"Healthy." It's a word that gets used far more often than it should.
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In fact, you probably buy many foods because you think they're good for you. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. Many so-called health foods are loaded with sugar, fat and calories.
Consider these four culprits:
1. Granola bars. Somewhere along the way, "granola" became synonymous with health food. But take a closer look at the average granola bar and you'll find more than a few sugars. Many contain sugar, dextrose, fructose and corn syrup. And some brands are made with partially hydrogenated oils, the worst kind.
2. Turkey burgers. You're drooling for the beef patty with extra onions, but you want to be good, so you order the turkey burger instead. Before you gobble it up, you should know that a 3-ounce turkey burger made with dark meat has about 7 grams of fat, while a 3-ounce lean ground beef hamburger has about 9 grams of fat. Not a huge difference. If you're really trying to cut back on fat, stick with the lean ground turkey made from breast meat or don't eat the bun and instead, a big salad.
3. Fruit juice. You're better off eating a piece of fruit. Fruit juice doesn't have the filling fiber of a piece of whole fruit, but still contains plenty of calories. Think of it this way: 8-ounces of soda has about 130 calories, while 8-ounces of orange juice has 110 calories. If you're dying for juice, try filing up a glass with water and topping off with some juice--very refreshing.
4. Energy bars. Don't think you're doing your body a favor if you substitute an energy bar for a meal. Many of these bars contain a variety of sugars including honey, corn syrup, dextrose, fructose and sorbital. And like granola bars, some also contain hydrogenated oils. At 4 to 8 grams of fat per bar, you're better off eating a low-fat lunch.