funny-health-food-pic

There are so many food options out there claiming to be healthy, but how do you know which ones are actually good for you? You know my answer is always Read the Food Labels, but I thought I would give you a list of foods that are typically thought to be pretty good for you, but are NOT that great for you.

1. Diet soda Soda is never good for you, but diet sodas create more insulin in your body, which means more sugar. Diet soda also inhibits the hormone leptin, which regulates your metabolism and appetite.

Another side effect is that it makes you order the Big Mac, supersized fries, and a Diet Coke. You've seen it too, it's science.

I know some of you are hooked on diet drinks, but studies have shown they do not help you shed pounds. You make up the calories somewhere else and putting all of those chemicals in your body is not worth it.

2. Pretzels You may think pretzels are better than potato chips, but most varieties are made with enriched white flour and packed with sodium.

Low fat food does not make you low fat. Baked is always better than fried, but don't think these are a health food.

3. Fruit juices Many fruit juices contain high amounts of sugar - natural and added. Depending on the brand, some may have as little as 5 percent natural fruit juice. For more fiber and less calories, eat your fruits rather than drink them.

For more reasons not to drink fruit juice, check out the recent Naked Juice scandal. 

4. Salad kits Salad dressings plus the buttery croutons, nuts and cheeses that accompany many "toss at home" salads can add hundreds of calories to your healthy meal.

Go light on dressings and extras or make your own salads. Plus toss at home just doesn't sound right.

5. Reduced-fat peanut butter On the surface, a reduced-fat version of anything seems like a great idea. Unfortunately, the removed fat is often replaced with sweet fillers that keep the calorie level the same. Using a bit less of your favorite full-fat peanut butter is your best choice.

Natural peanut butter actually tastes good! I'm thinking of doing a George Washington Carver term paper as a tribute and I'm not even in school.

6. Chicken or turkey hot dogs Say it out loud. I'm eating a healthy hot dog. Does that sound right? No? Well you're right, no such thing exists. Read your food label on that and see if you still want to eat it. I don't like my meat mechanically separated.

7. Cereal bars There are plenty of cereal bars that are low in fat and calories. But be sure to read labels closely! Many of these "meal replacement" or "energy" bars are packed with sugar and saturated fat. Nutrigrain bars are really popular and really sugary.

8. Rice cakes An 80's diet staple, but they are still around. These crispy treats can cause your blood sugar to spike, which in turn causes your body to store unwanted fat by slowing down its ability to burn it off. And beware of flavored rice cakes, they are usually loaded with sodium.

Would anybody notice if you mashed together some of those packing peanuts and served it was a rice cake? Probably not. Same taste, but you would save some calories.