In an era of heightened health consciousness and dietary literacy, it’s crucial to approach our food choices with a critical lens. While we may perceive certain foods as wholesome and beyond “junk,” they may still conceal potential health risks.
Here are a few junk foods that are still totally unhealthy
While often marketed as a healthy breakfast option, many cereals are packed with excess sugar and refined carbs. This hidden sugar rush can contribute to weight gain, blood sugar problems and even increase the risk of chronic diseases.
Always read the ingredient list before purchasing any.
A user says, “Cereal. Most options have as much sugar as donuts and many artificial ingredients. So much so that my blood sugar spikes higher after a bowl of cereal than after a bowl of ice cream.”
Another breakfast food that is considered healthy is muffins. Many parents and kids believe muffins are healthier than donuts, thanks to marketing ploys by the food industry.
Some of America’s favorite muffins have highly processed ingredients, artificial food color, excess sugar, preservatives, and tons of phosphates.
A user says, “Depending on the brand (if pre-packaged) and the bakery (if not), I’ve seen TONS of examples of a muffin having anywhere from 50-300 more calories than a classic glazed donut without any added nutritional benefit. I’m all for an occasional “junk” breakfast, especially over the weekend or on a lazy/non-school day, but just let your kid enjoy the donut; the muffin isn’t any better, and it’s usually less fun for the kid.”
3. Fruit Juices
The juicing process removes the crucial fiber found in whole fruits. Fiber helps regulate digestion, keeps you feeling fuller longer, and contributes to heart health. Besides that, fruit juices have added sugar in them.
A user says, “Fruit juice without added sugar is still junk. It’s just sugar and no fiber.”
4. Banana Chips
These chips are often heavily processed and fried, resulting in a high concentration of added sugars and saturated fats. Besides that, the frying process typically involves unhealthy oils like palm or hydrogenated oils, which can raise bad cholesterol and contribute to heart disease. It is recommended to eat the fruit instead.
A user says, “Those banana chips you buy in the bags at gas stations. You’d think they were air dried… But they are deep-fried in hydrogenated oils. Clogged artery chips.”
5. Granola Bars
While a few granola bars pack fiber and proteins, many pack staggering amounts of sugar, refined carbs and calories.
A user says, “Depends on the kind, but most are the equivalent of a candy bar. Granola bars aren’t healthy, but you’d need 3 to get the same sugar as a candy bar.”
6. White Bread
White bread might seem like a convenient choice, it’s processed food packed with refined carbs and sugar and low in micronutrients.
A user says, “I tried some white bread in the States, and they’re making sandwiches with cake. That thing is crazy sweet.”
7. Protein Bar
While protein bars made at home are healthy, many in the market contain sugars, saturated fats, and low-nutrient ingredients.
Many people love to eat Nutella for breakfast. However, did you know two tablespoons contain as much as 21 grams of sugar and 200 calories? Besides that, it has a negligible amount of proteins, nutrients, or minerals.
Yogurt, a popular breakfast and snack option, can be a double-edged sword regarding health. Yogurt is a rich source of protein, calcium, and probiotics. However, many flavored yogurts on the market today are nothing but sugar.
Opt for natural yogurt.
Smoothies are a popular way to get your daily dose of fruits and vegetables, but they can also be loaded with sugar and hidden calories. Whether a smoothie is healthy or unhealthy depends entirely on where you get it from or how you make it.
11. Sports drink
While often helpful and essential for athletes, sports drinks waste time for most people. In fact, drinking sports drinks without rigorous exercise can cause diabetes, weight gain, and other health issues.
A user says, “Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade unless you’re a high-performance athlete, it’s basically like if you’re drinking soda.”
12. Processed Foods Like Pasta
Many gluten-free products like bread, pasta, and crackers are highly processed and contain added sugars and fats to compensate for the lack of gluten.
13. BBQ Sauce
Compared to ketchup, BBQ sauce contains more sugar and salt than you need.
A user says, “I never realized how unhealthy BBQ sauce is. Not just with the obvious sugar penalty, but a small BBQ sauce serving can hit your daily sodium limit if you’re not careful.”
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This article was originally published on Mrs. Daaku Studio.