Wondering why your dad bod doesn’t seem to be going anywhere despite your efforts to eat healthy? You could be sabotaging your diet without even knowing it. Beware these five types of food that are deceivingly unhealthy.
1. Salad: You might be feeling pretty proud of yourself for ordering a salad, but don’t pat yourself on the back just yet. Salads could secretly be making you fat thanks to the dressing, which can add hundreds of calories. Even fat-free dressings aren’t always safe. “Take a look at the ingredient label—to make up for the flavor lost in cutting fat, manufacturers add high-fructose corn syrup, other sweeteners and much more salt,” says clinical nutritionist Dr. Josh Axe.
2. Granola bars: Not all granola bars are created equal. Some brands are high in nutrition and low in calories, but many of them aren’t any better than a Snickers bar. Seek out bars with few ingredients, and make sure that the first ingredient is a whole food (think: nuts, nut butter, oats, barley) rather than sugar.
3. Breakfast cereal: So many breakfast cereals are marketed as healthy options but they’re actually filled with sugar. “Breakfast cereals—even those high in protein—are not good for your energy levels, cognitive function or waistline,” celebrity licensed dietitian Cassie Bjork warns. “Instead of starting your day with a sugar rush, stick with real breakfasts like whole eggs fried in butter with a side of sautéed sweet potatoes or fruit.”
4. Yogurt: When it comes to yogurt, stick to a plain non-fat Greek option, which is high in protein. You can jazz it up with fresh fruit and honey without worrying about adding pounds to the scale. Avoid flavored yogurt, which contains a surprising amount of sugar. “The only yogurts worth eating are those that are unflavored or that can claim to have more fruit than sugar,” according to Eat This, Not That.
5. “Heart healthy” foods: At the supermarket you’re bound to come across foods labeled “heart healthy,” but this notation can be deceiving. As Bjork points out, one “Heart Healthy” can of soup can contain 20 grams of sugar. Always check the ingredient list and keep in mind the serving size.