We are always on the lookout for delicious and nutritious meal/snack ideas and products. While we find so many winners–– foods that nourish our bodies as well as our taste buds–– we also find some duds. Many of those foods you thought were healthy simply use “dieting” as their claim to health, which can be deceiving.
Don’t be fooled! We’re here to tell you that the full fat, real deal version of many of the foods you love are actually the healthier option.
Here are some foods that many people think are the healthier choice, but are not.
Reduced Fat Peanut Butter: Peanuts are naturally full of healthful fat, protein, and a mixture of vitamins and minerals. What happens when companies remove the fat to create reduced fat peanut butter? They usually replace it with sugar. We say, leave the fat in and skip the added sugar.
Fat Free Salad Dressings: Your body needs fat in order to absorb the fat soluble nutrients (vitamins A, D, E, and K). Using fat free salad dressing means missing out on full absorption of these nutrients (unless you’re including nuts, seeds, avocado, etc. on your salad, too.) Plus, fat also helps you feel more satisfied with a meal and less likely to be hungry sooner. Many fat free salad dressings also replace the fat with sugar and thickeners.
Pre-Made Yogurt Parfaits: Yogurt parfaits can be an energy boosting mixture of high fiber fruit and granola and protein rich yogurt. But, many of the pre-made parfaits we see use sweetened yogurt, sweetened granola, and add honey to boot. That’s a lot more sugar than you’d add yourself if you were topping plain yogurt with fruit and granola and adding just enough honey to create a flavor you love. Opt for homemade parfaits when possible.
Veggie Chips: Once a vegetable is turned into powder that is then used to make a chip, you’ve lost a lot of the nutritional integrity of that vegetable. And most of the veggie chips don’t actually contain that much vegetables anyway. If you’re craving chips, then have a portion of what you’re craving, whether it’s a veggie chip or other chip, and move on. If you need more servings of vegetables, don’t look to veggie chips to provide them.
Low-Fat Bran Muffins and granola: You may have noticed a theme here, but typically when fat is removed from a product, it’s replaced with sugar. The low-fat bran muffins and granola you often see are no exception. Your best bet is to opt for the type of muffin or granola that you find most satisfying and pair it with something with protein (a latte, some Greek yogurt, etc.) to create a balanced, satisfying meal.