We know nutrition pros load up on wild salmon, ancient grains and kale, but what virtuous-seeming fare will you never find on their plates? Here are the health-halo items they leave right on the shelves.
No-Sugar-Added Ice Cream
“I never buy no-sugar-added or light ice creams. The no-sugar-added types may have up to 18 additional ingredients, including artificial sweeteners that can even produce a laxative effect! Go for the real thing—not only will you be more satisfied with less, you’ll be doing your health and digestive system a favor.” —Maggie Michalczyk, RD, a nutritionist in New York City.
Health.com: How to Eliminate Sugar From Your Diet in 21 Days
Puffed Veggie Chips
“I stay away from puffed veggie chips like Pirate’s Booty and Veggie Straws. When you look at the ingredient list you’ll generally find not just veggies, but a long list of additives such as potato starch, corn starch, white rice flour, and soy flour. And they often pack around 130 calories per serving, only about 20 less than potato chips. If you have to have a veggie chip, go with the Terra ones instead.” —Cynthia Sass, RD, author of Slim Down Now and Health contributor.
Powdered Peanut Butter
“People think powdered peanut butter is healthier because it has fewer calories and less fat. But one of the best things about peanut butter is that it’s loaded with healthy fats, which also help make it satisfying. So I only buy the real stuff.” —Christy Harrison, RD, MPH, a certified intuitive eating counselor and host of Food Psych podcast.
Health.com: The Best Meal Kit Services for Healthy Eaters
Most Commercial Salad Dressings
“They can contain highly processed oils or partially hydrogenated oils, added sugar, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, and artificial colors. Choose one with ingredients you can pronounce like olive oil, sea salt, lemon, apple cider vinegar, herbs, spices. My go-to homemade dressing is: 3/4 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1/2 fresh lemon juiced, 1 tablespoon of real maple syrup, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, a pinch of salt and pepper. ” —Megan Roosevelt, RD, founder and host of The Healthy Grocery Girl Cooking Show on YouTube.
“This is one of the ultimate cons and deceivers. The glycemic index of wheat bread is 69. This load causes extreme blood sugar elevations, which results in high insulin response, and ultimately in inflammation and fat accumulation.” —Mark Sherwood, NO, and Michele Sherwood, DO, founders of the Functional Medical Institute in Tulsa and authors of The Quest for Wellness.
“While these juices often contain a great deal of fruits and/or vegetables, the amount of sugar is extremely high. Also, the juicing process destroys much of the beneficial fiber in the produce. Lastly, your body can only absorb so many vitamins and minerals at one time. So a great deal of the nutrients are not absorbed.” —Natalie Rizzo, RD, a nutritionist in New York City.