Supermarket Suspects: Healthy Foods that Don’t Deliver

So we’ve talked about granola, crackers and juice as being less healthy than they’re touted to be. But are there any more suspects lurking on the supermarket shelves? Of course there are! My top contenders (plus healthier switch-outs) below:

Veggie Wraps:

Standing in the cafeteria line at work waiting for my sandwich, I’d always look longingly at the puffy white focaccia and then say, with a resigned sigh, ‘spinach wrap, please.’ Little did I know that I might as well have gone with the focaccia. Wraps/Tortillas are some of the most misleading products around, as I discovered when I was looking for healthier options to pimp out Naaz’s grocery list. Many whole wheat options are not made with very much whole wheat, and worse yet, that spinach or tomato wrap is often coloured with scary dyes instead of actual spinach or tomato, so not only are you not getting the benefits of the veggie, but you’re actually ingesting more chemicals through the colour. 


Instead, choose corn tortillas (real corn ones, not ones that are called corn tortillas but actually have white flour as the second ingredient.) Or go for a 100% whole wheat version that is high in fibre and has a relatively simple ingredient list.


Light Peanut Butter:

This one is a tricky one. Peanut butter is so high in fat; it only makes sense to go for the light option, right? Actually, wrong. Real, natural peanut butter is made up of just peanuts. Light peanut butter often replaces some of the fat with oils, salts and starch, so it’s much better to go with the full-fat version.


If you, like me, dread the inevitable mixing-up every time you want to use natural peanut butter, just stick it in the microwave for a few seconds and it becomes instantly spreadable. 


Veggie Chips

I know – these look so enticing with their gourmet-looking matte packaging and vivid colours. Few people think these are actually healthy, but you may not realize that they are often fried, which makes them only marginally better than regular potato chips. A better option would be to stick to baked potato chips which may be slightly lower in nutrients, but are also much lower in saturated fat. That way you realize it’s a treat instead of fooling yourself into thinking you are eating something healthy. 

What are your top contenders for foods that don’t live up to their healthy-sounding exteriors?

photo credit: tantek via photopin cc




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