Skip to content
15 'Health Foods' That Are Really Junk Foods in Disguise

15 'Health Foods' That Are Really Junk Foods in Disguise

In many people who gain weight and acquire chronic health problems, unhealthy diets play a key part, more so than ever before. Ironically, some of those foods are considered healthy by some. Here are 15 "balanced foods" which are labeled as just junk foods.

1. Processed ‘low-fat’ and ‘fat-free’ foods

Perhaps the most controversial actions in the history of diet could be called the "battle" on saturated fat. It was based on vague proof, now fully debunked. As this debate began, packaged product producers hopped into the bandwagon and began cutting the fat from the product. But the problem is big. Food does not taste well on the elimination of the fat. Therefore they added a lot of sugar to make up for it. Saturated fat is harmless but when eaten in bulk, added sugar is extremely unhealthy.Typically the words "no fat" or "fat-free" on the package means it's a heavily refined food filled with sugar.

2. Most commercial salad dressings

Vegetables are fantastically safe.The problem is they often don't taste very good by themselves. That's why many people are using dressings to add flavor to their salads, making these bland meals delicious delicacies. But many salad dressings, along with various artificial chemicals, are actually loaded with unhealthy ingredients such as sugar, vegetable oils, and trans fats. Despite the fact that vegetables are good for you, eating them with a dressing high in harmful ingredients negates any health benefits from the salad. Check the list of ingredients before using a salad dressing, or use healthy ingredients to make your own.


3. Fruit juices… which are basically just liquid sugar

A lot of people think that fruit juices are healthy.They have to be because they are coming from the fruit, right? But most fruit juice you'll find in the grocery store isn't fruit juice really. They sometimes have no actual fruit in them, only chemicals that taste like fruit. What you're drinking is basically sugar water with fruit flavor. That being said, even if you drink fruit juice of 100 percent quality, this is still not the best choice. Fruit juice is like fruit, except with all the good things taken out (like the fiber). The main thing left of the fruit itself is sugar. Fruit juice actually contains a sugar content similar to that of a sugar-sweetened beverage.

4. ‘Heart-healthy’ whole wheat

Most "full wheat" products aren't made with whole wheat.The grains were pulverized into very fine flour, causing them to elevate blood sugar as fast as their refined counterparts. Indeed, whole wheat bread can have a glycemic index similar to that of white bread.But even true whole wheat may be a bad idea because our grandparents ate modern wheat unhealthy compared to the wheat. Scientists modified the genes in wheat around 1960, to increase yield. Modern wheat is less nutritious and has certain properties that make it worse for people with gluten intolerance. Studies also show that modern wheat can cause inflammation and higher cholesterol levels, at least when compared with older varieties. Wheat may have been a relatively healthy grain back in the day but the stuff most people eat today should be taken carefully.

5. Cholesterol-lowering phytosterols

Phytosterols are nutrients that essentially resemble cholesterol versions of plants. Some studies have shown they can decrease human blood cholesterol. Because of this they are often added to processed foods that are then marketed as "lowering cholesterol" and claimed to help prevent heart disease. However, studies have shown that phytosterols have negative effects on the cardiovascular system despite lowering cholesterol levels and may even increase the risk of heart disease and death. People with phytosterolaemia (a genetic condition that raises the level of plant sterol in the blood) are more susceptible to phytosterol-negative effects.

6. Margarine

Butter has in the past been labeled a bad choice for food due to its high saturated fat content. Instead, various health experts began promoting margarine. Margarine was once high in trans fats, back in the day. It has fewer trans fats these days than before, but is still loaded with refined vegetable oils. Not surprisingly, the Framingham Heart Study showed that in fact, people who replace butter with margarine are more likely to die from heart disease.Try eating real butter (preferably grass-fed), and avoid margarine with trans fat, if you want to improve your health. In recent years, transfat-free margarine has become more commonly available. Always carefully read nutrition facts, and limit products containing trans fat. Recommending trans-fat-laden margarine instead of natural butter can be considered one of history's worst nutritional advice.


7. Sports drinks

Sport drinks have been designed for athletes. They contain electrolytes(salt) and sugar which in many cases may be useful to athletes. Most people don't need extra salt or liquid sugar in their diet, though. Although often considered "less bad" than sugary soft drinks, there is really no fundamental difference in both, with the exception of sometimes slightly lower sugar content in sports drinks. Staying hydrated, especially when working out, is vital but most people will be better off sticking to plain water.

