Video: 7 “Healthy” Foods – That Really Aren’t

Surely we all know by now that the Food Industry has only one thing top of mind – and that’s to make money. So they do a great job of making factory-made items appear that they’re good for us when in fact they’re highly processed. Here are just a few items that are touted as “healthy foods” that, when you take a look at the ingredients, you’ll see really aren’t!

For a video version of this content scroll to the bottom.

1) Store Bought Granola Bars 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

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These cereal bars have a picture of strawberries on the front, but the only thing “strawberry” about them is natural and artificial strawberry “flavoring.” The bars actually contain dried pieces of cranberries disguised as strawberries, and that’s fairly misleading if you ask me. These bars also contain their fair share of refined grains, corn syrup, and partially hydrogenated oil (aka trans fat) – no, thank you!

Instead: Make your own or look for store bought Lara Bars, Kit’s Organic Bars, or Raw Crunch Bars (use our “100days” code for 20% off Raw Crunch)

2) Flavored Yogurt Tubes Healthy Foods That Really Aren't from 100 Days of #RealFoodBack in the day when I bought these for the first time (thanks to a coupon, of course) my husband said, “Why, are you buying this junk food?” I replied, “Junk food? How is yogurt junk food?” But as it turns out these are really just sugary yogurt pops filled with juice and some additives I would not cook with at home (including carrageenan). There’s certainly no whole fruit – like what’s pictured on the front – to be found.

Instead: Make your own by blending together plain yogurt with real fruit (and even greens if you’d like) to make smoothies that you store in the freezer in these reusable smoothie/yogurt pop molds. Little Green Pouches (use coupon code 100DAYS20OFF to save 20%!) and Zipzicles are other good options as well.

3) Organic (Sweetened) Tea Healthy Foods That Really Aren't from 100 Days of #RealFoodThere’s nothing wrong with just plain tea, but there is something wrong with 4 1/2 teaspoons of refined sugar in just one bottle when the maximum daily allowance of sugar is 6 teaspoons for women and 3 for children (just for comparison sake).

Instead: Buy unsweetened organic iced tea and sweeten it yourself with half the amount of sugar (or honey!) instead.

4) Flavored Oatmeal Packets Healthy Foods That Really Aren't from 100 Days of #RealFoodThis is not the first time I’ve picked on these Quaker Instant Oatmeal packets. I just hate how they take a perfectly good 1-ingredient whole food (oats!) and muck it up with fake strawberries (which are really dried apple pieces doused in artificial strawberry flavoring and dye) and a bunch of other questionable additives you would never cook with at home, including partially hydrogenated oil (aka trans fat).

Instead: Buy plain rolled oats and make your own oatmeal in minutes with fresh, wholesome ingredients in minutes! Here’s our favorite hot oatmeal recipe and also our favorite (cold) overnight oats recipe as well.

5) Slim Fast Shake Mix Healthy Foods That Really Aren't from 100 Days of #RealFoodThis has probably helped some people out there lose weight, but I doubt it’s helped make them any “healthier.” The first ingredient (and what it contains the most of) is sugar – the same ingredient that Mark Bittman says is “probably the most dangerous part of our current diet.” (!!) And I pretty much would never cook with any of the rest of the highly processed additives they put into this powder – including two different artificial sweeteners (acesulfame potassium and aspartame).

Instead: You can lose weight (or maintain a healthy weight) without yucky-tasting diet powders and the trick (in addition to eating real food) is portion control. Long story short – Eat a variety of whole foods (including plenty of vegetables) and stop eating when you feel full!

6) 100 Calorie Packs Healthy Foods That Really Aren't from 100 Days of #RealFoodThis is another item that gives the impression of helping with weight loss – it’s too bad all calories are NOT created equal! This is basically a box of (mostly) refined grains and even includes something called “corn syrup solids” in addition to artificial colors and MSG. Still sound appetizing?

Instead: Eat a whole food snack like roasted nuts or 100% whole grain pretzels or crackers.

7) Powerade Healthy Foods That Really Aren't from 100 Days of #RealFoodThis drink is boasts a combination of water, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial dye. Why do people have the impression these highly processed additives are part of what you need to rehydrate after a workout?

Instead: Drink water! Unless you are a marathoner water will likely do the trick. If you are worried about getting electrolytes look into coconut water or make your own homemade gatorade. Smoothies (made from whole foods) are another great post-workout drink as well – along with that water of course.

News Video: 7 “Healthy” Foods – That Really Aren’t

I also shared this line-up on our local Charlotte Today show yesterday for those who’d prefer to see it in video form. Random Note: I accidentally said “harder said than done,” but hopefully it’s obvious I meant to say “easier said than done!” Oh the joys of live TV :)

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33 thoughts on “Video: 7 “Healthy” Foods – That Really Aren’t”

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  1. It’s about time. Been on this mission for over 6 months and the results are amazing. Cutting out processed foods is a process in itself. If we just read he ingredient’s we shall see the food offered in the regular supermarket isles is a sham. Beware, it’s a difficult course to maneuver but oh soo necessary if you want your health back. Stay strong Lisa and know your not alone. Thank you.

