Are all health foods really “healthy”?

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“Healthy” can be a misleading term. It also varies person to person and lives along a spectrum of choices.

To some, opting for diet soda over regular soda is healthy. To others, ordering a salad from McDonald’s instead of a burger is healthy. It all depends on what nutritional knowledge you have and what your personal history with food is.

Some foods that are labeled as “healthy” options may be misleading as to how healthy they actually are.

It is and always will be your choice to consume whatever foods you want. The goal here is simply to provide the knowledge so that you may make your decisions with all aspects in mind.

  1. Yogurt. Yes, plain Greek Yogurt with active and live cultures can be very healthy for those without dairy intolerances. However, flavored yogurts tend to have large amounts of added sugar which negate any health benefits.

  2. Smoothies. Yes, if you use frozen fruits, veggies, unsweetened liquids, and all natural ingredients, smoothies can provide many nutrients without putting a lot in your stomach. However, smoothies which are pre-made or purchased from locations such as Jamba Juice contain added sugars from artificial fruit juice, sherbet, and more.

  3. Salads. Yes, if you make your own salad at home with fresh fruits and veggies, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, etc., then a salad can provide a ton of nutrients in a very fresh and satisfying fashion. However, salads from restaurants or that are prepackaged tend to have hidden calories in the form of toppings or dressing, not to mention the hidden sugars within salad dressing.

  4. Frozen Meals. This isn’t to say that having frozen vegetables or fruits available is a poor option, because it’s not. Frozen meals which are microwaveable, such as Lean Cuisine or Healthy Choice, have an overabundance of sodium in order to preserve the food.

  5. Organic Processed Foods. Baked goods, dessert items, pizza, burritos, the list goes on. Being labeled as “organic” does not make that food “healthy” by nature. An organic donut is still a donut.

  6. Granola. Yes, some granolas can have a ton of wonderful ingredients, especially if you make it yourself at home and are very intentional with how you make it. However, read your labels. Granolas can have multiple sweetener sources, either whole or artificial. They can also have artificial additives for preservation or texture.

So what should you do with all of this information? Read. Your. Labels. Buy fresh foods as often as possible. Make more things at home than you buy pre-made or packaged from the store. Understand what you are putting into your body and embrace the repercussions, whether good or bad.

If this is overwhelming, ask for help! Here at C5, we can offer you nutritional guidance that fits your goals and lifestyle. Personalization is our jam.

Your C5 Nutrition Coach,

Wick