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11 “Healthy” Foods That Nutritionists Won’t Touch

They sound healthy, they look healthy—but are they? Nutritionists help us distinguish between the "looks good" food to the truly good food.

Green tea in ceramic cups, dry green oolong tea and tea leaves on black stone table, copy space.Oksana Mizina/Shutterstock

Drink regular tea

"I recommend regular tea. It has known antioxidant properties, and there is way more research out there on the benefits of tea than kombucha," Schapiro says. Here are more secrets that nutritionists won't tell you for free.

Vegetable healthy crisps, veggie chips, straws, puffs made of broccoli, beetroot, tomatoes, spinach and carrots with sea saltDronG/Shutterstock

Veggie chips and "straws"

Veggie sticks and straws might seem like a diet-friendly alternative to potato chips, but Patricia Bannan, RDN, the author of Eat Right When Time Is Tight suggests steering clear. "The first ingredients are usually 'potato starch' and 'potato flour' which offer little in the way of nutrition and provides zero dietary fiber," she explains.

Pistachios nuts on dark background, top view, healthy snackSea Wave/Shutterstock

Get nutty, instead

"While these baked sticks and straws are lower in fat compared to fried potato chips, a better option for snack time crunching would be nuts," Bannan says. "A one-ounce serving of pistachios, for example, offers protein, dietary fiber, and healthy fats which will help keep you full."

If you definitely want to stick to veggie chips, make sure the first ingredient is actually a whole vegetable, like sweet potato, beets, or kale, Bannan says.

Frying pan in eggs and raw eggsNarong Khueankaew/Shutterstock

Egg whites and egg beaters

"The latest research has shown that there is no need to skip egg yolks. In fact, I encourage my clients to eat them due to the abundance of nutrients found in the yolk such as iron, selenium, folate, choline, and vitamin B12," says Lori Zanini, RD, CDE, the creator of For The Love of Diabetes online program.

Fresh uncooked egg on a cast iron pan over black slate, stone or concrete background.Top view with copy space.Liliya Kandrashevich/Shutterstock

Have an egg already

"Studies have found that eating high-quality proteins, like whole eggs, can promote weight loss," Zannini says. Short on time? She recommends buying eggs that come hard-boiled and peeled from the store. All the better if you can find some that are organic, free-range, and free of antibiotics. Read up on these 10 egg "facts" that just aren't true.

iced cola soda pop with straw in flay lay compositionJoshua Resnick/Shutterstock

Diet soda

You may already know that diet soda contains artificial sweeteners, flavors, and coloring. But here's something you may not have known: Consuming two or more artificially sweetened beverages per day have been linked to an increased stroke risk among postmenopausal women, Ansari says. "There is also some evidence to support a link between long-term diet beverage consumption and an increased risk of chronic diseases such as dementia, type 2 diabetes, and obesity." Here are some more foods to never eat, according to nutritionists.

Glass of water with lemon on slate platePixel-Shot/Shutterstock

Juice-infused water

Even though an occasional diet soda appears to be safe, I encourage my clients to stick to plain water, fruit-infused water, or unsweetened iced tea or iced coffee," says Ansari. Another smart option: A splash of juice mixed with seltzer water. "Replacing diet soda with seltzer mixed with a no-sugar-added juice option such as Welch's 100% Grape Juice serves up a bit of flavor, as well as vitamin C and antioxidants," says Jim White, RDN.

Homemade yogurt or sour cream in a wooden bowlDONOT6_STUDIO/Shutterstock

Low-fat and low-calorie yogurts

All yogurts are not created equal, cautions Rebecca Ditkoff, RD, CDN. "Some are a great source of protein, calcium, and probiotics with minimal added sugars, which make a great addition to any meal or snack. However, sweetened yogurts—some of which have up to 20 grams of sugar—are more or less a dessert."

Kara Lydon, RD, LDN agrees with Ditkoff's sentiments and adds that it's important to be wary of low-fat, or "light" yogurts, too. "They're missing the satiating component of dietary fat, and they are usually less than 100 calories per serving which is not substantial enough for a snack," she explains.

Yogurt with sweet blueberries and granola, above view on rustic dark woodJeniFoto/Shutterstock

Choose full fat

Choose full-fat, Greek or Icelandic unsweetened yogurts. Not only will these options actually keep you satisfied and satiated, but they also they tend to contain two times the protein and half the sugar of regular yogurt, Lydon and Ditkoff explain. Top some with fresh fruit for added flavor.

Tasty granola bars on dark backgroundAquarius Studio/Shutterstock

Meal replacement bars

Whether you're short on time or trying to lose weight, a meal replacement bar might seem like a good solution, but Zanini says you're better off grabbing something else. "Many of these bars contain artificial ingredients and lack real food ingredients that will likely leave you craving more sweets," she cautions. "They also tend to be poorly balanced. Without fiber, protein, and fat, foods will digest quicker and likely lead to overeating later on."

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