There are just so many foods that people think are healthy for the body, but are actually junk and should be regarded as bad for your body.

Let’s just cut to the chase and list the kinds of foods that are, to your surprise, quite unhealthy.

“Although they appear healthy, flavored instant oatmeal packets are loaded with salt and sugar,” says Sara Artigues, a registered dietician and certified personal trainer out of New Orleans.

“Fruit juices also might seem like a wholesome dietary choice but are loaded with sugar,” continues Artigues.

“Juices remove fiber from fruit, which means that your body absorbs fruit sugars much more quickly, causing your blood sugar to spike.”

If you want to buy juice from a store, choose a type that has no sugar added; with an ingredients list of just a few natural items including the juice.

The more ingredients in the list, the less pure or natural the juice is.

Of course, bottled carrot, cranberry or pomegranate juice is far better than sugary soda, but be mindful of the sugar content.

“Fruit juices also enable us to consume much more sugar than we would from eating whole fruits,” says Artigues.

“It’s easy to drink the equivalent of several oranges, but the fiber in the whole fruit fills us up before we can eat enough fruit to deliver a high volume of sugar.”

More Surprisingly Unhealthy Foods

Cereal. Read the ingredients. The shorter the list, the better. Check the sugar content relative to serving size.

The indicated serving size varies, so keep that in mind. Some cereals have fake color dyes and other additives, plus preservatives.

Soup. This is another broad category of food for which there’s a range of “healthiness.”

Canned soup may contain added sugar, and of course is loaded with sodium unless it’s a low sodium version. Read the ingredients. There could be things in there you’ve never heard of.

Energy or sports bars. The ingredients reveal a highly processed product that has as much sugar as a typical candy bar.

Chicken pot pies. How many ingredients did your great-grandmother use for her homemade chicken pot pies?

Mass-produced, name-brand pot pies have a lot of things in there that sound like they’re from a chemist’s lab.

The ingredients may even include partially hydrogenated vegetable oil or “shortening,” aka trans fats!

Salad dressing. The ingredients lists for name brands make these come off as liquid candy.

For instance, Hidden Valley Ranch is loaded with added sugar (a primary ingredient, in fact), and there’s a reason why any kid will eat raw broccoli dipped into this stuff: It’s liquid candy!

If you’re surprised at some of these foods, this just goes to show how powerful the marketing campaigns for these products are – convincing consumers that these products are beneficial to the body – when they easily qualify as junk food.

Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  
Sara’s training services include fitness/body composition assessments, nutrition planning, customized programs and spin class instruction for a variety of clients. 
Top image: ©Lorra Garrick