8. Low-carb junk foods

Low carb diets have long been extremely common. Studies have reported in the last 12 years that these diets are a successful means of gaining weight and improving health. Food manufacturers have, however, caught up in the trend and brought onto the market various low carb "friendly" processed foods.This includes highly processed foods, such as the bars at Atkins. If you look at the list of ingredients, you will see that no real food, only chemicals and highly refined ingredients are present in them. Occasionally these products can be consumed without compromising the metabolic adaptation which comes with low carb eating.They don't really nourish your body though. They are still unhealthy although they are technically low in carb.

9. Agave nectar

People have been looking for alternatives, given the known harmful effects of sugar. Agave nectar is one of the more popular "natural" sweeteners, which is also called agave syrup. You will find this sweetener in "healthy foods" of all sorts, often with attractive claims on the packaging. The Agave problem is that it's no better than regular sugar. Actually, it's a lot worse. One of the key issues with sugar is that it contains large concentrations of fructose and can cause serious metabolic complications when ingested unnecessarily. Sugar is around 50% fructose and 55% high corn syrup, but agave produces much more up to 70-90%. Therefore agave is even worse than regular sugar, gram for gram."Natural" isn't always a healthy equivalent. It's debatable if agave should even be considered natural.

10. Vegan junk foods

These days vegan diets are very common, mostly because of ethical and environmental concerns. However, many people advocate vegan diets for health-enhancing purposes. A lot of processed vegan foods are on the market, often sold as convenient substitutes for non-vegan foods. One example of that is vegan bacon. But it's important to remember that these are usually highly processed, factory-made products which are bad for almost anyone, including vegan people.

11. Brown rice syrup

Brown rice syrup, also known as rice malt syrup, is an erroneously assumed healthy sweetener. It is made by exposing cooked rice to enzymes that break the starch down into simple sugars.There is no pure fructose in Brown rice syrup, only glucose.The absence of refined fructose is good, but rice syrup has a glycemic index of 98, meaning the glucose in it will spike extremely fast blood sugar. Also, rice syrup is highly refined and has almost no essential nutrients. In other words, the calories are called "empty." Some questions about arsenic contamination in this syrup have been posed, which is another reason to be extra careful with this sweetener. Aim to use both sweeteners carefully in general, and adopt the correct serving sizes.Few sweeteners are out there like low-calorie sweeteners such as: stevia, erythritol and xylitol

12. Processed organic foods

Unfortunately in many ways, the term "clean" has become a typical marketing buzzword. Meat producers have discovered all manner of ways to produce the same products, but for organic ingredients.This involves ingredients such as organic raw cane sugar, which is exactly 100 percent the same as standard sugar. Even with little or no nutrients, it's all glucose and fructose. In many cases, the difference is similar to none between an element and its herbal equivalent.It is not inherently safe to have packaged foods that appear to be called organic. Still search the label for inside vision.

13. Vegetable oils

Sometimes we are told to consume seed and vegetable oils, which include soybean oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, and many more.This suggestion is based on the fact, at least in the short term, that these oils have been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels. It is however important to remember that cholesterol in the blood is a risk factor. It's not an injury per se. Although vegetable oils can help to boost a risk factor, there is no assurance that they can help avoid actual health effects such as heart attacks or death, which is what really matters.In fact, multiple controlled trials have shown that these oils can raise the risk of developing heart failure and memory decline, despite lowering cholesterol.Eating good, natural fats, such as butter, coconut oil, and olive oil in moderation is important. Also, obey the prescribed serving amount, but restrict the refined vegetable oils as if it relied on your health, as it does.

14. Gluten-free junk foods

According to a study conducted in 2013, about a third of people in the United States is deliberately seeking to restrict or eliminate gluten. Many experts think this is needless, but the fact is, gluten can be troublesome for a lot of people, particularly from modern wheat. Not unexpectedly, the agricultural suppliers carried into the market all kinds of gluten-free foods.The problem with these foods is that they generally have the same, if not worse, negative effects on your body as their counterparts which contain gluten.These are heavily processed foods that contain little nutrients and are mostly made of modified starches and can contribute to extremely large blood sugar spikes.Continue to use naturally gluten-free ingredients, such as plants and poultry, and not gluten-free processed goods. Gluten-free fast food also contains junk food.

15. Most processed breakfast cereals

It may be deceiving the way certain breakfast cereals are sold. Many of them have different health statements listed on the packaging, including those that are targeted toward children. This contains statements that could be deceptive, such as "full crop" or "light fat". This is extremely true if you look at the list of ingredients and find that these items often contain:

  • Refined Grains
  • Sugar
  • Artificial Chemicals

It is important to always check the packaging of the food to validate what you are really putting into your body and whether it is safe for you.Very safe foods are whole foods with a single ingredient. It talks with them about their health benefits. Real food doesn't really need a list of ingredients, since the product is actual food. 

Previous article Is Buttermilk Keto Friendly?

Leave a comment

Comments must be approved before appearing

* Required fields