1. Ready to Drink Smoothies & Shakes
Yes, these taste amazing. However, one- bottle packs 52g of sugar. The FDA recommends you keep sugar to only 10% of your daily calories. To figure out where your sugar should be take your daily calories, multiply by 10% and then divide that number by 4. (2000 Cal* 10%=200 cal/4 cal=50 g). Now when you are trying to lose weight you should keep your sugar to only 5% of your daily calories. (2000 Cal* 5%=100 cal/4 cal=25g). Now I'm sure you are going to say, "But Lexie, it's natural sugar". Sugar is sugar, and calories are calories. Opt for a 100% Whey Protein Isolate Protein shake.
2. Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter
Reduced-fat peanut butter is not necessarily a healthier version of regular peanut butter. Read the labels to see why. Both regular and reduced-fat peanut butter contain about the same amount of calories, but the reduced-fat variety has more sugar. But isn't it healthy to reduce some fat? Not in this case. Regular peanut butter is a natural source of the "good" monounsaturated fats. Look for a natural peanut butter with an ingredient list that contains no added oils. Better yet, find a store where you can grind your own.
Another option, if you like peanut butter a lot, would be to use powdered Peanut Butter for cooking and in smoothies.
3. Fruit and Vegetable Chips
4. "Protein" Bars
Fruit and veggie chips actually contain very little fruits and vegetables because of how processed they are. What’s more, most of the nutrients are destroyed because of this, as well. What you end up with is a chip that’s artificially colored and flavored to look and taste like a vegetable or fruit. If you are sick of steamed vegetables try making your own root chips at home. There are plenty of recipes online.
You’ve seen them, and probably bought them, but I’m here to tell you that most protein bars are one of the worst offenders when it comes to fake health foods. Especially, Slim Fast bars and Clif bars, which appear to be healthy, are loaded with sugar, salt and unhealthy fats. (AKA a candy bar ;))If you are looking for something quick on the go, look for a bar that has around 20g of protein and less than 5g of sugar. I recommend Quest Bars or Muscle Pharm Combat Crunc, they are full of protein and fiber to keep you full but not spike your blood sugar leaving you more hungry.
Pro Tip-Start by steering away from any food with a health claim on the front of the package. In the same way that really famous people don’t have to walk around telling everyone how famous they are, truly healthy food doesn’t go around shouting about it. Have you ever seen a bunch of kale with a “low fat” sticker? At the end of the day...just eat real food, the less ingredients the better.
Mountain, J. (2012, July) Fake Health Food: How to spot it and what to eat instead. Retrieved from http://grist.org/food/fake-health-food-how-to-spot-it-and-what-to-eat-instead/
Williams, H., Fake Health Foods to Avoid at the Supermarket ... Retrieved from http://diet.allwomenstalk.com/fake-health-foods-to-avoid-at-the-supermarket