Salads, smoothies, granola bars, these are all healthy foods, aren't they? Not necessarily. Even though this might sound rather strange, a smoothie can become an unhealthy choice. Take a look at these 'healthy' foods to avoid and learn how to prepare smarter alternatives.

Nutrition is a tricky domain indeed and eating right has become lately a real challenge. A smoothie or a salad, unhealthy? This is not a joke, but a reality that might be rather frustrating and shatter all our dreams regarding healthy, balanced diets. Well, these next foods are generally thought as being healthy, yet the truth is that they can easily be transformed in enemies of your diet and can sabotage your weight loss plan. Beware of these nutrition traps! Here are some of the most common 'healthy' foods to avoid!

Smoothies

Smoothies seem like one of the best choices when it comes to balancing tasty and nutritional. Still, this delicious treat is not that innocent as one thinks. There is no doubt whatsoever that a fresh homemade smoothie is a quick, healthy alternative for breakfast or for a snack. But when does a smoothie become unhealthy? When you buy it. Keep in mind that many purchased smoothies contain some unhealthy ingredients such as sugar, random vitamins, sorbet, too much protein, which add calories to your drink. Besides, some producers even add high-fructose corn syrup and dairy that only increase the intake of carbohydrates. The best thing you can do is to use fresh or unsweetened frozen fruits, no-calorie sweeteners, low-fat yogurt or fat-free milk and make the smoothie yourself.

Salads

Synonymous with 'slender' and 'healthy' a salad was never thought as being a dangerous pick when it comes to dieting. Yes, a salad can be fattening! Imagine a salad loaded with fatty meats, croutons, cheeses, and dressings, which contain so many calories and unhealthy carbs and fats that are threatening not just for your silhouette, but also your health. Stay away from this type of salads and pick instead healthier versions by choosing a fat-free dressing or simply add some olive oil and a low-fat source of protein.


'Free' foods

Whether we are talking about fat-free or sugar-free foods, the idea is to always check the label and look for all the nutritional values as 'free' doesn't necessarily mean healthier. These products might contain different additives and preservatives in order to give taste and color. Besides, when it comes to fat-free or sugar-free, people often believe that they are allowed to eat more of these foods and end up overeating. Moreover, a fat-free product was usually made by removing the fat and adding sugar.


Yogurt

Yogurt should be a great source of protein, calcium and vitamins. However, purchased yogurt is mostly rich in unhealthy sugars and different gums. Besides, the fruit contained are processed and therefore full of sugars that only encourage weight gain. So, it is advisable to always read the label and see all the nutritional facts. Buy a plain, organic yogurt and add fresh fruits and a healthy sugar substitute.

Granola bars and cereals

Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, most of those who respect this rule tend to have granola bars or cereals. However, keep in mind that these might be unhealthy food choices that are likely to top out even 600 calories. Why? Because most of the purchased granolas are packed-full of sugar and too much high-fructose corn syrup and very little fiber. And the correct, healthy alternative should be exactly the opposite. If you want to eat right, make granola bars at home. Choose some of your favorite nuts (almonds, walnuts), add fresh fruits, seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower) and high-fiber cereal, and finish everything with honey or maple syrup, and one ripe banana. Put the mixture on a baking tray and bake for about 35-40 minutes.



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