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8 Foods You Think Are Healthy but They're Not (and What to Replace Them With) - Rivertea Blog

8 Foods You Think Are Healthy but They’re Not (and What to Replace Them With)

| On 11, Jun 2013

There’s a saying: you are what you eat. But are you really sure you know what you’re eating?

In the past few years people have become more health conscious, especially when it comes to the food they eat. We want it to be fresh, full of vitamins and minerals, good for our body and mind and, maybe, just ensure that we live to be 100. We want to feel energized and fit at all times so we try to choose the best nourishment there is.


Many foods can look and taste like they are wholesome, but are hiding dirty little secrets such as fat, calories or messy ingredients.


All that will be changing today after you read our list of 8 foods that seem like they are good for you but actually aren’t and the recommendation we’ve found are best to replace these bad eating habits.


1. Granola


At a first glance it seems quite healthy: it’s filled with whole grains, seeds and nuts. However, what you don’t see is all the calories and fat that hide behind the goodness. All the additional ingredients meant to give it taste, such as chocolate or sugar-coated fruit, actually ruin it. The same goes for granola bars, which contain inulin, a sugar made from plants that is highly indigestible. Make sure you check the label before you buy it from now on: sugar should not be a top ingredient. On the other hand, why not make your own granola? Make a mix of shredded wheat, with whole nuts, seeds and chunks of unsweetened, dried fruit. This should make your cereal bowl taste like happy hour.

2. Muffins


Don’t you just love having a muffin with tea for breakfast? It’s the perfect start of a day. But can you imagine having desert as your most important meal? Muffins are like miniature cakes loaded with calories and sugar. The best muffins you can have are the ones that you make at home or a whole grain muffin. Toast half a muffin and spread a light layer of peanut butter on it or top it with fruit. That will save you about 150 calories. Or just share it with a friend.

3. Pretzels


Pretzels seem like the better choice rather than having potato chips or any other greasy snack, but they lack any significant type of vitamins, minerals, fiber or protein. Basically, it’s just empty calories. Not to mention, the consumption of salt by each serving ads up to about 800 g of sodium to your diet. If you have to have them, choose a brand with whole wheat. Or, on the other hand, why don’t you try replacing them with nuts or sunflower seeds. You can serve them at parties as well and nibble on in between meals. They offer a variety of vitamin and phytonutrients.

4. Dried fruit and Nut Mixes


It may look like a great snack and doesn’t make you feel as guilty as, let’s say, a chocolate bar. Well, they’re about the same. Most versions of trail mixes we buy from the store are loaded with candy-coated pieces, yogurt-covered raisins, sesame sticks and deep-fried banana chips. If you get two handfuls you’re looking at 600 calories. That’s about how much a whole meal should be. The best way to go is to make your own. Blend together natural dried or even fresh fruit, seeds, unsalted peanuts or raw nuts. Nothing with sugar on it will ever make the final cut. Pistachio or raisins are also, always, a good way to go.

5. Energy Bars


It seems like something an athlete would snack on and it was originally intended for them. However, read the labels first: the additional chocolate or sweetened fruit bits make for the amount of sugar you shouldn’t be taking in. They could also contain pieces of artificial ingredients and preservatives. If you’re hungry and just can’t wait for the food to be ready, we recommend you have a piece of fruit or follow the same advice from above; prepare your own trail mix.

6. Premade Smoothies


When you’re thirsty and looking for something sweet to drink, smoothies feel like the right answer. It’s definitely better than having a soda, but not for your figure. Smoothies can have as much as 500 up to 1000 calories per serving. That’s more than a burger with fries. Often, they’re bulged with sugar or syrup and make not for an energizing drink. To be on the safe side it’s best to make your own smoothies or just have a glass of simple veggie juice . This way you know exactly what’s in it and how many calories you’re having. It’s a great and delicious way to start your day.

7. Multi-grain and Wheat Breads


Terms like wheat and multi-grain sound like a slice of heaven, but it’s not what it seems. The breads are actually made with refined grains. Just read the ingredients: if the first flour in the list is refined then you’re not getting your money’s worth. So what are you really eating? More often than not, seven-grain and multigrain breads are made from refined, white flour with a sprinkling of other grains. Although, specialist say whole grains can help reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, and offer a great source of iron, fiber and vitamin E, don’t assume the same goes for multi-grain and seven-grain. So what is there to do? Check the labels every time before buying bread.

8. Prepared salads


Not everything that has vegetables is good for you. Ready to eat tuna or chicken salads contain hidden fats due to high mayonnaise quantity. To add up are the sugar-filled salad dressings and croutons made from refined white flour. A portion can contain as much as 700 calories and 40 g of fat. It’s not the easy, light lunch you were looking for is it? We won’t advice that you give up on salads but as we said before you can’t go wrong if you make it yourself.


To sum up, anything is better when you make it yourself, most of all what you eat. So our advice is shop smart and cook it yourself to build a healthy future for you and your family.


We’ll soon launch our new incredibly tasty tea blends. Join us, there are lots of special gifts waiting for you.