9 Unhealthy Foods That You Mistakenly Think Are Good for You | 22 Words

Late last year, new evidence came out fingering sugar as the main culprit behind heart disease. Turns out, it wasn't dietary fat that was leading to high rate of heart attacks. Just like that, sugar was out, and fat, the holy grail of every adherent to the paleo diet, was once more firmly in.

These days, it's difficult to determine what food is healthy for you, and what's not. Food that was once bad is good, and vice versa.

While this certainly isn't a complete guide, here are a few foods that are often mistaken as healthy to get you started.

1. Anything labeled "fat free"

Fat free is good right? Presumably, they've extracted all that harmful fat leaving you with only airy goodness that'll have negligible effect on your fat cells.


So wrong! You've heard of Newton's Third Law. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Well, that applies to food too. See, whenever you read the words "fat free," just think tons and tons of sugar.

In order to strip fat from a food while maintaining tastiness levels, companies often add up to six times the amount of sugar they would on a food's full fat version. Just goes to show, there's no fooling nature.

2. Reduced sugar or no sugar added (i.e., artificial sweeteners)

There's always a catch. That's basically a law when it comes to these gimmicky-type foods. In the case of reduced sugar and no-sugar-added foods, this catch comes in the form of artificial sweeteners.


Artificial sweeteners mess you up in multiple and sinister ways. The first is, they're so much sweeter than regular sugar, they make your actual sugar tolerance high. That's not all they do, however.


Artificial sweeteners, according to the very smart people at Harvard Medical School, "prevent us from associating sweetness with caloric intake. As a result, we may crave more sweets, tend to choose sweet food over nutritious food, and gain weight." So basically, they make you gain tons of weight.  Definitely not healthy.

3. Fancy fruit juices and smoothies

We're definitely side-eying you, Naked Juice. You know how there's all those fancy raw vegan juice smoothies made from a 100% juice in the health aisle? Turns out, they're super bad for you.


Regular fruits have fiber, which means that you have to work through them to get to the sweet parts, and you fill up super fast in the process. All those juices and smoothies don't.

The fiber's been taken away, which means you're pretty much ingesting pure sugar without the benefit of roughage to slow you down. Next time, stick to real, actual fruits. They're much better for you than a fancily-packaged smoothie anyway.

4. Granola bars

Riddle us this. How many times have you walked to a health food store and been confused between the granola aisle and the candy section?


Between all those thin mint and peanut butter accentuated granola bars and all those luxurious chocolate-covered bars it's easy to see why granola can be super unhealthy for you. When in doubt, if it reads like a candy bar, it probably is a candy bar.

5. Breakfast cereal

Most breakfast cereal is candy, okay, candy! Don't believe us, read the back most common cereal labels and compare them to a Twix bar. If they don't seem that different, that's cause they're not.


Don't get us wrong, there are lots of healthy cereal options, but if it reads like a candy bar (*ahem* Reeses puffs cereal *ahem*) it probably is a candy bar.

6. Veggie straws

You're healthy, right? You turn your nose up at BBQ chips and flinch at the mere mention of Cheetos. You're a discerning and healthy eater. At least, that's what you think.


Look at the back of the veggie straws nutrition label. The first thing you'll see is veggie straws, with the caveat of potato flour and potato starch in parentheses. Veggie straws don't actually have veggies in them, unless you count the spinach powder and tomato paste. They're basically chips.

7. Craisins and dried cranberries

Have you ever eaten a cranberry out in nature? They're super tart with a punch that'll make your mouth pucker. Ever wonder why then, dried cranberries are so sweet?


Take a look at the back of the package and you'll see an innocuous little ingredient called evaporated cane juice. Another word for "evaporated cane juice" is sugar. You're welcome.

8. Flavored water and other iffy beverages

Here's the thing – water is water. It doesn't need additions, it doesn't need any enhancers, H2O is perfect on it's own. Which is why you should be suspicious of any beverage that markets itself as a superior alternative to water.

9. Coconut water

We all love coconut water, it's naturally hydrating and comes from far off exotic places like Miami, where we can imagine being on vacation all day.


But while there are many good coconut waters, some are not so good for you, and some are downright sinister. If your coconut water has any sugar at all added, run for the hills. You're better off drinking straight from the fruit instead.