I once learned in AP European History that the first king of England was too fat to get on his horse, so he decided to eliminate all food from his diet and only drink alcohol in the hopes of shedding a few pounds. A thousand years have gone by, and it feels like our diets haven’t really progressed (and tbh his sounds pretty logical). We’re constantly being harassed by new diets and healthy foods, and some of the facts can get confusing, mostly because it all comes down to your own individual body. Although there aren’t specific foods that will straight-up make you fat, there are some foods that are marketed as super healthy, but they aren’t really doing you any favors. Here are some of health foods that are not so healthy.
1. Gluten-Free Bread
The “gluten-free” buzzword is often written on food items, but unless you’re actually gluten intolerant or have Celiac disease, these products aren’t necessarily healthier for you. In fact, gluten-free bread is usually packed with so many artificial ingredients and sugars to make up for the lack of gluten. You’re honestly better off eating regular bread.
2. Orange Juice
The whole “fresh orange juice” health fad started like, 60 years ago, but let’s keep in mind that women were still smoking while pregnant at the time. AKA, it’s outdated. I mean, I’m not saying orange juice made with minimal ingredients is at all dangerous for you, but if you think you’re drinking a glass of health with your oatmeal in the morning, you’re wrong. Orange juice is basically a cup of sugar, and even if it’s just made with oranges, which have a ton of vitamins, it’s a lot of sugar to gulp down at once. Plus, lower sugar fruits like strawberries and papaya have more vitamin C than oranges do, so there goes that excuse.
Granola is one of those foods that really isn’t terrible for you, but it’s marketed as this magic bag of health and wellness, and honestly, nobody takes the serving size into account. Most granola companies, even the ones that use “clean” ingredients, don’t make it clear that the serving size is usually 1/4 cup. Anyone who’s ever looked at a measuring cup knows that is tiny. Many people (hi) end up eating entire bowls of granola, ingesting like, 600 calories in one snack. Granola is meant to be sprinkled on top of Greek yogurt or snacked on in small doses, so keep that in mind when eating half the bag before lunch.
4. Restaurant Veggie Sides
I’m one of those people who are guilty of going out to dinner and ordering a bunch of vegetable sides, thinking that it’s the healthiest option on the menu. Honestly, they’re usually not that healthy. It’s pretty much known that vegetables suck, taste-wise, so these restaurants often douse them in oils and sauces and butter to make people want to order them. Like, if you’re wondering why your Brussels sprouts appetizer tastes like french fries, maybe it’s born with it, maybe it’s tons of added fat. You’re better off ordering a lean protein, like fish or grilled chicken. You don’t have to avoid vegetables completely, but just be wary of what you’re actually ordering when you’re out to eat.
5. Agave Nectar
Ever since Miley went vegan and açai bowls became trendier than Momofuku cake, agave nectar is trending in the wellness world—but unless you’re vegan, it’s not that healthy for you. Like, agave is supposed to be the “healthy” sugar substitute, but the reason it has a low glycemic index is because it’s filled with fructose, which, when ingested in large quantities, turns to fat because your liver can’t turn it into energy. Instead of demonizing sugar and turning to agave as an alternative, just add sugar in moderation and realize what you’re actually putting into your body when you buy these alternatives.
6. Dried Fruit
Ugh, this one makes me so sad because dried mango is actually the best thing since watermelon Sour Patch Kids. Dried fruit is similar to granola in the sense that it’s really not harmful for you, but nobody talks about serving sizes, and they’re SO sad. Dried fruit is all carbs and sugar, and often companies add even more sugar to them. Like, have you ever realized why Craisins are so much sweeter than actual cranberries? Spoiler: it’s sugar. If you’re eating dried fruit, find a brand that has no added sugar, and try not to eat the whole bag in one sitting. You can do this.
Images: Jannis Brandt / Unsplash; Giphy (4)
When it comes to throwing shade, we’re obv on board. Being able to secretly be a bitch or hate someone without them knowing is like, the rules of feminism. But when it comes to our food choices being shadily unhealthy and betraying our trust, it’s not cute. So we’re here to tell you which foods have been lying to you and masquerading as health foods when they’re secretly junk food (or really, not-so-secretly since it’s on the nutrition label).
