Just because you may hear that something is healthy based what you see on TV, doesn't mean it's actually as good for you as you are led to believe. There are some unhealthy foods out there that are cleverly disguised as nutritionally sound snacks. Be on the lookout for the following foods in your kitchen:
Fat-free flavored yogurt Don't let the fat-free label trick you - just because it says fat-free, doesn't mean it's great for you! According to Forbes, these yogurts are actually packed with sugar - about 15 grams in a little six ounce serving. Instead of grabbing for the flavored yogurt, swap it out for Greek yogurt. Don't like the taste of Greek? Add other ingredients to it like honey, fruit and granola to up the taste and the nutritional value!
Veggie Pizza Although it does contain lots of veggies, it's still pizza. Shape magazine said that many restaurants amp up the taste with lots more cheese and oil-soaked tomatoes to give it that delicious flavor that keeps you coming back. For a healthier alternative, try a pizza with half the cheese or watch your portion size.
Light popcorn You may think you've made a healthy choice for a late-night snack as you sit down on the couch with a bag of light popcorn. After all, how could something so seemingly light be so bad for you? I've got two reasons to pop your own popcorn: diacetyl and high sodium levels. Diacetyl is a chemical used to produce a butter flavoring on your snack. According to Discovery Fit & Health, this chemical has led to some cases of scarring in the lungs. Save your respiratory health by popping your own kernels and dribbling on a little olive oil for a healthier snack.
Dried fruit How could something with the word "fruit" in it be unhealthy? Dried fruit, although it contains fiber, also contains a lot of added sugar.
"Since the fruit is dried, it has at least three times more calories per volume than its fresh counterpart," explained Jennifer Cohen of Forbes. "A bag of banana chips has three times as many calories as a banana and 20 percent more fat."
Therefore, you're better off sticking to fresh fruit to get all the nutrients and health benefits that they offer.
Turkey sandwich With turkey being a lean meat, there's no way this could be unhealthy, right? Well, not quite. If you buy processed turkey, there are often high levels of nitrates and sodium present which aren't heart-healthy. It's also what you add to the sandwich that can make or break you. Extras like mayonnaise, bacon and cheese, topped off with thick slices of bread, can turn a potentially healthy lunch into a calorie-packed meal.
Reduced fat peanut butter Much like fat-free yogurt, many mistake this as a healthy alternative to regular peanut butter. But this product also contains tons of added sugar. Regular peanut butter will actually fill you up more, which will keep you from indulging later on.
Frozen dinners Ads work to convince you that those pre-portioned frozen diet meals are the secret to losing weight. As is often the case, they couldn't be more wrong. According to Shape magazine, these pack a punch with large amounts of preservatives, sodium and low amounts of vegetables. And who ever feels full after eating one of those anyway? Opt for fresh vegetables, whole grains and meats instead that will fill you up and give you energy.
Always make sure to fit cardio into your routine alongside a healthy diet. The two work together to help you shed those excess pounds and increase your overall health. TRUE Fitness has created a line of cardio fitness equipment that is designed to give you the best workout possible. With comfort always in mind and patented Heart Rate Control technology, your personal fitness goals can be easily met.