Seven Healthy Foods that Aren’t

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We know that cookies, cakes and french fries are often high in calories, sugar and saturated fat. However, when it comes to unwanted pounds, cookies are less likely to be the culprit – chances are that unhealthy “health” food is packing on the pounds.

1.) Bran muffins. Bran muffins are often mistaken as a healthy source of fiber, but in reality, there’s very little fiber and a lot of sugar to be found. One bran muffin can contain 500 calories or more. Bran cereal with skim milk is a much healthier alternative.

2.) Granola bars. While granola contains a great deal of healthy whole grains, granola bars are often held together by high fructose corn syrup. While half a serving of Nature Valley Oats ‘n’ Honey granola bars contain 90 calories and 3 grams of fat, most granola bars are as healthy as regular candy bars.

3.) Frozen yogurt. Don’t let the word “yogurt” mislead you. Frozen yogurt is most often more than taking healthy, 100 calorie yogurt with probiotics and putting it in the freezer. Frozen yogurt contains a lot more artificial and natural sweeteners, making it no different from regular ice cream.

4.) Veggie chips. It doesn’t matter if the chips are made of potatoes, corn, celery, broccoli, carrots or anything else. If it’s deep-fried, it’s a terrific source of saturated fat and trans fat. Go for baked chips, or better yet, the fresh vegetables themselves.

5.) Energy bars. While energy bars are packed with vitamins, they’re designed for athletes, not for sitting at office desks from 9 to 5. If you must have a pick-me-up, drink a full glass a water then eat only half the bar. Save the rest for later.

6.) Pretzels. Pretzels may be lower in fat than chips, but most don’t provide any nutrition. If a craving strikes, however, look for a whole-wheat brand.

7.) Rice cakes. Rice cakes, like pretzels, are also low in calories but also empty calories. Topping with peanut butter gives a lasting protein boost, or better yet, top an apple or banana with peanut butter for an additional serving of fruit.