When good food goes badLilly Trott/Shutterstock
Remember when the biggest problem with “health food” was that you just didn’t like the taste? Today, even so-called health foods can have side effects—and here are 13 healthy food habits you should ditch right now. While most nutrition pros hesitate to demonize any one food, saying what matters most is how much of it you’re eating and the composition of your overall diet, they do admit to pet peeves about products that persistently get labeled “healthy,” while hiding a less virtuous side—including out-of-control sodium, hidden sugars, and even associations with certain cancers. These are just a few of the so-called health foods you’ll want to steer clear of on your next supermarket trip.
Yogurt’s healthy rep is justified, for the most part: It’s got tons of filling protein, calcium, and gut-friendly probiotics. Maybe that’s why a Harvard study found an association between eating yogurt and lower body weight. But flavored varieties pack loads of added sugar, making them about as nutritious as candy, says Lisa R. Young, PhD, RD, author of the upcoming book Finally Full, Finally Thin: 30 Days to Permanent Weight Loss One Portion At a Time (Center Street, January 2019). A diet that contains too much sugar can increase your risk for diabetes, points out Young. “It’s a better idea to buy plain yogurt and add your own toppings—things like nuts, hemp seeds, and fresh fruit,” she says. Can you spot the added sugar in these other foods?