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5 “Health” Foods That Are Overrated

energy bar

There are plenty of things that are — without debate — good for you. A plate of steamed vegetables with brown rice, for example. Or a bowl of fresh fruit. Or a piece of poached salmon. But there’s a long list of other foods that, despite wearing a so-called “health halo,” might not be the nutritional powerhouses everyone seems to think they are.

Energy bars: At some point over the past few years, energy bars and protein bars transitioned from something endurance athletes ate while (literally) on the run, into quick snacks or meal replacements for ordinary people. But many are high in calories and saturated fat, low in fiber and loaded with high-fructose corn syrup or other sweeteners — and are essentially no healthier than candy bars. “Look for bars with at least 3 grams of fiber, at least 5 five grams of protein and less than 2 grams of saturated fat,” says Pam Fullenweider, RDN, a dietitian based in Houston.

Frozen yogurt: Low-fat or nonfat yogurt that’s not sweetened and that contains live cultures (not all do) can be a not-so-guilty pleasure. But load it with sugar and turn it into a frozen confection, and most, if not all, …read more