12 Foods You Think Are Healthy (But Aren’t)

If you feel like you’re eating healthfully but not feeling healthy, well, maybe you’re making some of these common mistakes…

12 Health Foods That Aren’t Healthy At All

Trail Mix. Homemade versions (like this recipe) are great, but most store-bought varieties are more like a candy bar in a bag.

Skim Milk. Lots of ad dollars go into milk, especially low fat milk but did you know that sugars are added to skimmed milk to give its flavor and that casein (the protein in milk) has been linked with increased cancer rates. Turns out, full fat dairy (especially raw dairy from reputable sources) is far better for you than any low or no-fat variety.

Low-Fat Foods. Turns out, skim milk isn’t the only low-fat or fat-free food that’s not as healthy as its full fat sister. Fat doesn’t make you fat. Rather, our bodies (especially our brains and immune systems) need fat. We even need fat in order to burn fat. Plus, fat (especially the healthy kinds found in avocado, coconut oil, etc) helps keep us full and satisfied too.

Sugar-Free Foods. Much like processed foods that take out the fat and instead load them with less healthy replacements in order to slap a label on there they think will fool you into eating (and thus buying) more, the same is done with sugar-free foods. Instead of sugar, these sweet-sans-sugar foods are often loaded with artificial sweeteners which have not only been lined to inflammation and disease, but also have been shown to cause us to crave more sweets. Next time you have a sweet tooth, have fresh fruit, dark chocolate, or make the raw brownie batter pudding in Alexis’ book (it’s a game changer!)

Dairy. Low fat dairy may be worse than full fat, but non are particularly good for you – and not merely because the hormones given to cows that produce non-organic milk have been linked with inflammation, disease, and early puberty in kids – but also because the protein in milk has been linked with cancer rates too (read this if you don’t believe us).

Frozen Yogurt. This is what happens when everything we said about dairy and low-fat and sugar-free come together. Instead, make your own vegan ice cream, or look for coconut milk and fresh fruit based varieties.

Protein Bars. Not only do you not need that much protein (even after a workout), but your body also has a tough time breakdown such heavily processed forms. Beyond the fact that these protein bars are often loaded with artificial sweeteners to make them even remotely edible. Instead, make your own gluten-free and vegan bars for a quick and healthy snack on the go.

Farm-Raised Fish. Think fish is always a good choice? Think again! Farm-raised fish are most often kept in deplorable conditions that have them swimming in jam-packed, non-filtered tanks ripe with fecal matter – which is not only gross, but also requires they been given high doses of antibiotics to keep them “healthy” – and those antibiotics are ending up in your body too.

‘All Natural’ Foods. Ya know what’s natural? Mercury, arsenic, bugs… doesn’t mean they’re good for you. Similarly, the label ‘all natural’ means precisely nothing.

Juice. You likely know that store-bought juices aren’t a great choice, but neither are some of those green juices either (even the ones you’re making yourself or picking up at the health food store). With loads of fruit to make them palatable and a lack of all the colon-cleansing fiber found in the whole fruit, many cold-pressed juices are just as sugar-packed as a big glass of Tropicana. Try 100% vegetable juices or fruit smoothies (which keep the fiber) instead.

Tofu. Okay, so it’s better than a lot of meat products, but non-organic soy products are some of the most hormone-packed (and processed) products in your grocery store. Instead, look for fermented, organic soy products (like tempeh) which are far better for you.

Nut Butters. Most peanut butters and almond butters on the grocery store shelves are packed with heavily processed nuts, oils, and sugars. Look for ones with only raw nuts as their ingredients and it’s safely a health food, all the others should be left behind.

As with all nutrition, though, you know your body best so, as always, listen to yourself first.