So, you’re on a health kick. You’ve upped your weekly exercise count, and your fridge is stocked full of nutritious foods that are doing more good than just making your tummy feel full. Or are they?

In today’s society, an abundance of foods are marketed as healthy, low fat and low sugar, but this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re actually good for you. Oh, no. Now more than ever we need to be savvy about the foods we’re putting in our mouths and the labels on our foods.

In an attempt to educate us all, we’ve rounded up five foods most of us think are outrageously healthy, but are actually not. Yep, beware when you’re tucking into these tasty goodies, because they’re not always as nutritious as you thought…

NOT-SO-HEALTHY FOOD #1: yoghurt that contains fruit
Yes, the tub might say fat-free or low fat, but that doesn’t mean it’s super-healthy. Unfortunately, yoghurts containing fruit often contain added sugars, corn syrup or artificial sweeteners to compensate for the removal of said fat. It’s always best to check the label before you buy – or opt for a plain variety instead. If you’re not a fan of unflavoured yoghurt, add freshly cut fruit for natural sweetness hit instead.

NOT-SO-HEALTHY FOOD #2: salads from fast food outlets
You may think you’re making a healthy choice, but salads bought from fast food outlets or food courts are often laden with sugar-filled salad dressings, and croutons made from refined white flour. Either pack your own homemade salad if you have the chance, or opt for a protein-packed burger and ditch the bun.

NOT-SO-HEALTHY FOOD #3: vitamin-enriched water
Just because they’re marketed as water with extra nutritious benefits, don’t think you’re free to guzzle them down as you please. Although they sound genius in theory, and do give you a dose of much-needed vitamins, they come with a helping of sugar and basically empty calories, too. Opt for a daily multi-vitamin instead, and add slices of lemon or lime to water or soda water for a healthier – yet flavoursome – water alternative.

NOT-SO-HEALTHY FOOD #4: bran muffins  
They’re certainly healthier than the chocolate chip versions, and are often made with health-conscious ingredients, but that’s not our concern. Our concern with bran muffins is portion size. Generally, bran muffins sold in cafes are twice the average serving size, so you’re taking in a lot more sodium, fat and sugar before you’ve even applied toppings such as butter or jam. The answer? Limit them, or share them.

NOT-SO-HEALTHY FOOD #5: baked beans
Yes, beans are packed with all-important fibre, but the bad traits of baked beans belong to its syrup – it’s full of sugar. This means eating them will result in a spike in your blood sugar and insulin levels, which is never a good thing.  Try red kidney beans or chick peas instead. They’re packed with fibre and protein, but sans the sugary liquid.

Were you under the impression these foods actually were healthy? Has reading this changed your perceptions of food marketed as healthy? How much attention do you pay to food labels?

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