7 health foods that might not be as healthy as you think – and how to make them as healthy as possible

Sucking on a smoothie to hit your fruit quota? You might want to think twice.

We’re all striving for a healthier lifestyle, but are we making the wrong decisions when it comes to the health foods we’re choosing?

Possibly – as some so-called healthy foods aren’t quite as good for you as you might think.

Darren Beale from online health retailer MuscleFood.com said: “We’ve all done it – headed for the healthy food aisles in the supermarket and come out laden with smoothies, trail mix and other tasty treats.

“Look closely though and you’ll see that they can be packed with calories, sugar and fats. There are a few simple changes you can make. For example a homemade smoothie made with whole fruits is great, so make it yourself rather than buy it from a smoothie bar or the supermarket,” Darren continued.

“The one thing that’s worth remembering though, is that in moderation, there is nothing wrong with any of these and they all play a role in leading a healthy lifestyle.”

Here are seven health foods and how you should eat them:

Coconut oil

It’s a great all-rounder – you can use it to cook, remove your make up and moisturise your skin – but, it is high in fat.

To reduce the amount you use if you are cooking with it, try melting the oil down, pouring it into a spray bottle and spritzing on to the pan before cooking.

Fruit juice

Fruit juice is a great way to quickly boost your antioxidant intake but, unlike a piece of whole fruit, the calories are more concentrated. This can cause your blood sugar levels to spike which puts a general strain on your body.

Try eating whole fruit instead, as this is the best way to get your vitamins and minerals.

Granola

Swapping your usual bowl of cereal for a bowl of granola is healthy, but watch the portion size. Many of us pour a far bigger bowl than necessary, and since granola can be high in sugar, it might be worth switching to a wholegrain or no-added sugar option.

Frozen yoghurt

Fro-yo is definitely a healthier alternative to ice cream, but it doesn’t mean you should have it all the time. Remember, it’s a treat, so treat it accordingly. A little now and then should do the trick.

Sushi

Sushi is not as guilt free as many people seem to believe. Sashimi is a great, protein-based option but other fancier choices can be laden with unwanted sauces, fats, sodium and refined white rice.

Smoothies

Juice bar, restaurant and supermarket smoothies can be full of sugar and can sometimes be blended from fruit juices rather than whole fruit.

Try to make them yourself – that way you know exactly what’s gone into your smoothies and there are no hidden ingredients.

Trail mix

Trail mix can be healthy if you make it yourself but a lot of shop-bought mixes have ingredients like dried fruit that can cause the calorie count to rise.

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