25 Foods That Are Not As Healthy As You Originally Thought

Posted by , Updated on March 22, 2024

The sentiment that we are a reflection of our dietary habits is quite accurate, given the profound influence our diet has on both our physical and mental health. Depending on the types of food we consume, our diet can either enhance our wellbeing or cause significant harm. This could account for the substantial role that our dietary habits play in prevalent health issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, depression, and ultimately obesity. Ultimately, our bodies are sacred and deserve to be nurtured and cared for.

The problem today, though, is that the majority of people don’t know what’s healthy to eat and what’s not. Especially if you work a lot of hours and don’t have the time to cook a proper meal for yourself, you will often seek alternative solutions that you consider healthy such as eating at a nice restaurant that offers quality food. However, there are a number of foods that are not as healthy for you as you may think. For example, a prepared salad might have just as many calories and fat grams as a burger from a fast-food chain. Hopefully the 25 Foods that Are Not as Healthy as You Originally Thought that follow will help you restructure your diet and help improve your physical and mental health as well.

Feature image: Pixabay


Soy sauce

soy sauceSource: authoritynutrition.com, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Soy sauce contains high levels of certain antioxidants that are beneficial for your health, which makes it seem like a healthy choice, but it also has a lot of sodium, even the light versions, which can have a negative impact on various organs such as your kidneys.



Spaghetti BologneseSource: authoritynutrition.com, Image: pixabay.com

If you enjoy eating spaghetti every week, then you might want to switch to spaghetti squash since it contains way fewer calories and fat than ordinary pasta. Despite modern nutritionists who insist that pasta isn’t so unhealthy for you, pasta with tomato sauce and cheese contributes a lot to weight gain.


Sport drinks

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Many people, especially those hardheaded gym lovers, incorrectly believe that sports or energy drinks are a good alternative to replenishing fluids and electrolytes lost during exercise. However, that’s not true at all. Many sports drinks contain as much as two-thirds the sugar of soda. They also typically contain high-fructose corn syrup, artificial flavors, and food coloring, none of which is good for your health.


Peanut Butter

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Peanut butter contains high amounts of healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and a decent amount of protein. However, as with most foods it should be eaten in moderation because its health benefits will be quickly offset and cause an increase in body fat.


Sugar-free sweets (or any sugar-free products)

sugar free sweetsSource: authoritynutrition.com, Image: Wikipedia

Whenever you see a “sugar-free” product, especially sweets, you should stay away at all costs. It may be true and not have any refined sugar, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe to eat without any consequences to your health. In these products, sugar is replaced with artificial sweeteners which are in fact worse, with deleterious effects on your system, especially your heart and kidneys.



cerealSource: authoritynutrition.com, Image: Wikipedia

Cereals are seen as a healthy solution for breakfast, but it all depends on the kinds of cereal you choose when you do your shopping. Many cereals have a lot of sugar, so they can contribute to weight gain and poor health if you eat too much of them.


Protein bars

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Another myth to be busted concerns protein bars. Actually, it all depends on the protein bar really. There are healthy protein bars, and then there are some that might be as fattening as a Twix, so whenever you crave one after working out, make sure to keep an eye on the amount of sugar in it.


Dried fruit

dried fruitSource: authoritynutrition.com, Image: Wikipedia

If your choices are limited to candy or dried fruit, then without a doubt dried fruit is the healthier option. However, you should know that fresh fruit is the healthiest option of all because it is lower in sugar, higher in fiber, and higher in nutrients.


Frozen yogurt

Frozen yogurtSource: authoritynutrition.com, Image: Wikipedia

Even though it is viewed as a healthy dessert alternative these days, the fact is frozen yogurt usually has more sugar than ice cream. Also, the freezing process used to make it may kill some of the healthy gut bacteria found in regular yogurt, a fact that makes frozen yogurt an unhealthy choice for your body.


Packaged turkey

packaged turkeySource: authoritynutrition.com, Image: flickr; LA Foodie

Turkey is the ideal source of lean protein and a perfect choice for a healthy sandwich, but many packaged turkey slices are loaded with sodium. One two-ounce serving of some brands contains nearly one-third the maximum recommended daily sodium intake.



margarineSource: authoritynutrition.com, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Many people wrongly consider margarine a healthy substitute for butter, but in reality, there is nothing natural or healthy about it. It’s a mixture of chemicals, sugar, and dairy made from trans-fat, which can be very dangerous for your blood vessels if you eat it too often.



breadSource: authoritynutrition.com, Image: Wikipedia

Bread has been the most basic foodstuff on a family’s table for thousands of years, but it’s not necessarily healthy, especially if it’s white. Since it’s low in fiber and protein, which helps slow digestion, white bread is digested and absorbed rapidly, which leads to a quick rise in blood sugar. When blood sugar elevates rapidly, excess insulin is released into the bloodstream to push the sugar into the cell, and that’s not good for your health at all.


