'Healthy' foods might be quietly packing pounds on people
Posted May 7, 2014
The fight to stay fit often drives people to eat healthy foods. But Consumer Reports found that some low-fat snack options can be laden with sugar and other additives.
First on the list: air-popped popcorn. Eaten plain, the snack is high in fiber and low in calories. But most people pile on the toppings, said Consumer Reports senior editor Tod Marks.
"The minute you soup it up with sugar, with salt, with cheese, that's when you run into a problem, and you take a healthy snack and you render it unhealthy," he said.
Low-fat yogurt is another example. It can be healthy until toppings like cookie crumbles and chocolate are added. One brand of yogurt by Müller had 26 grams of sugar and 6 grams of fat.
But yogurt isn't the only food marketed as healthy that is high in sugar. Packaged smoothies, like those by Naked Juice, are some of the worst offenders.
"When you read the nutrition facts label, you find out it actually is about 500 calories per bottle and 34 grams of sugar," said Marks of the smoothie drink.
Marks said it's better to blend smoothies at home and top yogurt with fresh fruit to control the amount of sugar.
Other unhealthy "health" foods:
-Hazelnut chocolate spreads. Unlike peanut butter, these mixes have far less protein than sugar and oil.
-Packaged turkey and chicken meat. Oscar Mayer Oven Roasted Turkey Breast, for example, has 510 milligrams of sodium in just 2 ounces. That's 21 percent of the daily limit.
-Veggie chips. Although they sound like a healthier option, Consumer Reports warns the snacks are usually made of potato flour and can have as much fat and sodium as regular potato chips.