We’ve all been there, and we’ve all definitely done that. How many burrito bowls did it take before you realized that, maybe, just maybe, this might be doing your waistline more of a disservice than you previously thought? With so many menu options, diet fads and buzzwords out there, it’s easy to fall into the “health food” trap. But we’ll let you in on a little secret. Sometimes those can even lead to misunderstandings regarding what’s good for you and what isn’t. That’s why we’ve assembled this list of the top five “health” foods that could be fooling you.
As one of those buzzworthy superfood words, you know that if something has açaí in it that it must be healthy. We’re sorry to say, but that’s not entirely true. Take the açaí bowl, for instance. This currently trendy dish is all the rave with health fanatics and the base of it is inherently healthy. Where you can get into trouble is with all those delicious toppings. Cocoa nibs, banana, coconut and more are all high in sugar content. It’s natural sugar, sure, but the body processes it all the same. Next time you’re jonesing for an acai bowl, opt for one of the lower fat/lower sugar content toppings instead.
If it has the word salad in it, it’s healthy, right? We wish so desperately for this to be true. As much as we’d love it if every lettuce-based dish piled high with cheese, bacon and egg was healthy, we’re sorry to inform you that just isn’t the case. The Cobb salad has notoriously been fooling people into thinking it’s healthy for years but the jig is up. In fact, the average Cobb salad will run you about 1000 calories with the dressing. To put that in perspective, the caloric content is darn close to that of a triple Whopper from Burger King. We’ll pass.
Grilled Chicken Wrap
We bet this one really throws you for a loop. So you found a lunch that’s un-fried white meat paired with veggies. Congratulations! Don’t get too excited, though. Depending on sauce and the wrap’s other ingredients, you might be better off with a BLT. For example: one tablespoon of ranch dressing is about 75 calories, one slice of cheddar cheese is 113 calories and one large flour tortilla is about 250 calories according to FatSecret.com. You get the picture. You’d be better off opting for a plain turkey club with wheat or multigrain bread!
If you’ve been thinking this entire time that a turkey burger is your low-calorie, healthy friend, you’re going to be just as fooled as we were. The fact is, whereas turkey is a leaner meat than beef, it isn’t by much. And if you’re still adding on the cheese and the mayonnaise and the bun, you’re only lowering the calorie content slightly. Sure, that’s definitely an improvement but you can do better! Our suggestion is to swap the bun for lettuce and ditch the cheese for guacamole or salsa. Voila! A guilt-free turkey burger.
Sweet Potato Fries
What a heartbreaker! Sweet potato fries have and always will be a welcomed option to pair with a sandwich, burger or main. But the truth is, the higher sugar content in sweet potatoes in addition to the cooking method—fried, baby, fried—make them equals to their more boring counterparts. It’s a cruel world, folks. On the bright side, sweet potatoes are filled with more nutrients like vitamins a and c, so you can snack a little happier. Sweet (potato) justice!