When Healthy Food is not so Healthy


oatmealapplesaucemuffin-debDetermined to eat healthy you grab a muffin and a smoothie at the drive thru for breakfast, a salad at the chain restaurant for lunch, a granola bar for a snack and some popcorn to munch on at the movies. Sounds healthy right?
What if I told you you just ate the nutritional equivalent of a donut, a strawberry sundae, a burger, a chocolate bar and a milkshake?  When looking at fat, sugar, calories, protein and fibre, you might be surprised to learn what is actually in some so called healthy foods!Healthy eating is something many of us strive for but the truth is there are times where our efforts to make healthy choices actually end up being on the unhealthy side of healthy food!Confused?  I don’t blame you!  How do you spot the unhealthy healthy food imposters?  Check out this list!


The dressing. Be a label reader and at restaurants always check the nutrient guide for the salad dressings offered for your favorite fast food salad.  Some have as much fat as a Burger! Go for vinegar or yogurt based dressings with only 1gr fat per tbsp.
Look what I found:
Chicken Ranch Salad at Drive thru – 31gr FAT, 590 Calories, 25gr Sugar, 1480gr Sodium
Compared to:
1/4lb burger at same Drive thru – 33gr FAT, 590 Calories, 10gr Sugar, 1240gr Sodium

Peanut Butter
Peanut butter made with JUST peanuts is an excellent health food loaded with protein, but most peanut butter has added icing sugar and hydrogenated oil! Sweeten a natural peanut butter sandwich with apple slices or bananas.
Look what I found:
Creamy Peanut Butter – peanuts, sugar, hydrogenated vegetable oil, salt, fancy molasses, maltodextrin, icing sugar.        2tbsp  = 16gr FAT, 3gr Sugar, 8gr Protein
Compared to:
Natural Peanut Butter – peanuts.   2tbsp – 16gr FAT, 2gr Sugar, 10gr Protein
All healthy right? Definitely a better choice than the donut you secretly really want to order.  The next time you go for the Blueberry bran, have a look at the chain’s nutritional breakdown.  You might be surprised to find our your healthy muffin has more fat than a donut!
Look what I found at one Drive thru:
Blueberry Bran muffin – 13gr FAT, 280 Calories, Fibre 4gr, Sugar 24gr
Low Fat Berry Muffin – 2.5gr FAT, 290 Calories, Fibre 2gr, Sugar 30gr
Whole Grain Carrot muffin – 13gr FAT, 360 Calories, Fibre 4gr, Sugar 29gr
Homemade Oatmeal Applesauce Muffin – 3.7gr FAT, 177 Calories, Fibre 4 gr, Sugar 15gr (from fruit)
Compared to:
Apple Fritter donut – 8gr FAT, 290 Calories, Fibre 2gr, Sugar 15gr
Chocolate Dip donut –  14gr FAT, 270 Calories, Fibre 1gr, Sugar 16gr

Granola Bars

Many granola and energy bars are filled with high fructose corn syrup and contain as much fat and sugar as a candy bar!  For a quick snack with protein and fiber reach for a pear, cheese or your own mixture of almonds and dried apricots.

Look what I found:
28gr Chewy chocolate chip granola bar – 4gr FAT, 1gr Fibre, 9gr Sugar, 1gr Protein
28gr Sweet & salty granola bar  – 9gr FAT, 11gr Sugar, 4gr Protein
Compared to:
28gr  Snickers bar – 6gr FAT, .5gr Fibre, 13gr Sugar, 2gr Protein

Most smoothies start out with low fat milk and fruit, maybe a scoop of protein – what could go wrong? Generally it is a size issue and some chains add sugars or flavoured syrups or even sherbert that is loaded with sugar.  A glass of milk with fruit is enough!
Look what I found:
Drive thru Mixed Berry Med– 300 Cal, 3gr FAT, 4gr Protein, 64gr Sugar
Drive thru Strawberry Sundae – 290 Cal, 6gr FAT, 5gr Protein, 44gr Sugar
Compared to:
250ml glass 1% milk – 100 Cal, 2gr FAT, 8gr Protein, 13gr Sugar


Popcorn has received a lot of positive attention for being a low calorie, good fibre snack food but beware of the movie and store bought popcorn – its loaded with fat and sodium!
Look what I found (16 cups):
Large movie popcorn – 57gr FAT, 1030 Calories, 630mg Sodium, 16gr Fibre
Purchased bag popcorn – 90gr FAT, 1440 Calories, 1900mg Sodium, 19gr Fibre
Microwave popcorn – 24gr FAT, 680 Calories, 1500mg Sodium, 12gr Fibre
Compared to:
Air popped Popcorn at home – 5gr FAT, 500 Calories, 10gr Sodium, 17gr Fibre
(if you add 1/2 tsp salt is 1000mg of sodium, 12gr FAT in 1 tbsp butter).
The take away here is to make your own baked goods and snacks where you can, go for natural and check nutrition labels for fat, sodium, and sugar content to ensure you are making a healthy choice!

Comments (6)

  • Wow, those are crazy numbers! I was personally just looking at the GF soya sauce I have and can’t believe there are 1500+ mg of sodium per tsp. I knew it was salty but not for such a little amount! Definitely thinking twice about the foods we eat now! Thanks for the great info Deborah 🙂

  • Yes, we have to be very conscious of what we are eating. “Fat-free”, “sugar-free”, “organic” does NOT equal healthier!

  • Crazy right? That is why I will be baking again tonight for kids school lunch snacks!

  • SO TRUE!

  • Love, love, love this post Deb! We had a big discussion about cereal and what’s “healthy” over breakfast this morning.

    Janice Smith
  • Hey there my family member! I need to state that this article is amazing, good created obtainable together with most significant infos. I would like to observe additional blogposts like that .

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