Archive for the tag - unhealthy foods

7 Surprisingly Unhealthy Foods!

14251284-trail-mixThere are tons of healthy and delicious foods. And then there tons of delicious foods that sound healthy – but aren’t.

Here are seven of those surprisingly unhealthy foods:

  1. Apple juice. It has the word apple in it – so it must be healthy… right? Wrong. In fact, fruit juice is only slightly healthier than soda and extremely calorie dense. A half cup of apple juice, for example, has as many calories as an entire apple – but it’s totally devoid of the fiber that makes the apple healthy and filling.
  2. Multigrain bread. Multigrain bread simply means that it’s made with multiple types of grains – some or all of which may be refined. What you want to look for is bread made from whole grains. If the word “whole” isn’t listed before the grains, don’t buy it.
  3. Vegetable chips. You’ve probably seen veggie chips in the supermarket. Though they sound healthy, they’re really just the same as potato chips. If you want something healthy with a snap, opt for carrot sticks.
  4. Trail mix. Most trail mixes are made with salted nuts, dried fruit and candies. Unsalted nuts are totally healthy. Salted nuts, on the other hand, are not so great. And dried fruits should be eaten sparingly; they tend to be very calorie dense. Because dried fruits are so small, we eat a lot of them – but they have just as many calories as their fresh counterparts. Moreover, sugar is often added to dried fruit. The chocolates and candies added to trail mix make things go from bad to worse.
  5. Energy bars. Unless you’re on a hike or engaged in a high endurance activity, most energy bars aren’t a smart choice. Just take a look at the ingredients; the first ingredient is almost always some form of sugar (or sugar disguised as “brown rice syrup” or “agave”).
  6. Smoothies. Just because a drink is called a smoothie doesn’t mean it’s healthy. On a recent trip to Melbourne, Australia, I drank a so-called “smoothie” made with whole milk and ice cream. For a healthy smoothie, only order real fruit smoothies made with a base of unsweetened almond milk. It will minimize sugar and calories and maximize the good stuff.
  7. Muffins. Yup, even bran muffins. Most muffins are made with tons of sugar and butter, though there are healthier options available if you’re willing to look. The other problem with muffins is that many of them are HUGE – and can pack upwards of 800 calories.

The bottom line is that it’s important to look before you eat. Read the nutrition information. Scan the ingredients. It’s really the only way to get the full story on the foods you eat.

Were you surprised by any of the foods listed above? Let me know in the comments below. And if you know of any other surprisingly unhealthy foods, share them with us!


How Many Steps Is That Pizza?

A journey of a thousand miles may begin with a single step, but it takes 4,560 steps to burn the calories in a slice of pepperoni and cheese pizza. To put that into perspective, that translates to about two miles. Sobering, isn’t it?

Obviously, we need food to live – and calories are a necessity. But by being aware of the calorie content in some of these unhealthy food options, we can can make wiser decisions.

Courtesy of a company called GlobalFit, here are some of the top offenders:

  • One serving of mashed potatoes – 1,540 steps
  • One serving of chocolate ice cream – 1,980 steps
  • Macaroni and cheese – 2,640 steps
  • Large French fries – 6,000 steps
  • Slice of pepperoni pizza – 4,560 steps
  • Cheeseburger – 3,840 steps
  • Doughnut – 2,640 steps
  • Chocolate-chip cookie – 2,520 steps
  • Milk chocolate bar – 2,520 steps
  • 16 potato chips – 1,800 steps
  • Mug of beer – 1,680 steps
  • Can of cola – 1,680 steps
  • 4 cups of buttered popcorn – 1,488 steps
  • 10 thin pretzels – 1,320 steps

Of course, rather than focus our energy and attention on all these unhealthy foods, I think it’s much wiser to think about all the wonderful, colorful and nourishing healthy foods that are available to us.

And who eats just one slice of pizza, anyway?!