5 Foods Disguising Themselves as Healthy

  • Written By:Lauren Slayton
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I think we can all agree that broccoli is healthy and donuts are not, right? Some foods are good for us, others are bad for us, but some seem like they’re healthy and aren’t. When I point these foods out to clients, they often respond with “but I thought that was good for me.” And I’ll assure them they’re not alone, most people do. Here are five foods to have on your radar:

Oat Milk

Oat milk is basically oat juice or blended oats—and it’s not recommended for a few reasons. First, it has over seven times the carbs in unsweetened coconut milk and over 10 times the carbs in unsweetened almond milk. Second, conventional oats are heavily sprayed with the pesticide glyphosate. And finally, many oat milks use inflammatory oils to achieve the creamy consistency. I suggest unsweetened Milkadamia, walnut milk from Elmhurst, or, if you’re ok with dairy, organic whole milk or cream.

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Açaí Bowls

Açaí bowls are so pretty. Açaí is a purple-colored berry, and the bowls are often topped with multicolored fruit, coconut, and more. The problem is that the frozen acai packs, used by smoothie shops, are sweetened. And many of the toppings are sweet. You end up with approximately 40 grams (10 teaspoons) of sugar to start your day. Buy unsweetened açaí packs, blend with unsweetened nut butter, sweeten with stevia or monk fruit sweetener.

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Agave

Agave has the reputation as being a healthier sweetener—this one is super sneaky. Blood sugar is measured by the amount of glucose in your blood. We’re told agave is “low glycemic” which sounds promising, but the problem is that agave is high in fructose. Fructose may be the least healthy sweetener. Only the liver metabolizes fructose and can easily turn it into fat. Agave and fructose deregulate leptin, the “you’ve had enough and can stop eating” hormone.

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Beyond and Impossible

These are wolves in meatless clothing. There are many issues with conventional meat production, but these alternatives aren’t the answer. These could be their own post, but if you’re trying to eat better, why would you choose this? Here are some of the ingredients in an Impossible Burger: Water, Soy Protein Concentrate, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil, Natural Flavors, 2% Or Less Of: Potato Protein, Methylcellulose, Yeast Extract, Cultured Dextrose, Food Starch Modified, Soy Leghemoglobin, Salt, Mixed Tocopherols (Antioxidant), Soy Protein Isolate. Meat-free doesn’t mean healthy.

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Aperol

We hate to be a buzzkill (and truth be told, we like a little buzz), but Aperol has 15 grams of sugar per shot and artificial dyes. Red 40 (aka Allura red) is one dye associated with hyperactivity in children. Health concerns with Red 40 include chromosomal damage and lymphomas. Yellow 6 (aka Sunset Yellow) is banned in Norway and Sweden. The concerns with Yellow 6 include eczema and hives, thyroid tumors, and asthma. If you’re going to drink, we suggest dry wine or clear spirits. Skip tonic, juice, any other sweet mixers and chromosomal damagers. Cheers!

Lauren Slayton is a nutritionist and the founder of Foodtrainers.

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