One of the biggest questions I get asked as a PT is what foods are good and bad for me? Eating healthy has never been so confusing. Low-fat, sugar-free, all natural — what’s the deal?

Fancy packaging and fancy advertising campaigns makes it tricky for hungry customers when it comes to eating well (and who doesn’t want to be healthy?). In fact, 64% of customers are influenced by healthy food products, according to research that I have come across. And eight out of 10 adults have made some effort to eat healthier within the last year. But with so many options and so little time, it’s hard to tell what’s actually good for you and what’s just a health fad.

But don’t stress about your next weekly shopping trip just yet. I have spoken with a couple nutritionists/medical professionals to get their thoughts on which foods are actually not as healthy as they appear, and what to replace them with. Be prepared to be Bamboozeled !!!!

1. Granola

You might want to rethink those bits of crunchy goodness that make your yogurt more interesting.

People think of granola as healthy because they think whole grain, but the problem with granola is that it tends to also have a lot of sugar and its often cooked with oil or butter and some kind of fat. Between the fat and the sugar, granola is a calorie-dense food. For example, a normal serving of Nature Valley’s Oats ‘n Honey granola is half a cup and will run you 210 calories, and the problem here is that most of us don’t stop at just half a cup — no judgement here, it’s difficult to do.

The energy from this food is a quick kind of false energy from the food. In my opinion the best way to get real sustained energy is to be eating minimally processed, whole natural food that don’t have added sugar.

2. Smoothies or juice

One of the biggest health fads going on right now is in liquid form. You know, those expensive and refreshing kale juices and smoothies.

When you juice fruit, you strip out the fibre, causing a more rapid spike in blood sugars and insulin. Juicing multiple fruits at once is definitely too much sugar from the fructose. To be more satisified, people eat a salad or a pear or apple with its skin still on, and to spread out fruit and veggie intake throughout the day.

Please don’t drink your calories!!!!

3. Chicken cooked in restaurants

When we think of healthy protein, chicken often comes to mind. However, I will warn you that when eating out at restaurants that those chicken dishes could possibly be loaded with calories from being cooked in large amounts of butter and oil and accessorized with lots of salt and cream. Take Nandos for instance, they are a major culprit of this. Its healthy-sounding lemon-herb roasted chicken is around 600-700 calories, depending on what sauces you add to it.

I would rather clients cook chicken at home, which keeps the health level under control and then makes chicken a great source of protein.

4. Energy/snack bars

When you’re in a rush, you’re probably tempted to grab one of the many varieties of energy bars to keep you full.

Many energy bars are similar to chocolate bars. They often have a chocolate or yogurt coating and contain a ton of chemicals and artificial sweeteners. Many of these bars contain about 20 ingredients, some including corn syrup, sugar, food dyes, and palm oil. And they don’t even make up for it with enough minerals and vitamins. Instead, the best snack options are fresh fruits, raw nuts and natural nut butters.

5. Reduced-fat peanut butter

Peanut butter is known for being high in protein and calories, so some might be tempted with the option of reduced fat. Well, don’t be.

According to one of the medical professionals I spoke to, natural full-fat peanut butter is your best bet, since reduced fat actually has added sugar to make up for taste.

6. Multi-grain Bread or Pasta

If seven grain is healthy, 12 grain must be even better, right? Not quite! Multi-grain just means that there are two or more grains present in the pasta or bread. It has nothing to do with how refined the flour base used is, and if it’s white, that means it has been stripped of most of its nutrients.

Instead, look for 100% whole wheat, which means that all of the grain kernel has been used so you’re getting as much fibre and nutrients as possible.

If anyone has any questions on what I have written please feel free to DM or add comments. I hope you enjoy the blog.