Some food companies have mastered ways to disguise sugar, unhealthy fats and bad-for-you sweeteners into healthy-sounding packages. Who can blame us for consuming products that are “natural”‘ or calorie free? After all, it’s good for us, right? Well, not necessarily. Here are a few foods that fall short of being truly healthy. 

1) Diet soda: It’s not good for you. Anything with aspartame, sucralose or acesulfame potassium (Ace-K) on the label is in fact quite unhealthy. In fact, a University of Texas Health Science Center study showed that people who have a history of drinking 1 or more diet sodas for several years have a significantly larger waistline than their non-diet drinking counterparts.

INSTEAD: drink club soda or plain water with a splash of real juice.

2) Store bought granola: “Granola” sounds healthy, I’ll admit it, but when it’s boxed and packaged with loads of sugar and crappy oil, the nutritional value quickly diminishes. One serving of granola cereal is about 1/2 cup and 200 calories. Go to your kitchen right now and pull out a 1/2 cup measuring cup. It’s easy to see how people “over serve” breakfast all the time.

INSTEAD: make your own healthy granola (I’ll post that later this week), or eat oatmeal with a tablespoon of nut butter, some stevia, a few berries and you’re set!

3) Nutella: I’m calling this one out by name. I absolutely get that you love Nutella. After all, who wouldn’t love hazelnut and chocolate together? But Nutella is a once-in-a-while treat at best. It shouldn’t be slathered all over your toast in the morning. Nutella pushes the “dessert in the morning” movement quite convincingly, but it’s nothing more than a sugar rush for your body – and a fast trip to blood sugar hell. Steer clear, friends.

INSTEAD: Slather your toast with a tablespoon of nut butter, a *little* bit of cocoa powder and a sprinkle of stevia or honey.

Want more tips like this? Traci D Mitchell is a healthy living and fitness expert. Follow Traci on Facebook. She’d love to see you there! Interested in working with Traci? She works privately with clients specializes in nutrition coaching and weight loss as well as functional fitness and personal training. All sessions are done via Skype or telephone if outside of Chicago. For more information, contact Traci here.

Looking for a simple way to get into great shape and eat right? Try Traci’s 40-Day Shape Up!

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