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15 Packaged 'Health Foods' That Are Making You Fat

15 Packaged 'Health Foods' That Are Making You Fat


You are being lied to… kind of

Although not all the foods on this list are terrible or should be ignored completely, many of them are deceivingly unhealthy

Taking a stroll down the cereal, freezer, or chip aisle at your local supermarket, it’s impossible not to notice the trend towards “healthier” offerings. Companies will use light, earth-tone packaging adorned with ambiguous terms like “simple,” “natural,” “humanely raised,” or “non-GMO,” and maybe throw in a picture of a handsome, gray-haired, weather-worn farmer with a sheepish smile. The goliaths of the packaged food industry are using the same tactics they’ve used in the past in order to create an illusion of what healthy food looks like, sounds like, and tastes like, all while avoiding what healthy food actually is — unprocessed, wholesome, and nutritionally balanced.

Click here to view the 15 Packaged 'Health Foods' That Are Making You Fat Slideshow

Although not all the foods on this list are terrible or should be ignored completely, many of them are deceivingly unhealthy, and because of the way they are branded, they mislead customers into thinking that they can eat these foods thoughtlessly. But couscous, blue-corn tortilla chips, and bottled smoothies are nutritionally very similar pasta, potato chips, and fruit juice.

Whether or not these 15 packaged “health foods” will really make you fat depends on the quantity you eat, but the takeaway here is to be skeptical of packaging, marketing, and advertising, and to always read the nutrition and ingredient labels.

Here are 15 packaged “health foods” that are making you fat.


20 Sneaky Foods Making You Gain Weight, According to a Dietitian

That "healthy" yogurt parfait contains an entire day's worth of sugar.

No single food in isolation of everything else you eat is going to make you gain (or lose!) weight. But often, the same barrier stumps so many people when it comes to weight loss and healthier eating: sneaky sources of added sugar or saturated fat lurking throughout the pantry, fridge, or freezer.

Many times these foods are marketed as healthier options, leading you to buy them for their purported benefits &mdash but actually, you might&rsquove been much more satisfied if you&rsquod chosen the real thing instead. Other times, they&rsquore foods that have replaced the calories coming from one type of nutrient with another. For example, keto snacks swap sugar for high-fat coconut oil or butter low-fat foods swap fat for added sugar. Read labels carefully &mdash especially anything with a "free," "low," or "less" claim &mdash to make sure you&rsquore making a choice that works best for you.

My best tip: Prioritize real, wholesome foods in their closest-to-intended state as often as possible. (The only ingredient in your peanut butter should be peanuts!) The fewer the ingredients, generally the better it is for you. This helps you get super picky about what you&rsquore really in the mood to eat, while helping you determine what choices will maximize your enjoyment and minimize self-sabotage.

Editor's note: weight loss, health and body image are complex subjects &mdash before deciding to go on a diet, we invite you gain a broader perspective by reading our exploration into the hazards of diet culture.


20 Sneaky Foods Making You Gain Weight, According to a Dietitian

That "healthy" yogurt parfait contains an entire day's worth of sugar.

No single food in isolation of everything else you eat is going to make you gain (or lose!) weight. But often, the same barrier stumps so many people when it comes to weight loss and healthier eating: sneaky sources of added sugar or saturated fat lurking throughout the pantry, fridge, or freezer.

Many times these foods are marketed as healthier options, leading you to buy them for their purported benefits &mdash but actually, you might&rsquove been much more satisfied if you&rsquod chosen the real thing instead. Other times, they&rsquore foods that have replaced the calories coming from one type of nutrient with another. For example, keto snacks swap sugar for high-fat coconut oil or butter low-fat foods swap fat for added sugar. Read labels carefully &mdash especially anything with a "free," "low," or "less" claim &mdash to make sure you&rsquore making a choice that works best for you.

My best tip: Prioritize real, wholesome foods in their closest-to-intended state as often as possible. (The only ingredient in your peanut butter should be peanuts!) The fewer the ingredients, generally the better it is for you. This helps you get super picky about what you&rsquore really in the mood to eat, while helping you determine what choices will maximize your enjoyment and minimize self-sabotage.

Editor's note: weight loss, health and body image are complex subjects &mdash before deciding to go on a diet, we invite you gain a broader perspective by reading our exploration into the hazards of diet culture.


20 Sneaky Foods Making You Gain Weight, According to a Dietitian

That "healthy" yogurt parfait contains an entire day's worth of sugar.

No single food in isolation of everything else you eat is going to make you gain (or lose!) weight. But often, the same barrier stumps so many people when it comes to weight loss and healthier eating: sneaky sources of added sugar or saturated fat lurking throughout the pantry, fridge, or freezer.

Many times these foods are marketed as healthier options, leading you to buy them for their purported benefits &mdash but actually, you might&rsquove been much more satisfied if you&rsquod chosen the real thing instead. Other times, they&rsquore foods that have replaced the calories coming from one type of nutrient with another. For example, keto snacks swap sugar for high-fat coconut oil or butter low-fat foods swap fat for added sugar. Read labels carefully &mdash especially anything with a "free," "low," or "less" claim &mdash to make sure you&rsquore making a choice that works best for you.