“Not all yogurts!” you scream at your computer. Fine, bitch, but understand that pretty much almost all flavored yogurts (or the ones with those super cute flippy lids) are FULL OF SUGAR. Not just like “oh I’m cheating and having a jelly bean teehee!” amounts of sugar. We’re talking full blown this-is-your-sugar-intake-limit-for-the-day amounts. You best be opting for full-fat unflavored Greek yogurt if you need a fix. Top it with whatever you want —shit, add 3 tablespoons of sugar to it and you’ll essentially have one of those fucking Chobani flips.
2. Caesar Salad
A question we often ask ourselves: “If it contains bread and cheese, is it still a salad?” The answer is yes, but just because something fits a definition, it doesn’t mean it belongs in and around your mouth. This ESPECIALLY applies to a Caesar fucking salad. On every menu literally everywhere and ALWAYS seemingly a safe choice, the average Caesar salad includes creamy dressing, a lot of cheese, and bread baked in a concoction of more cheese and oil. Look at the facts: The Caesar salad was created in Tijuana, tequila shot capitol of the world, because the kitchen ran out of normal shit and Mr. Caesar (literally his name) needed to serve some Hollywood bitches SOMETHING. Also, it was a finger food, which INSTANTLY ranks it on our list of unhealthy shit. Mozzarella sticks, chicken wings, pizza rolls—I think I’ve made my point. Aside from celery sticks, almost NOTHING you can hold and eat is under 500 calories. Next.
Sprinkling granola on your Greek yogurt parfait makes you feel skinny and chic, but you wouldn’t feel so adorable if you knew that most granolas are full of sugar and fat. How? Because that’s literally how they’re made. You take oats or some other fucking grain you find in bulk at whole foods, mix it with fair trade, organic, non-animal-endangering sugar, butter or honey, nuts, and bake it. Yeah. Let that sink in. That shit is practically candy. Same goes for granola bars, which require EVEN MORE sugar and sticky shit so they can be formed into the perfect rectangle. Don’t buy into your hippie liberal douche friend’s hype: Granola is not healthy.
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”—not if you’re scarfing down chocolate sugar puffs in a sea of fat-laden milk. Honestly, if you MUST have cereal, we require you either a) be hungover; b) are eating Cinnamon Toast Crunch —the only acceptable cereal; or c) are a child under the age of 9. None of those are health reasons, but unless you’re eating GrapeNuts, you’re popping calories like pills anyway. Slather some sad butter on your sad toast or squint at the sourness of a grapefruit and accept adulthood.
This shouldn’t come as a fucking surprise, but potatoes suck. Honestly, how are they even considered a vegetable? Based on the US’s ability to name pizza a vegetable and vote a literal human Cheeto into office, I guess we shouldn’t be surprised, but still. Regular white potatoes have like, literally no health benefits. If you MUST partake in a potato, make it a sweet potato. At least you can pass off the carby starch mine with vitamin benefits.
You come to work sippin’ on your green smoothie and, having just come from cycling class, you’re officially allowed to look down on everyone else. Too bad, so sad—that shit is full of fat. Despite having a fuckload of fruit, those same fruit juices host tons of calories and sugar and no fucking fiber. Plus, your smoothie probably has DING DING DING YOGURT to help fill you up. Do us a favor: go buy a Vitamix and blend a smoothie made of spinach, avocado, and green grapes. Thin it with water. Then, you’ll have a borderline healthy smoothie. Will it taste good? Um, no, but healthy shit usually doesn’t.
7. Diet Soda
Feel free to crucify me in the comments, but if you’re still drinking soda—diet or not—you’ll probs get fat and/or cancer, we assume. IT ISN’T GOOD FOR YOU. Start drinking fizzy water instead. We know it’s harder than weaning yourself off drugs (probably), but, really, your skin, thighs, and overall health will thank you.
8. Dried Fruit
Whether you’re trying to get un-hooked from jelly beans or need help pooping, dry fruit always seems like a healthy option. NOT FUCKING TRUE. A handful of dried banana chips or dried cranberries have the same amount of sugar as a lot of candy. So, like, you may as well just eat the jelly beans. Or, buy a dehydrator and make your own dried fruit, sans added sugars.