12 Most Surprising Unhealthy Foods


Fatty and unhealthy foods typically taste good but here are some dietary landmines to watch out for, and step around.

12 Frozen Yogurt

list of sourprisingly unhealthy food-frozen yogurt
Most “frozen yogurt” isn’t yogurt at all, but a sugary ice-cream substitute. Even when they do use real yogurt, it is often heat-processed, killing the beneficial bacteria in the yogurt. For a healthy frozen treat, get some full-fat Greek yogurt, preferably naturally-sweetened with fruit or honey, and toss it in the freezer.

11 Couscous

list of sourprisingly unhealthy food-couscous
Perhaps given a healthy reputation because it is popular with vegetarians, couscous is made of refined wheat and is no more nutritious than plain white pasta. Try whole wheat couscous or quinoa for a healthier side dish.

10 Diet Soda

list of sourprisingly unhealthy food-diet soda
No calories, no problem, right? Not necessarily. Not only are diet sodas nutritionally deficient, but the artificial sweeteners can increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes. If you crave a sweet beverage, better to occasionally treat yourself to a naturally sweet treat like fresh fruit juice.

9 Sports Drinks

list of sourprisingly unhealthy food-Sports Drinks

Grab a Gatorade for extra energy and health after your work out, right? WRONG! Most sports drinks contain around 125 calories, all from refined sugar. Now, if you’re a professional athlete recovering from a game or you just ran a marathon, you might need the sugar and electrolytes to replenish. But for most people’s workouts, you’ll be better off with just good old Dihydrogen Monoxide (water.)

8 Energy Bars

list of sourprisingly unhealthy food-Energy Bars

Some energy bars are moderately healthy for you, but a lot of them are unbelievably high in sugar and calories, causing a crash later on rather than keeping you energized. Remember: Always look at the ingredients list when you’re buying an energy bar, because it may not be much better for you than a candy bar. You shouldn’t need a chemistry degree to get through the list of ingredients.

7 Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter

 list of sourprisingly unhealthy food-Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter
Less fat sounds healthier on paper, right? Not really. Most reduced-fat peanut butters have the same amount of calories as their regular counterparts, only with more sugar. Additionally, regular peanut butter can be a source of monosaturated fats, which are actually good for you.

6 Cream Cheese

 list of sourprisingly unhealthy food-Cream Cheese

Everyone’s favorite breakfast condiment isn’t as healthy as you might think. It has a high fat content, and doesn’t have the protein or calcium of other cheeses. Light cream cheese isn’t much better for you.

5 Bran Muffins

 list of sourprisingly unhealthy food-Bran Muffins
The problem with these apparently healthy items isn’t really the ingredients as much as it is the portions. Your average coffee shop’s bran muffin comes out to being around 600 calories. Best to split one or save half for later.

4. Ketchup

 list of sourprisingly unhealthy food-Multi-ketchup

Most ketchup ends up on french fries, and few stop to consider that it’s actually acting to make the fries more unhealthy. That’s because it uses High Fructose Corn Syrup as it’s #3 ingredient – at least a bottle of America’s #1 Bestselling ketchup: Heinz. There’s 4g of sugar total, and the majority of that will come from HFCS.

3 Smoothies

 list of sourprisingly unhealthy food-Smoothies
Before you get upset,  there’s usually a lot of nutritional benefits to smoothies- antioxidants, tons of vitamins. However, most smoothies come in large serving sizes (16 oz or more) and contain enough juice, sugar, sorbet, and other rather unhelpful ingredients to make a smoothie no better than the dessert you substituted it for.

2 Banana Chips

 list of sourprisingly unhealthy food-Banana Chips
It’s important to know that the only real difference between a potato chip and most banana chips (or any “natural” chips, for that matter) is that there are less trans fats in natural chips. The fact that they still have to be cooked at extremely high temperatures means that they still contain carcinogenic substances, and you shouldn’t eat too many of them.

1 Multi-Grain and Wheat Breads

 list of sourprisingly unhealthy food-Multi-Grain and Wheat Breads
Look past the nutritious-sounding labels if you want to find out whether your bread is healthy. Specifically, if the first flour listed in the nutrition facts is listed as “refined,” then what you’re eating isn’t whole-grain, and you aren’t getting the full value out of the calories you’re consuming.

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