FORT WORTH (CBS 11 NEWS) – Many foods labeled as healthy might not be any better than their alternatives.
Registered dietitian nutritionist Angela Lemond said the key to closely read the ingredients and not fall for the latest health food fads or for everything you read on the Internet.
Lemond helped us create a top five list of the most surprising no so healthy foods.
According to the research firm, the NDP Group, Americans consume only coffee more than cold cereal for breakfast. Some research shows among those who eat breakfast, nearly a third eat cereal.
But many cereal boxes labeled “healthy” might not be much better for you than many popular “sugar” cereals. Honey Nut Cheerios has just a much sugar per serving (9 grams) as Fruity Pebbles, but did you know Kellogg’s Smart Start Strong Heart Antioxidants has even more sugar (14 grams of sugar per serving).
If you leave out the yolk, you’re leaving out half the protein and most of the vitamins and minerals. Lemond said eggs in recent years have been given an unfair bad rap. She said, in most people, up to an egg a day won’t negatively affect your cholesterol.
When grabbing a quick snack, one might assume an energy bars from the health food isle is a good option. But Lemond said read the label and compare it to a candy bar. In many cases energy bars are high calorie snacks full of sugar and artificial flavoring. Lemond said raw almonds and a piece of fresh fruit are healthier options.
Just a handful of some of the popular brands of trail-mix can contain more than a 160 calories. Eat an entire ten ounce can and you’ve consumed more than half of your recommended daily calorie intake.
REDUCED-FAT PEANUT BUTTER
It has to be better for you than regular peanut butter, right? Read the label. In most cases reduced-fat peanut butter has just as many calories per serving as its regular counterpart. In place of the fat, most companies simply add sugar for flavoring.
“I would just recommend having the full fat peanut butter and just monitor your portion size,” said Lemond. She said this is not only the case with peanut butter but also with several other foods labeled “reduced fat” or “fat-free”.
While Greek yogurt can be a high-protein nutritional food, Lemond said not all Greek yogurt are equal and many are loaded with sugar. She said the problem comes when picking lightly sweetened Greek yogurt. Some Greek yogurts contain as much as 25 grams of sugar per serving. Lemond suggests buying the plain Greek yogurt and sweetening it with a cut fresh fruit.
Lemond said when shopping try sticking to “whole” foods as much as possible. She said she tells her clients to do most of their grocery shopping on the perimeter of the store – the fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats sections. She said moderation is the key.
“We shouldn’t be concentrating on one food over and over to bring us that health,” she said. “We want to be exposed to a lot of variety of foods. That’s the key.”
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