Healthy Eating for Active Families: 7 Foods That Sound Healthy but Are They?

For health-conscious parents, eating and drinking the right foods and beverages is a priority. They know three things will help keep their family healthy. They are staying active, eating healthy foods, and drinking plenty of water.

However, just because something sounds healthy or is advertised as such, doesn’t mean it is. Here are seven foods and drinks to avoid if you want to maintain healthy eating habits for your loved ones.


Sparkling Water

Some people know they should avoid the sugar in soda and juice and drink more water instead. Sparkling water sounds very refreshing and because it is water, it must be healthy, right?

Not according to this dentist in Apex. He explains what happens to the CO2 in the sparkling water when it is inside your mouth. It is converted to carbonic acid that in turn lowers the pH level.

“What happens in a mouth with a reduced pH level?  Teeth are demineralized. In other words, the hard enamel that protects the soft inner part of your teeth (dentin) literally loses some of the minerals that make it hard. When the enamel is soft, dental erosion occurs…even in the absence of sugar.”

Your best bet? Drink plain water. It is healthier for your teeth and healthy teeth make for a healthy body.


Sweetened Yogurt

Did you know that there are just as many calories in a chocolate bar as there are in a cup of flavored yogurt? When you buy yogurt in those yummy flavors it has about 30 grams of sugar. Although you can’t avoid sugar completely when eating yogurt, you can consume much less if you add the flavor yourself.

Add a little honey, jam, or fresh fruit to plain Greek yogurt to drastically reduce the amount of sugar you are eating.


Energy Bars

Energy bars are convenient because you can grab then while running out the door – perfect if you’re heading off for a family workout.

And they have to be healthy because they are advertised as pre-workout snacks, right? Not necessarily.

Many brands contain high fructose corn syrup, saturated fat, and added sugar. The ones that are intended to replace meals usually have more than 350 calories.

You are better off eating trail mix, whole-grain crackers, or making your own healthy granola bars before working out.


Prepared Salads

Just because you are eating something labeled as “salad” doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Unless you make your own salad, chances are you are eating a lot more sugar that is found in most salad dressings.

If you go to Panera and order a kale salad, you should know that you will be consuming about 40g of sugar and about 600 calories.


Diet Soda

What you save in calories by drinking diet soda, you make up for by hurting yourself from a health perspective.

The artificial sweeteners used in diet soda to make it taste good trick your body into thinking you’re eating real food. According to a Purdue University study, this can cause a spike in insulin levels that can turn into stored fat.


Bran Muffins

It isn’t the muffin itself but its size that could present a problem. While most bran muffins are generally made with healthy ingredients, many of those you buy in bakeries and some coffee shops are huge when compared to those made years ago.

Even healthy food becomes unhealthy if you eat too much of it because you will be consuming too many calories. Why not eat half of a large bran muffin and save the rest for later?


Wheat or Multi-Grain Bread

The words “7-grain”, “wheat”, and “multi-grain” sound healthier than “white bread” don’t they? Well, sometimes they are and sometimes they are not. The only way to know for sure is to read the ingredients.

Many “multi-grain” and “wheat” breads are made with refined grains rather than whole grains which are much healthier. If when reading the ingredients on a label you see flour listed as the first ingredient, it is not 100% whole-grain bread.

There are times when in an effort to eat and drink healthy, our choices end up backfiring on us in ways we never expected. Some of the fat-free, low-fat, sugar-free food and beverage choices come with a price tag attached.

You may be giving up nutrition, consuming many more calories than you want, and even in some cases, hurting your health in the long run.

Don’t believe everything you hear, be sure to check labels before buying, and be careful of portion sizes when looking to enjoy the benefits of eating healthy.


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