From going gluten-free to veganism and dairy-free dieting, there seems to be a new It food as often as there's a new It bag. With so many cooks in the kitchen saying what we should or shouldn't eat to feel our best, it's pretty hard to keep up, let alone sort fact from personal preference. In this article from Business Insider, registered dietitian Andy Bellatti helps us navigate the virtual grocery aisle by identifying the so-called "healthy" foods we should actually avoid, or at least not take so seriously.
Coconut Water and Fruit Juice
While coconut water isn't bad for your per se, it's definitely not as healthy as many think. If you're drinking a reliable brand of coconut water or straight from the coconut, it's a great source of potassium. But it can also be dehydrating, so you shouldn't treat it as a replacement for water. Similarly, fruit juice is a great source of vitamins and minerals, but it's also high in sugar. Bellatti notes that juice cleanses can lead to hunger pangs and mood swings. It's all about moderation.
Granola and Agave Nectar
Agave nectar has gotten a lot of hype as the healthier version of maple syrup and sugar, especially as an addition to your morning granola, oatmeal, or yogurt. Bellatti explains that even though it has a low-glycemic index, and therefore won't cause erratic spikes in blood sugar levels, it isn't exactly healthy because it does have fructose. And while we've got granola on the mind, Bellatti also reminds us that it isn't necessarily a healthy breakfast option if it's high in sugar. In his words, "sugar is sugar is sugar."
Almond Butter and Almond Milk
Ah, almonds, the holy grail of nuts. Many people think that almond butter is lower in fat than peanut butter, but it's also a lot more expensive. Bellatti explains that peanut butter is just as good for you if the only ingredients are peanuts and salt. The same goes for almond milk's inflated reputation. Though it's a great alternative if you are lactose intolerant, it's not exactly high in protein. In fact, a normal serving is roughly 2% almonds, and the rest is comprised of additives.
Are you surprised by any of these finds? Shop the book below for more on healthy foods, and then share your thoughts in the comment section below.