  2. I eat clean and try not to purchase foods with more than 5 ingredients and definitely not ingredients that I can’t pronounce. I prefer fruit to most sweets most of the time. I buy the 100 calorie packs of Chessmen cookies. those are the only cookies I miss. So when I am feeling like a really, really, really want to eat cookies (rare) I grab a 100 calorie pack and it satisfies my sweets craving.
    I think where the 100 calorie packs are misleading is that most people think these are a diet food. and that eating those instead of the regular item is somehow a healthy option. they are designed so that if you want a “cheat treat” you can have one that doesn’t make you feel crappy about yourself after you eat it.

  3. My son brought home the package of product called Rips Slush that he purchased at school. It says 100% juice on the front, but then on the bottom it say “flavored 100% juice” and on the back it says “contains 100% juice”. Needless to say, there are ingredients other than juice in there. ugh.

  4. Divide the sugar content in grams by 4 to get number of teaspoons. For example the sugar content of the Honest Tea is 9 grams. 9 divided by 4 is 2.25. Don’t forget that this is listed PER SERVING. There are two servings in the bottle. That’s 4 1/2 g of sugar. And they say that it’s just a “tad” sweet. Holy smokes. That’s almost all of your allotted sugar for the day.

  5. Is the 100days discount code no longer valid? I just saw this post and was hoping to order some because they sounded so great, but I’m receiving an error message when I input the code. Thanks!

  6. My family and I love granola bars but we dont “love” the ingredients in most of them. Per your suggestion, I ordered the Raw Crunch Bars variety pack so that we could sample the product. They are amazing! I will definitely be ordering multiple boxes to have on hand and since we can get 20% percent off with the 100 Days discount code it just makes them even better :) Thanks!

  7. Such a great article / video. Can you please state the full name of the yogurt tubes again the close captioning had to be wrong, or point me in the direction to find the links. Thank you!?

  8. Hello
    That’s Victoria, with Epicurex LLC.
    We produce and sell COCOZIA 100% organic coconut water.
    We are USDA Organic Certified, Gluten Free, non-GMO and Kosher.

    Could you, please, post it?

  9. there’s something about those yogurt tubes though…my son loves them and no smoothie will replace them. I just started buying Siggi’s brand – very few ingredients and probably half the sugar of that in stoneyfield tubes. Siggis is a little more tart, but my boys like regular yogurt with honey so they suffice. The box doesn’t go as fast as the stoneyfield box went though. But he’s forgetting about the sweeter ones, slowly :)

  10. You know I read what you had said about flubbing and then never even heard it as I watched the video. You did great! My husband has a PR company and he would have been proud!

  11. Awesome job Lisa. Live TV is hard you did a great job. I shared this with the daycare mommy’s about the go-gurts. It’s a battle for me, very unhealthy eaters at daycare. The kids bully my daughter because her food looks different. Thanks for all that you do.

  12. We try to keep coconut water or your homemade pedialyte recipe on hand in our house. Here in New Mexico (especially in the dry/hot months of June/early July) you basically exist in a state of dehydration. You can drink water all day, but when the temperatures are over 105 degrees and there’s no humidity, you start to lose fluid. Unfortunately, humans lose fluid (sweat) at a much higher rate than we can absorb it, so it’s important for us to make sure we have a little extra electrolyte help any time we may have to spend more than a few minutes outside.

  13. I was going to buy one if those “good for you” kids cereals in the “health food” section in the grocery store. I read the label and it had more refined sugar than Fruit Loops!!!! Needless to say I didn’t buy it!
    My son plays baseball and all the kids chug those super size super gross sports drinks. I have been putting a mix of grape juice, water and honey in his water bottle and he hasn’t complained at all. I did explain to him why the sports drinks aren’t good for him as I feel it is important for him to understand why we choose the foods/drinks that we choose.

  14. Another good recovery drink that can be made as a real food: chocolate milk. It has been shown to be great for recovery. After a half marathon I ran in October, I first guzzled down water and then a chocolate milk and felt great.

      1. Because after expending so many calories, most bodies needs quick, easily accessible energy to avoid collapse and begin recovery.

      2. That’s interesting. I’ve noticed a chocolate milk booth at different 5k events and thought it was odd. Now I know :)

  15. It makes me wildly depressed when I hear friends and family say that they are selecting one of the above foods or other food posers because they’re “healthy”! UGH! NOO!!!

  16. Crazy to think that I used to drink slim fast shakes for breakfast (for the convenience, not so much to lose weight)…and it’s so incredibly easy to make my own chocolate smoothies with just a few simple ingredients! And the sports drinks drive me crazy!!! I hate it when I see kids drinking them…makes me cringe. :( Thanks for all the great work you do to spread the word to people like me!! :) So happy I’ve learned so much over the past 18 months.

  17. I can’t believe that anyone ever thought any of those processed, prepackaged items were ever worth eating ….. it is so easy to read the label!

  18. I used to think the quaker packs were a necessity for camping, but you can make your own packets ahead of time. Just put individual servings of oats in little bags with whatever you want to add. I like cinnamon & brown sugar.

  19. Thanks for the tips, Lisa! My family and I are trying to eat better but it’s so difficult in the busy world we live in today. It’s websites like yours that inspire me to keep feeding my family whole and nutritious foods and not “junk”. I do have a quick question. I want to make my own buckwheat flour but all I have is roasted buckwheat. Will that change the flavor too much to use in your buckwheat flour cookie recipe? Thanks!!