Everyone should aspire to eat healthy foods and exercise regularly, but it’s difficult to weed through the plethora of foods labeled “healthy” by the food industry. Many foods that offer incredible nutrition (like nuts) also come with rather substantial calorie counts. Further, processed “healthy” foods feature hidden sugar, and some foods labeled “diet” even contain trans fat!
Have you ever eaten just a few cashews? Have you ever stopped after just a few spoonfuls of granola? It’s almost impossible to feel satiated after just a few nuts, and our desire to eat healthy foods often turns into a dramatic increase in the calories we eat each day.
If you’ve adopted a healthy lifestyle and want to make the most of the nutritious food you eat each day, you might want to find alternatives to the following overpriced healthy foods.
The best way to describe granola – at least the delicious processed kind you find in the store – is “candy.” It’s loaded with sugar, and a cup can have more than 500 calories! Take a look at a measuring cup. Have you ever eaten just a single cup of “healthy” granola?
Try This: Cheerios. Not only are Cheerios now gluten-free, but they’re also just 110 calories a cup and delicious with some protein-rich whole milk (you aren’t drinking skim milk, are you?!?).
Smoothies & Juices
The reason smoothies taste amazing isn’t the healthy fruit and antioxidants. It’s the added sugar that comes along with those delicious, frothy concoctions. Smoothies and processed fruit juices are loaded with sugar and low on fiber. Did you know a glass of bottled juice may have more grams of sugar than a bag of Skittles?
Try This: Enjoy the convenience of a smoothie-on-the-go with green veggie juice that’s full of vegetables with a splash of fruit juice.
Organic or “Healthy” Crackers
You might assume crackers with “healthy” on the box or buzzwords like “organic,” “all-natural,” or “low-calorie” mean they’re a great snack, but they’re often low on nutritional value, high in carbs, and even higher in price.
Try This: If you’re willing to spend money on healthy crackers and want a nutritional boost, you might want to try flaxseed crackers. They’re a terrific way to get some fiber in your diet, as well as some healthy fat.
Diet Frozen Dinners
Frozen dinners offer convenience, but they’re not where you should expect to find healthy ingredients. They’re usually packed with MSG and preservatives. They’re okay in a pinch, but you shouldn’t rely on them for nutrition or to fuel your active lifestyle or exercise routine.
Try This: Break out the pan, turn on the stovetop, and make a stir fry. If you’re worried your food might go bad, it’s okay to use frozen food. Just make sure you examine the ingredients to make sure they’re free of preservatives and added salt (or sugar).
A handful of granola here and there won’t sink your diet, and it’s okay to have a smoothie every once in a while. Just don’t make a habit of eating these foods every day, and you won’t sink your diet — or your wallet.