Egg whites, yogurt and granola might sound like part of a healthy diet, but according to Los Angeles-based health and fitness expert Jennifer Cohen, they may not be as good for you as you’d guess. Think: hidden sugars, bad fats and processed ingredients that you’d want to keep off your clean plate. Here, Cohen shares her top five “healthy” foods that aren’t necessarily healthy:
1. Trail mix
“Usually, there’s candy in there and it’s laden with sugar, sodium and fat. You really don’t need something like that unless you’re climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. A much better option is raw unsalted almonds.”
“You’re not doing yourself any favors by getting a yogurt with fruit on the bottom. It’s full of unnecessary sugars and preservatives. Best thing to do is go with a plain Greek yogurt—it’s got more protein and healthy fat—and add your own fresh fruit.”
3. Dried fruit
“[A lot of] dried fruit has tons of added sugar and sulfur to keep it preserved longer.” Cohen says fresh fruit is always best, so grab an apple or a pear if you’re on the go.
4. Egg white omelet
Egg whites aren’t bad. It’s the unhealthy oils most restaurants use to cook them in that are the culprits. Cohen suggests ordering a dry omelet made with one whole egg and an egg white. “People think the yolk is bad, but it actually contains healthy fats that are very good for you.”
Granola, often the symbol of a healthy, hippie lifestyle, can be anything but. “Granolas are often all sugars, (bad) fat and calorie-dense.” So read the ingredients, and be sure to check the portion size before you pour: “People tend to eat two to three times the portion size.”
Want more? Check out Cohen’s podcast here.
Image by Stacy Spensley.