My best tip: Prioritize real, wholesome foods in their closest-to-intended state as often as possible. (The only ingredient in your peanut butter should be peanuts!) The fewer the ingredients, generally the better it is for you. This helps you get super picky about what you&rsquore really in the mood to eat, while helping you determine what choices will maximize your enjoyment and minimize self-sabotage.

Editor's note: weight loss, health and body image are complex subjects &mdash before deciding to go on a diet, we invite you gain a broader perspective by reading our exploration into the hazards of diet culture.


20 Sneaky Foods Making You Gain Weight, According to a Dietitian

That "healthy" yogurt parfait contains an entire day's worth of sugar.

No single food in isolation of everything else you eat is going to make you gain (or lose!) weight. But often, the same barrier stumps so many people when it comes to weight loss and healthier eating: sneaky sources of added sugar or saturated fat lurking throughout the pantry, fridge, or freezer.

Many times these foods are marketed as healthier options, leading you to buy them for their purported benefits &mdash but actually, you might&rsquove been much more satisfied if you&rsquod chosen the real thing instead. Other times, they&rsquore foods that have replaced the calories coming from one type of nutrient with another. For example, keto snacks swap sugar for high-fat coconut oil or butter low-fat foods swap fat for added sugar. Read labels carefully &mdash especially anything with a "free," "low," or "less" claim &mdash to make sure you&rsquore making a choice that works best for you.

My best tip: Prioritize real, wholesome foods in their closest-to-intended state as often as possible. (The only ingredient in your peanut butter should be peanuts!) The fewer the ingredients, generally the better it is for you. This helps you get super picky about what you&rsquore really in the mood to eat, while helping you determine what choices will maximize your enjoyment and minimize self-sabotage.

Editor's note: weight loss, health and body image are complex subjects &mdash before deciding to go on a diet, we invite you gain a broader perspective by reading our exploration into the hazards of diet culture.


20 Sneaky Foods Making You Gain Weight, According to a Dietitian

That "healthy" yogurt parfait contains an entire day's worth of sugar.

No single food in isolation of everything else you eat is going to make you gain (or lose!) weight. But often, the same barrier stumps so many people when it comes to weight loss and healthier eating: sneaky sources of added sugar or saturated fat lurking throughout the pantry, fridge, or freezer.

Many times these foods are marketed as healthier options, leading you to buy them for their purported benefits &mdash but actually, you might&rsquove been much more satisfied if you&rsquod chosen the real thing instead. Other times, they&rsquore foods that have replaced the calories coming from one type of nutrient with another. For example, keto snacks swap sugar for high-fat coconut oil or butter low-fat foods swap fat for added sugar. Read labels carefully &mdash especially anything with a "free," "low," or "less" claim &mdash to make sure you&rsquore making a choice that works best for you.

My best tip: Prioritize real, wholesome foods in their closest-to-intended state as often as possible. (The only ingredient in your peanut butter should be peanuts!) The fewer the ingredients, generally the better it is for you. This helps you get super picky about what you&rsquore really in the mood to eat, while helping you determine what choices will maximize your enjoyment and minimize self-sabotage.

Editor's note: weight loss, health and body image are complex subjects &mdash before deciding to go on a diet, we invite you gain a broader perspective by reading our exploration into the hazards of diet culture.


20 Sneaky Foods Making You Gain Weight, According to a Dietitian

That "healthy" yogurt parfait contains an entire day's worth of sugar.

No single food in isolation of everything else you eat is going to make you gain (or lose!) weight. But often, the same barrier stumps so many people when it comes to weight loss and healthier eating: sneaky sources of added sugar or saturated fat lurking throughout the pantry, fridge, or freezer.

Many times these foods are marketed as healthier options, leading you to buy them for their purported benefits &mdash but actually, you might&rsquove been much more satisfied if you&rsquod chosen the real thing instead. Other times, they&rsquore foods that have replaced the calories coming from one type of nutrient with another. For example, keto snacks swap sugar for high-fat coconut oil or butter low-fat foods swap fat for added sugar. Read labels carefully &mdash especially anything with a "free," "low," or "less" claim &mdash to make sure you&rsquore making a choice that works best for you.

My best tip: Prioritize real, wholesome foods in their closest-to-intended state as often as possible. (The only ingredient in your peanut butter should be peanuts!) The fewer the ingredients, generally the better it is for you. This helps you get super picky about what you&rsquore really in the mood to eat, while helping you determine what choices will maximize your enjoyment and minimize self-sabotage.

Editor's note: weight loss, health and body image are complex subjects &mdash before deciding to go on a diet, we invite you gain a broader perspective by reading our exploration into the hazards of diet culture.


20 Sneaky Foods Making You Gain Weight, According to a Dietitian

That "healthy" yogurt parfait contains an entire day's worth of sugar.

No single food in isolation of everything else you eat is going to make you gain (or lose!) weight. But often, the same barrier stumps so many people when it comes to weight loss and healthier eating: sneaky sources of added sugar or saturated fat lurking throughout the pantry, fridge, or freezer.

