5 Foods That Aren’t as Healthy as They Seem

Are you still sticking with your New Year’s resolution to get fit? Want to lose those last 10 pounds?

Many people, about half of the U.S. population, would like to improve their health by losing a bit of extra weight.

So if you’ve checked all the boxes — exercising on the regular, sleeping adequately, eating healthfully — it may be time to look into the specifics. There might be things standing in the way of your goal — extra sugar, simple carbohydrates, additives. Or, perhaps your “healthy” foods aren’t so healthful after all.

It’s important to know what ingredients make up your food because there is an overwhelming amount of inaccurate information out there, advised Gillian Arathuzik, a Registered Dietitian at Lahey Hospital & Medical Center.

With the help of Gillian’s expertise, we compiled a list of foods you might think are healthy but are anything but good for you.

Sports Drinks

People perceive these as healthy because they feel they need to replace electrolytes or energy after an intense workout. In reality, these drinks are just providing excess liquid calories and excess added sugars that lead to weight gain and higher risk for Type 2 diabetes.

We don’t feel satiety from liquid calories and so drinking sports drinks will not result in someone eating less food at a meal — this is the main reason beverages provide a glut of excessive calories. It’s worth mentioning that electrolytes are only necessary after an extensive exercise or during very hot, humid weather that causes one to sweat a great deal.


It’s hard to resist a good-looking muffin with your morning coffee. Nonetheless you’re better off without them. You might perceive a muffin, especially one made of bran, as a nutritious breakfast. Yet they are an option that’s one of the highest in calories, fat and carbs. If a muffin is the size of a standard muffin tin, they are much better since the portion size is more on track with what we should be consuming in a meal.

Bacon and Other Processed Meats

Bacon and other processed meats, such as sausage or deli cold cuts, have experienced a renaissance because of trendy low carb diets like Keto, Paleo, and Whole 30. There’s ample scientific research that processed meats raise your risk of cancer. If that’s not terrible to hear there’s more: Processed meats and cancer risk is what’s called a dose response. So risk goes up with the amount of processed meat you consume.


This is similar to the muffin situation, in that granola may leave you with a muffin top! Okay, silly joke. People, however, think granola is a health food because it’s packaged nicely and is usually paired with yogurt. Like muffins, though, the serving portion for granola is incredibly small — think two tablespoons. Since this food is easy to eat, you’ll likely be stuck with some excess calories, which we know translates to storage.  


This one is a bummer. It’s clean and pretty and it seems so good for you. Yet, white sticky rice can cause very high blood sugars in people with diabetes. Some popular sushi rolls contain fried tempura or the like, also packing on the calories per piece.  

For more information on healthy foods you should incorporate into your diet, speak with your health care provider.

*The content on this website is for informational purposes only and is not medical advice. Please consult a physician regarding your specific medical condition, diagnosis and/or treatment.

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