Milk chocolate

Milk chocolateSource: authoritynutrition.com, Image: Wikipedia

You’ve probably heard this many times before, but it’s always good to remember that no matter how much tastier milk chocolate is, it is still only mainly sugar and dairy, while dark chocolate is over seventy percent cacao, which is actually good for you. Cacao chocolate contains fiber, magnesium, copper, manganese, iron, and other minerals that will help your brain function better.


Prepared salads

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Many people wrongly assume that any meal with the word salad in it must be healthy. However, the truth is that prepared tuna salads and chicken salads, for example, are often loaded with hidden fat and calories due to their high mayonnaise and other sauce content.


Cheese and crackers

cheese and crackersSource: authoritynutrition.com, Image: Shutterstock

Arguably one of the most popular snacks in America, cheese and crackers have the reputation for being a healthy snack option. However, in reality they aren’t the healthiest snack out there, especially if you can pick foods like apples, raw almonds, and nuts instead.


Prepared smoothies

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Smoothies are usually advertised as healthy, but prepared smoothies especially are some of the unhealthiest one can drink, mainly because of the fattening ingredients they include such as ice cream, sugar as a sweetener, and syrups and powders like those made by Nestlé.


Beef you buy in the grocery store

beefSource: authoritynutrition.com, Image: Wikipedia

You might know that beef is one of the healthiest meats out there, especially if you are dieting, but conventional beef is most often loaded with chemicals and hormones. If you have the opportunity to eat it at a restaurant or can find it in the butcher’s section, go for grass-fed beef.



granolaSource: authoritynutrition.com, Image: Wikipedia

It’s true that granola offers great numbers in terms of fiber and iron, but what many of us don’t know is that along with these benefits, granola can be very high in calories, oils you don’t need, and contain loads of sugar.



bananaSource: authoritynutrition.com, Image: Wikipedia

Even though bananas are definitely healthy and contain a lot of helpful potassium, they are still not the healthiest solution if you are one of those people who are looking for a lower glycemic option. For example, avocados provide more health benefits than bananas and have fewer calories.



cheeseSource: authoritynutrition.com, Image: Wikipedia

Even though cheese is delicious and small amounts of it can fit into most people’s diets, the fact is cheese is not very healthy since it’s high in calories and fat (six to nine grams per ounce, most of which is saturated) and often contains a lot of sodium.


Iceberg lettuce

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Make no mistake, iceberg lettuce includes a lot of water and is good for you in general, but the truth is that compared to other greens it lacks a lot of nutritional value. Other than water that comes with very few calories, iceberg lettuce won’t provide your body with the vitamins and minerals it needs.


Agave nectar

agave necterSource: authoritynutrition.com, Image: pinterest

Agave nectar has long been seen as one of the healthiest substitutes for sugar, but in reality it contains so much fructose that it can “help” you gain weight without you even realizing it. In case you like your cup of coffee sweet, raw honey would be a much better choice.


Canola oil

canola oilSource: authoritynutrition.com, Image: Wikipedia

Even though the manufacturers call it the “world’s healthiest cooking oil,” many experts disagree. Canola oil is indeed low in saturated fat and high in unsaturated fats, including omega-3 fatty acids, but there are much healthier options such as coconut oil.


Fruit juice

fruit juiceSource: authoritynutrition.com, Image: Wikipedia

Pretty much everyone is aware of how healthy and beneficial it is to drink fruit juice every day, but the truth is we have all been misinformed. Whether you make it at home or buy it at the store, when the skin of the fruit is removed, that’s bad. The pasteurization process destroys all the natural enzymes that are alive in the natural fruit, which aids in both digestion and other natural bodily functions; pasteurization also destroys a large amount of the vitamins and minerals. Last, commercial fruit juices usually include mad amounts of sugar just like soda.


Brown rice    

brown riceSource: authoritynutrition.com, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Brown rice is often considered healthier than white rice, but white rice may actually be the better choice. Like anything from the grain family, rice contains a certain level of anti-nutrients like phytates that can make it hard for us to absorb the minerals it contains.