Like a lot of people, we try to eat somewhat healthy in-between going to happy hour and ordering Seamless too many nights in a row. While we know things like broccoli, leafy greens, berries, and whole grains are good for us, what about the different foods that pop up that claim to be the next organic thing we didn't know we needed in our lives?
Forget the clever advertising, the Instagram-friendly foods, and nutritional claims plastered all over, let's take a look at a handful of foods that are often synonymous with healthy eating but actually aren't all that great for us.
1. Gluten-free pasta.
People often thinking eating gluten free means eating healthy, but unless you're part of the one percent of the population that has a medical condition that requires avoiding gluten, this actually isn't true. Manufacturers of gluten-free pasta, pretzels, and other gluten-free snacks often swap out gluten with things that aren't all that great for us, like fat and flours with limited nutrients. If you really want to cut down on how much gluten you're consuming, try swapping out your refined carbs with whole grains and vegetable sources of carbohydrates.
2. Energy bars.
It's so easy to grab an energy bar on the way out the door in the morning and think that even if you didn't spend any time on breakfast, you at least grabbed something somewhat healthy to tide you over until lunch. While energy bars contain a decent amount of protein content, they're often filled with sugar, trans fat, high-fructose corn syrup and artificial sweeteners. Skip the added junk and try making your own energy bars at home where ingredients like dry oatmeal, coconut flakes, peanut butter, acai seeds, and semi-sweet chocolate chips are all you need to create a little bar of energy on your own.
3. Egg white-only anything.
If you're going to eat an egg, you might as well go all the way and eat the entire thing. Egg yolks contain not only half the egg's protein but choline (an essential nutrient), and a ton of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) as well. When you opt for the "healthy" breakfast choice, like an egg-white omelet, you're actually missing out on a ton of health benefits you'd otherwise get if you just ignored the health fad.