5 Popular Junk Foods in Disguise

There is some food that is obviously junk food i.e. fast food.

And then there is food that we are led to believe is healthy, but in reality, it just doesn't measure up nutritionally.

If you are trying to achieve a healthy lifestyle we recommend you avoid these 5 "health foods":

1. Juice - Generally, juice is advertised as containing 100% fruit juice, which is at best partly true and at worst, completely false. But, even if the flavor in juice isn't chemically enhanced, juice can contain as much sugar as a soft drink! Instead, opt for fruit infused water, or Sassy Water, if you want a little more flavor as well as true health benefits!

2. Cereal - America's favorite breakfast option lacks much in nutritional value. Don't let the whole grain slogan fool you. When you read the ingredients, cereal is basically refined grains. and sugar, fortified with synthetic vitamins. It doesn't offer much as a healthy start to your day. A protein heavy dish such as eggs or a smoothie would be a much better option.

3. Granola Bars - A favorite on-the-go snack is granola bars. These can be deceiving in that you are led to believe you are getting a full serving of whole grains and fruit, sometimes even protein and vitamins. The issue with granola bars is that they are very high in refined carbohydrates, with sugar listed as the first or second ingredient, as well as hydrogenated oils and preservatives. If you are craving a midday snack, try these No-Bake Chocolate Oatmeal Bars. You won't be disappointed!

4. Flavored Yogurt - This one is especially disappointing because yogurt in it's original state does offer many health benefits, the most well-known being probiotics. However, many of the flavored yogurts on the market contain artificial flavors and colors, corn syrup and/or sugar, and are generally low-fat or fat-free (see next point for more information). To truly get the health benefits yogurt offers, look for plain, organic, whole milk yogurt and add your own fresh fruit or honey.

5. Low-Fat/Fat-Free Foods - Perhaps the biggest downfall when it comes to eating healthy is the misunderstood war on saturated fat. The low-fat trend has been pushed for far too long without having significant data to even back it up. The main issue with low-fat/fat-free foods, aside from the fact that your body needs fat, is that when you take the fat out of something you are left with very little flavor. Therefore, to make it appealing, food manufacturers have to pump it full of artificial flavors and a lot of sugar.

The bottom line is that despite "healthy advertising", all of the above foods are loaded with sugar. And as we know from this comprehensive list, sugar will wreak havoc on your health.

When it comes to eating healthy, the most nutritious foods generally don't need any advertising. In fact there wouldn't even be a place to advertise for these foods because the most nutritionally dense foods are fresh, whole food items. To avoid the false advertising, stick to the perimeter of the grocery store when shopping and enjoy the abundance nature has to offer.

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