In the 1973 Woody Allen comedy Sleeper, Woody wakes up 200 years in the future and learns that a lot of things have changed, including that certain foods that were once thought unhealthy are now considered nutritious, including cream pie, hot fudge and anything deep-fried.
Going in the opposite direction, it may be that some of the foods we’ve thought were healthy – and, in fact, have stocked up on for an emergency or put in our bug-out bags – might not be all that good for us. And no, I’m not referring to cotton candy and hot dogs. For example, a nice bowl of war soup is something mom would give us when we came in from the cold, but it turns out some soups have way too much sodium.
Here are the 10 foods that nutrition expert and registered dietitian Katherine Brooking claims are not as healthy as most people think:
Prepared salads. Tuna, chicken and shrimp salads can have too many fats and calories due to a high mayonnaise content.
Multi-grain and wheat breads. If these breads are made with refined grains instead of heart-healthy whole grains, they won’t provide as much nutrition.
Reduced-fat peanut butter. Because regular peanut butter is a source of good monounsaturated fats, it’s at least as good for you as reduced-fat peanut butter, which often contains more sugar.
Energy bars. Some of these bars are filled with high-fructose corn syrup, added sugar and artery-clogging saturated fat.
Bran muffins. Small muffins aren’t bad for you, but the Buick-sized muffins found in many coffee shops are another story. Some have too much sodium.
Smoothies. Again, it’s about serving sizes, which in some chain stores can reach 500 calories. Adding ice cream or sherbet doesn’t help.
Packaged turkey. The recommendation here is to find a brand that has less than 350 milligrams of sodium per two-ounce serving.
Fat-free foods. Don’t just assume that a food or beverage is good for you because it’s fat free. Check the nutrition labels.
Restaurant baked potatoes. This is a healthy choice until you add 10 pounds of butter, sour cream, cheese and bacon bits.
Sports drinks. Great for when you lose electrolytes in an intense workout, their high sugar content is not so good for casual drinking.
How about you? What foods or beverages did you once think were healthy before learning better? And what about ones you discovered were healthy only after you’d already acquired a taste for them?
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