Which foods are lying to you and what to do about it

By Ea Francisco | Photo by Kyle Head/Unsplash

People say that the key to healthy eating is swapping one kind of food for another. Eating more of, say, a vegetable patty than a burger steak because it’s supposed to be a “healthier” alternative. However, what some people don’t realize is that some foods are not what they appear. Here are four examples of those deceptive foods.

Sushi

Sushi has its own health setbacks. For one, some rolls are high in sodium. It differs for every place but generally, the rice and filling are salted for flavor. Sushi also contains quite a large amount of calories. One roll can contain as much as a cup of rice, which is already 200 calories in itself. Traditional sushi with fresh seafood (choosing the right fish is also crucial) and vegetables aren’t bad, but the popular rolls aren’t as healthy such as California maki with processed crab meat or innovative rolls that have high-calorie ingredients like cheese, mayo, and fried tempura. A better way to eat sushi is to swap white rice for brown because it’s more filling and has more fiber. Steer clear of sushi with bacon, cheese, and sauces that are heavy on salt, sugar, or fat.

Frozen Yogurt

While considered the healthier option to ice cream because of its probiotics, frozen yogurt should be taken in controlled portions because it’s also high in sugar. A plain yogurt can contain almost nine teaspoons of sugar and 220 calories according to Livestrong, and adding toppings can add to that count. In order to maximize its health benefits, don’t fill your cup to the brim, and avoid toppings that add to the calorie count like granola bars and chocolate.

A better way to eat sushi is to swap white rice for brown because it’s more filling and has more fiber. Steer clear of sushi with bacon, cheese, and sauces that are heavy on salt, sugar, or fat

Trail Mix

The ideal snack for sustained energy consists of carbs, protein, and fiber, and trail mix seems to fit this category. However, there are dangers to constantly snacking on prepackaged trail mix. Salted nuts, sugar-coated raisins, fried bananas, and chocolates are some ingredients you can find inside commercial trail mixes. All of these add up to a few hundred calories that are great on the trail, but that’s it. These snacks are supposed to be eaten when a person is actively on the trail (hence, the name), and anyone doing less doesn’t really need this many calories. An alternative can be to make a personalized mix with unsalted nuts and dried sugar-free fruits.

Low-Fat Peanut Butter

While many believe it to be the alternative to regular peanut butter, it actually doesn’t make much of a difference. People call peanut butter unhealthy because of its fat content, but those found in nuts are good. A Harvard study found that people who regularly consumed peanut butter were less prone to heart diseases and diabetes than those who didn’t consume them. In addition, looking at the labels, the calorie count between regular and low-fat peanut butter isn’t far off. With the low-fat version, the fat had to be replaced with sugar and starch.