Many times these foods are marketed as healthier options, leading you to buy them for their purported benefits &mdash but actually, you might&rsquove been much more satisfied if you&rsquod chosen the real thing instead. Other times, they&rsquore foods that have replaced the calories coming from one type of nutrient with another. For example, keto snacks swap sugar for high-fat coconut oil or butter low-fat foods swap fat for added sugar. Read labels carefully &mdash especially anything with a "free," "low," or "less" claim &mdash to make sure you&rsquore making a choice that works best for you.

My best tip: Prioritize real, wholesome foods in their closest-to-intended state as often as possible. (The only ingredient in your peanut butter should be peanuts!) The fewer the ingredients, generally the better it is for you. This helps you get super picky about what you&rsquore really in the mood to eat, while helping you determine what choices will maximize your enjoyment and minimize self-sabotage.

Editor's note: weight loss, health and body image are complex subjects &mdash before deciding to go on a diet, we invite you gain a broader perspective by reading our exploration into the hazards of diet culture.


20 Sneaky Foods Making You Gain Weight, According to a Dietitian

That "healthy" yogurt parfait contains an entire day's worth of sugar.

No single food in isolation of everything else you eat is going to make you gain (or lose!) weight. But often, the same barrier stumps so many people when it comes to weight loss and healthier eating: sneaky sources of added sugar or saturated fat lurking throughout the pantry, fridge, or freezer.

Many times these foods are marketed as healthier options, leading you to buy them for their purported benefits &mdash but actually, you might&rsquove been much more satisfied if you&rsquod chosen the real thing instead. Other times, they&rsquore foods that have replaced the calories coming from one type of nutrient with another. For example, keto snacks swap sugar for high-fat coconut oil or butter low-fat foods swap fat for added sugar. Read labels carefully &mdash especially anything with a "free," "low," or "less" claim &mdash to make sure you&rsquore making a choice that works best for you.

My best tip: Prioritize real, wholesome foods in their closest-to-intended state as often as possible. (The only ingredient in your peanut butter should be peanuts!) The fewer the ingredients, generally the better it is for you. This helps you get super picky about what you&rsquore really in the mood to eat, while helping you determine what choices will maximize your enjoyment and minimize self-sabotage.

Editor's note: weight loss, health and body image are complex subjects &mdash before deciding to go on a diet, we invite you gain a broader perspective by reading our exploration into the hazards of diet culture.


20 Sneaky Foods Making You Gain Weight, According to a Dietitian

That "healthy" yogurt parfait contains an entire day's worth of sugar.

No single food in isolation of everything else you eat is going to make you gain (or lose!) weight. But often, the same barrier stumps so many people when it comes to weight loss and healthier eating: sneaky sources of added sugar or saturated fat lurking throughout the pantry, fridge, or freezer.

Many times these foods are marketed as healthier options, leading you to buy them for their purported benefits &mdash but actually, you might&rsquove been much more satisfied if you&rsquod chosen the real thing instead. Other times, they&rsquore foods that have replaced the calories coming from one type of nutrient with another. For example, keto snacks swap sugar for high-fat coconut oil or butter low-fat foods swap fat for added sugar. Read labels carefully &mdash especially anything with a "free," "low," or "less" claim &mdash to make sure you&rsquore making a choice that works best for you.

My best tip: Prioritize real, wholesome foods in their closest-to-intended state as often as possible. (The only ingredient in your peanut butter should be peanuts!) The fewer the ingredients, generally the better it is for you. This helps you get super picky about what you&rsquore really in the mood to eat, while helping you determine what choices will maximize your enjoyment and minimize self-sabotage.

Editor's note: weight loss, health and body image are complex subjects &mdash before deciding to go on a diet, we invite you gain a broader perspective by reading our exploration into the hazards of diet culture.


20 Sneaky Foods Making You Gain Weight, According to a Dietitian

That "healthy" yogurt parfait contains an entire day's worth of sugar.

No single food in isolation of everything else you eat is going to make you gain (or lose!) weight. But often, the same barrier stumps so many people when it comes to weight loss and healthier eating: sneaky sources of added sugar or saturated fat lurking throughout the pantry, fridge, or freezer.

Many times these foods are marketed as healthier options, leading you to buy them for their purported benefits &mdash but actually, you might&rsquove been much more satisfied if you&rsquod chosen the real thing instead. Other times, they&rsquore foods that have replaced the calories coming from one type of nutrient with another. For example, keto snacks swap sugar for high-fat coconut oil or butter low-fat foods swap fat for added sugar. Read labels carefully &mdash especially anything with a "free," "low," or "less" claim &mdash to make sure you&rsquore making a choice that works best for you.

My best tip: Prioritize real, wholesome foods in their closest-to-intended state as often as possible. (The only ingredient in your peanut butter should be peanuts!) The fewer the ingredients, generally the better it is for you. This helps you get super picky about what you&rsquore really in the mood to eat, while helping you determine what choices will maximize your enjoyment and minimize self-sabotage.

Editor's note: weight loss, health and body image are complex subjects &mdash before deciding to go on a diet, we invite you gain a broader perspective by reading our exploration into the hazards of diet culture.