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9 health foods that have an ugly hidden secret
Are you totally sure you are eating healthy? Some of your go to items may be hiding an ugly secret or two. - photo by Emily Cummings
Your friendly, neighborhood juice bar

Fruit juices today are pretty trendy. From cold pressed to locally pressed, most juices pack a sugar punch akin to soda pop. While you are still getting the vitamins from the fruit itself, the juicing eliminates the pulp.which also eliminates the fiber. Soda still isnt the better choice, but keep sugar content in mind the next time you are being health conscious about your beverage.

Jellys better half

Nuts are a go-to for protein and energy but the danger lies in all the other yucky things added in (think fillers, preservatives and extra sugar). To hack this health snack, read your labels. On a jar of almond butter, there shouldnt be much else besides almonds and salt. If you are reading a laundry list of ingredients, opt out and skip the added fillers that only get in your way to nut butter bliss. But be warned: whether raw or in buttered form, nuts are naturally high in calories, so whatch your serving size.

The honest reason we all love yogurt

Oats, dried fruit, and whats the downside to granola? Truth be told, prepackaged granolas are usually extremely high in sugar and oil, despite a healthy ingredient list. Its a quick way to add tons of calories in very tiny way but dont ditch your love for topping yogurt quite yet. Test out granolas cousin, muesli. This option uses fruit as a sweetener, and is excellent stirred into yogurt.

Natures candy

My mom always called fruit natures candy. Its naturally sweet, and even more so when dried. But sweet is sweet, whether its been added or comes naturallyand too much sugar is never good. Dried fruit concentrates that natural sugar into one sweet treat thats far too easy to eat too much of. Throwing back 12 or 15 dried apricots is doable, but when is the last time you sat down and ate that many fresh apricots? Dont cut it completely out of your diet, but just be mindful. Look for dried fruit with no added sugar, and do yourself a favor by pre-portioning out amounts to avoid a sugar overload.

Workout candy bars

Looks like a protein bar, might as well be a candy bar. If you dont check out the ingredients, you may be eating something quite high in sugar as a snack after your morning run. Watch for a low ingredient list that uses whey (not soy), and has about 20 grams of protein.

Canned comfort food

Canned soups are a great low calorie dinner that can be pretty fillingbut watch for sodium levels in this easy meal. Processed varieties almost always pack in tons of sodium.even as much as 1,300 grams. Keep an eye out for less sodium varieties, or try whipping up a homemade version of your favorite soups. This way, youll control the salt (and other ingredients) and still get to warm up with a bowl.

Grandmas secret recipe

Dunkin Donuts has finally gotten a hold of Grandmas bran muffin recipe, to your breakfast relief. But if you are trying to be healthy, go for the donut. Surprised? Okay, donuts arent a health food either, but portion size is the real culprit with bran muffins. Most are made with oil and butter, tipping the scales at a few hundred calories per muffin in addition to all that fat. Yikes. If the bakery is calling your name, split the muffin in half and eat it the next day. Pop part II in the microwave or toaster to bring it back to its warm out of the oven state, and enjoy.

Thats a wrap

If you want to cut calories, wrap your sandwich in lettuce, not a wrap. Even the spinach wraps these days have an enormous surface area and can really hide calories well. Adding in a wrap can add in almost 300 calories to what could be a low calorie meal.

(Almost) waters

Smart waters, flavored waters, work out beverages are all putting extra things in water that really dont belong. Granted, if you are doing some serious cardio (like training for a race), then your body is going to need those electrolytes. Just be mindful that artificial sweeteners are probably on the ingredient list. If you are looking for something more fruity than water to drink during the day, DIY. Some call for sugar, but feel free to adjust sweetness to taste. Toss in berries, mint, other fruits and you are good to go (after you Instagram how gorgeous your water looks, of course).

In essence, read your food labels. Items that are packaged with real fruit! and multigrain arent necessarily good for you. Learning how to correctly read a food label and find out exactly what you are eating can help avoid some serious eating pitfalls. Keep portion control in mind, be aware of what you are eating...and read your labels.
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