Healthy Foods That Aren’t, Part 2

Granola Bars

Granola couldn’t very well make the Part 1 list without granola bars making it in as well.  The reasons are still the same: we’re talking about grains coated with sugar.  Only now we’re using more sugar (and maybe some fat) to gum the grains together into bar form.  Sprinkle in some chocolate chips, and we’re in business!  The business of making people fat anyway.  Even the “healthier” versions of granola bars are still way too high in carbohydrates and sugar to be a physique friendly option.

Nature valley oats n honey

So tasty though!

Sports Drinks

Gatorade

Gatorade (supposedly) was developed for the first time at the University of Florida to help re-hydrate Gator athletes during prolonged competition in the intense Florida heat.  The beverage, made of water, sodium, sugar, potassium, phosphate and lemon juice replaced the water, electrolytes, and carbohydrates expended by the athletes.  Lo and behold, performance improved!  Since that time, tons of research has been done on this type of beverage and athletic performance.  The research is very positive: the stuff improves performance.  For high level athletes.  In endurance sports.  During prolonged, competitive exertion periods.  That 100% does not mean that it will help you get a beach body.  At all.  The sugar content in these things (and I include Powerade, Vitamin Water, and the rest) is on par with sodas.  So, if you’re running a marathon for time – drink them.  If you’re training for general health and physique goals, stay far away.

Flavored Yogurt

gogurt

Toxic waste?

Yogurt = good.  Greek yogurt = great.  Flavored yogurt = sugar bomb.  Seriously, a single serve size of Dannon Fruit-on-the-Bottom contains a whopping 25g of sugar (and I’m not just picking on Dannon).  Stick to plain, unflavored yogurt (not Vanilla – that still has added sugar) and flavor it yourself with fruit (particularly berries) and something like stevia or xylitol.

Protein Bars / Energy Bars

Protein bar marketing has to be up there on the list of “shadiest marketing practices”.  These things claim all sorts of benefits to the aspiring athlete or physique conscious individual: muscle building, fat loss, more energy, whatever you like.  Unfortunately, I have yet to see a protein bar on the market that was even in the vicinity of healthy.  Most are very high in carbohydrates – often higher in carbs than protein (I thought this was a protein bar).  Arguably worse, many use the sketchy “net carbs” figure to make it sound like they are actually low carb.  “Net carbs” doesn’t count sugar alcohols, because they don’t affect blood sugar like regular sugars.  They still aren’t good, and may even have side effects that sugar doesn’t.

powerbar protein bar

There you have it.  4 more physique-wrecking foods masquerading as heath food.