to nutritionists, these six foods are the ones that are most likely to fall into that healthy-seeming trap.

"I love smoothies, but they can be deceptively high in calories and not necessarily filling, which could cause you to end up eating more in the long run. Smoothies made fresh with fruit, vegetables, and nuts can be a good way to add more vitamins and minerals to your diet. However, if you aren't making it at home, watch out for the ingredients. Some smoothies can end up having over 400 calories while sneaking in a lot of added sugar$even if that sugar is in the form of honey, agave, or maple syrup, it still counts as added sugar!" — Jen Flachbart, M.S., R.D.N.

multigrain bread

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Multigrain bread
"This is a tricky term. Multigrain may mean the bread was made with a variety of grains, but it doesn't mean it was made with whole grains. The various grains may still be refined. The only way to know you're getting whole grains is to check the ingredient list, and the first words listed should be 'whole grain.' Instead of multigrain, choose a whole grain bread." — Abbey Sharp, R.D., Abbey's Kitchen

See More: A 5-Day Clean-Eating Meal Plan

flavored oatmeal

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Flavored instant oatmeal
"Flavored instant oatmeals are loaded with added sugars — if you check the ingredients list, sugar is usually the second ingredient listed after oats. One packet of instant oatmeal usually adds about 3 teaspoons of sugar to your day. Ditch the instant oatmeal and make your own overnight oats for a quick, healthy breakfast. For ultimate control over your added sugar intake, sweeten it with real fruit or a teaspoon of maple syrup." — Kara Lydon, R.D., L.D.N., R.Y.T., author of Nourish Your Namaste and The Foodie Dietitian Blog

bottled salad dressing

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Bottled salad dressing
"Bottled salad dressings can carry stabilizers, sweeteners, and much more salt then you would add to your own dressing. Instead, just whisk together some dijon mustard, olive oil, and apple cider vinegar for a simple and clean dressing. Add some fresh or dried herbs to elevate it even more." — Miranda Hammer, M.S., R.D., C.D.N.

See More: 8 Sneaky Ways To Debloat In Just One Day


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"I often find that people think all sushi is healthy because it's made with fish and they think of rice as low-fat. However, there are dramatic differences in calories among the variety of menu items. A shrimp tempura roll can pack over 500 calories, nearly as many calories as a Big Mac. Additionally, each roll can include up to one cup of white rice. That's a lot of refined carbohydrates. To keep your sushi meal healthier, ask for brown rice — which will fill you up faster — and choose rolls with more fish and veggies and fewer crunchies and sauces. Also, fill up on miso soup, or salad with dressing on the side which are both low-calorie choices." — Lauren Harris-Pincus, M.S., R.D.N., owner of Nutrition Starring You

frozen dinner

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"Light" frozen dinners
"Many of these are lower in calories, but are also lower in whole grains, vegetables, and food overall. Whole grains and vegetables are two foods that will keep you fuller for longer. You're better off cooking up a lean protein source and pairing it with a serving of grains and vegetables." — Sharon Palmer, R.D.N., The Plant-Powered Dietitian, author of Plant-Powered for Life

Quotes have been edited for clarity.

See More: 8 Myths About Healthy Eating You Need To Stop Believing

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