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Imposters! 5 Foods that Masquerade as Healthy

By June 15, 2017 April 12th, 2019 No Comments

Sorry to burst your bubble, but some foods inexplicably earn better P.R. than they deserve.

Exercise caution when eating the following foods:

1. Canned Tomatoes

How can a vegetable (or technically, a fruit) be bad for you?

  • It’s all in the packaging.
  • BPA, a chemical used to coat the lining of cans and plastic products, can end up in our foods, which may cause several health problems – from hormonal disruption to increased risk of certain cancers to risk of miscarriage.
  • Kids are especially susceptible to risks from BPA.

Why single out tomatoes over other canned foods?

The acidity of tomatoes makes it more likely BPA from the can will leach into the food.

Opt for fresh or jarred instead!

2. Turkey Burgers

You’re being virtuous by skipping the quarter pounder in favor of a turkey burger, right?

  • It’s true turkey is leaner than beef, but buyer beware, particularly when you’re dining out.
  • Red Robin’s turkey burger packs in 670 calories and 39 grams of fat – and that’s not counting the steak fries dipped in ranch on the side!

Turkey burgers are often prepared with high-fat condiments like cheese, mayo, and a buttered bun, plus are often made with the fattier (dark meat) parts of the turkey to help the patty stick together.

3. Smoothies

Not all smoothies, certainly, but many are packed with sugar and are twice the size they need to be.

  • Prepare yours at home with fresh or frozen fruits (ideally spiked with veggies) and avoid sorbet and fruit juice.
  • If a sweeter taste is needed, rely on banana, yogurt, or the natural juice in fruits like orange, pineapple, or peach.

4. Hummus

I cringe a bit as I add this one to the list, as hummus is not only delicious but packs in protein, heart-healthy fats, and dietary fiber.

But there’s such a thing as too much of a good thing.

  • Two tablespoons of hummus ranges from 50 to 80 calories in most commercial brands, and since most of us go back for multiple dips, it’s easy to down a 500+ calorie snack when you factor in hummus plus pita chips.

5. Dried Fruit

As was recently highlighted on GYFT, dried fruits are often packed with added sugars and various unpronounceable ingredients.

  • And like hummus, they lure the eater into a false I’m-being-good-so-I-can-eat-as-much- as-I-want sense of security.