Healthy food is fairly easy to point out these days, especially with more knowledge and scientific insight as to what counts as good nutrition.
A general rule of thumb is if it’s whole or minimally processed, and typically plant-based, then it’s likely healthy in most cases.
The problem isn’t knowing which foods are or aren’t healthy.
The problem is diligently incorporating more healthy food and less unhealthy food in the diet.
The Snack Attack
We ll love snacks. These brilliantly crafted “interval foods” as we like to call them are a great way to stimulate the taste buds while offsetting hunger just long enough before the next meal.
The problem is, most snacks are deemed unhealthy due to the manufacturing process involved.
Cookies and potato chips spring to mind. These obvious culprits can be avoided with a bit of vigilance, however, there are some “ healthy snacks” out there that secretly did more harm than good.
These snacks have since been exposed, but some still treat them as wholesome and healthy.
In this article, we’re going to give a little insight and a bit of an exposé on some unhealthy health snacks.
So buckle up, you might be in for a shock!
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And with that said, let’s dig into some once healthy snacks that have since fallen from grace.
Top 10 Unhealthy Healthy Snacks
1. Dried Fruit
Fruit derivatives will be a common occurence on this list, so get used to it.
The first one we will look at is dried fruit.
We can all agree that fruit is healthy and comes packed with many essential nutrients.
Dried fruit, however, comes loaded with refined sugar, necessary for preserving the fruit through the drying process.
By the time it’s dried and packed, you may as well be buying from the candy aisle.
2. Fruit Bars
Fruit bars are pretty much just like dried fruit in that they’re basically loaded up with sugar.
The difference with fruit bars aside from their bar form is that even more sugar is added in the form of the syrup used to bind the fruit grounds into a bar shape.
3. Granola Bars
Granola bars suffer the same fate as fruit bars when it comes to the large amounts of syrup used to cake them into bar shapes.
The same concept applies for every bite snacks like date balls or fruit bombs
4. Protein Bars
Protein bars are great for the protein, but they also come loaded with a hefty amount of sugar mainly for taste purposes.
Try to go for bars sweetened with anything other than sugar or sugar derivatives
5. Salted Nuts
Most nuts are quite healthy. They come with a decent nutrient profile and some healthy fats. The problem with packaged nuts is what is added to them.
This is usually in the form of excess salt, but other flavors and seasoning additives are often to blame too.
The amount of salt in salted nuts can dramatically overload your sodium levels which can really put your fluid balance out of order, causing symptoms of dehydration, and in the long term, even kidney damage
6. Microwave Popcorn
Popcorn is considered one of the healthiest snacks known to the human diet. This is a legitimate claim to fame but it depends on how the popcorn was made.
Enter microwave popcorn, the darling of convenient modern snacking.
What could be better than a near-instant and healthy snack at home?
The problem is the fat used for microwaveable popcorn is typically in the form of trans fat.
Pot popped popcorn can use healthier frying fats such as coconut oil or you can even get air-popped popcorn.
Microwave ready popcorn, unfortunately, comes preloaded with trans fats
7. Cold Pressed Juice
Cold-pressed juices are all the rage. Nothing accentuates a health blogger’s Instagram page better than a bunch of cute little bottles with different colored fluids in them.
Unfortunately, that’s usually the extent of these juice’s benefits.
That’s because cold-pressed juices, while they do contain some of the beneficial nutrients of the fruit or veg they came from, usually have none of the fiber.
This means all the sugar your drinking is pure and isolated with no fiber to control its uptake. You might as well drink a regular coke in that case.
8. Everything Vegan
The plan sourced craze has brought many benefits both to our health and to the health of the planet as well as raise awareness for some important ethical issues when it comes to livestock agriculture.
One thing that vegan living should not be considered is a totally healthy diet.
Sure, eating more plant-based foods exposes you to a wider range of essential nutrients, but eating only plants can also expose you to several nutrient deficiencies.
Plants are also able to influence poor health in the form of excess carbs and saturated fats from certain sources.
9. Everything Gluten Free
The gluten-free trend is here to stay and rightfully so. That’s because some people genuinely are affected by gluten, being that they are intolerant to this plant protein.
The majority of us are not gluten intolerant, but many still join in with the presumption that gluten-free is healthy.
Gluten-free food is no healthier for a gluten tolerant person than nut-free food is to someone with no nut allergies.
This is a case where the food isn’t necessarily unhealthy, but more than its universal perception of healthy is a myth.
10. Everything Fat-free
Another case where the removal of a certain component is deemed to make a food healthy.
The fat-free trend came out of a time where medical and nutritional science was trying to figure out what was causing the rampant rise in obesity.
We now know that excess in refined carbs was the main culprit.
Fat is now known to be much less of a threat, especially if you include more healthy fats and a moderate intake of saturated fat in the diet.
The processes undergone to strip fat from whole foods can also leave the final product worse for your health.
These snacks, while not as healthy as they were once presumed or marketed to be, can still be enjoyed as part of a healthy attitude towards food.
You just need to be aware that you aren’t getting any profound health benefits from them, so just enjoy them for what they are, delicious snacks.
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