5 SHOCKING "Health Food" Phonies...more Nutrition Advice for Women

Posted by Angie Quehl on Oct 17, 2011 12:37:00 PM

If your weight-loss regimen consists of giving up the foods you love in favor of a diet of strictly flaxseeds and rice cakes, it's time to reconsider your strategy. There are lots foods out there masquerading as being "healthy" when in reality although they may be better than some other choices, their true nutritional value may not be quite as it seems.

Seemingly nutritious packaged and prepared foods often abound with added sugars, preservatives, and dangerous, belt-breaking fats. To help you sort out some of the biggest culprits we have have identified the most punishing health ruses and replaced them with delicious alternatives that will keep you satisfied and give you all the purported nutritional benefits that many of our most beloved foods sadly do not. 

1. Turkey Burger

850 calories 
50 g fat 

Eat this instead!11741229116_999770c8c9_b
7-oz sirloin steak
350 calories 
20 g fat 

People hear turkey and automatically think lean and healthy, but depending on the type of ground turkey and toppings used, one of these poultry patties can be every bit as fatty and caloric as a beef burger. Sirloin, on the other hand, is one of the leanest cuts of meat available, which makes for an incredibly satisfying, protein-enriched meal that will keep you feeling fuller, longer.

Who wouldn't want to make this swap?   


2. Bran Muffin

420 calories 
20 g fat

Eat this instead!

Ham, egg, and cheese on an English muffin
300 calories 
12 g fat 

Bran muffins are comprised of two things your body doesn't want in the morning: sugar and refined flour. Both will work to spike your blood sugar, which signals your body to start storing fat and sets you up for a mid-morning crash. And with only trace amounts of fiber, there's nothing healthy about this misunderstood muffin. The breakfast sandwich, on the other hand, is a surprisingly great way to start your day. Besides having fewer calories, fat, and carbs, it also offers about 20 grams of protein, which we really need in the morning to jumpstart our metabolism.    

3. Yogurt with Fruit on the Bottom

Fruit on Bottom Yogurt190 calories 
30 g sugars 

Eat this instead!
Plain yogurt with fresh fruit mixed in
110 calories 
15 g sugars 

You wouldn't start your morning with a can of Coke, would you? Then you should pass on these troublesome yogurt cups since they contain as much sugar as a soft drink. Almost all of what comes directly from the "fruit" is high-fructose corn syrup. Yogurt and fruit can be a great way to start your day, but do it yourself by mixing a cup of nonfat plain yogurt with a half cup of mixed berries.    

4. Margarine

100 calories 
11 g fat

2.5 g saturated

Eat this instead!

Whipped Butter (1 tbsp)
50 calories 
6 g fat 

1.5 g saturated

In their haste to remove saturated fat from butter, margarine makers created a monster—a soft, spreadable sludge loaded with trans-fats, a dangerous lipid with more concerning links to heart disease than saturated fat. Stick with the real stuff, but pick up whipped butter from brands like Land O' Lakes instead; by whipping air into the butter, manufacturers decrease the caloric density of a tablespoon of butter, plus it makes for easier spreading.  


5. Dried Fruit             

175 calories dried-fruits-347445 g sugars

Eat this instead!
Fresh fruit like an apple or a peach
70 calories 
15 g sugars 

Okay, so dried fruit won't totally derail a day of good eating but it's far from being a harmless snack. First, because the dehydrating process sucks most of the volume from the fruit, you can eat cups of the stuff, and 600 calories later, still not feel any fuller. More troubling, though, is the fact that companies almost invariably add a ton of sugar to the fruit, making Craisins closer to candy than Mother Nature's original intention. In this case, the choice is clear: Stick to the real stuff.

Our best advice...read the labels and not just all of the numbers. "The quality of our food is profoundly important," says Rita of FitBlogger.com.  Take the time to check out what might be lurking in that so-called "health food". In addition to the calories, sugar, fat, and sodium there can be all sorts of other things that are added to make some of these foods taste better but might even be harmful to you. Like everything else under the sun, there's even "an app for that"! Fooducate’s free iPhone app scans UPC codes to assess products with an algorithm that favors real ingredients, actual (vs. fortified) nutrients, and minimal processing.

Need Help?

At The Women's Club, we have all sorts of experts that would love to help you with your weight loss and nutrition questions. Shoot us an email to womensclub@aol.com, leave us your question in the comment section, or to submit your question anonymously click 'Ask Us' below.

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List compiled from an article on Eat This, Not That.com

Topics: nutrition advice for women, weight loss for women, nutrition, nutritional coaching for women

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