health snacks

Top 5 “health foods” to avoid: not so healthy “health foods”.

Are we fueling our body with the right foods? Do we think we are choosing “health foods” but unwittingly filling our engines with foods high in sugar and refined, processed carbohydrates which cause more damage to our health than good?  Let’s take a look at the most common health foods that are actually not so healthy after all.

1.Flavoured Yogurt


A wonderful “go to” quick breakfast and snack which smells good, looks good and fills us with probiotics and good bacteria such as lactobacillus and bifidobacillus. It is perceived as a “health food” and “superfood“. However, it we look at the sugar content in some of the common brands there is almost 17% (17g per 100g). That is almost as much as ice ceam. I know which one I rather have.

A better choice with be to buy full fat Greek yogurt and add your own fruits for natural sweetness such fresh or frozen berries, apples or stone fruits. Look for yogurts that have less than 8% sugar (8g per 100g).

2. Dried Fruit

dried fruits

Trail mixes, cereals snacks. Dried fruit can have to up 67% sugar with the highest content being currents, sweetened dried cherries and cranberries. The lowest which still has a whooping 36% are prunes. Unfortuantely, they are added to cereals to make them sweet but have such a high sugar content that they cannot be considered health foods.

3. Cereals


On the topic of cereals, the high sugar content of popular breakfast cereals such as Coco Pops, Fruit Loops and Frosties take the health out of your breakfast. As mentioned above, dried fruits added to cereals such as Just Right and Sultana Bran make them high in sugar. Other cereals such as Weetbix are better, but they have a high salt content.

You are best to stick to natural unsweetened wholesome cereals such as muesli. They are an excellent example of a nutrient rich, wholesome health food.

4. Museli Bars

Muesli Bars

The constant challenge for mothers is to find a healthy snack for their children at school which is quick and easy to pack. Even as adults, it appears to be a good choice for a quick mid-morning snack which appears to be better than a muffin or chocolate bar. Unfortunately, they are another pereceived health food that has high sugar content, highly processed and refined due to added sugars and dried fruits.

There are very few brands on the market which would meet the health requirements to be truly a health food. If you must have muesli bars, you are best to make your own where you can control what goes into it. Otherwise, there are other healthier food options.

5. 97%  fat free salad dressings

salad dressings

This surprises most people. Unfortunately, to reduce the fat content of these products, sugar is added. These really should be avoided. 97% fat free salad dressings are not healthy food choices. Buy the full fat version, or makle your own.

In the coming months, we will be adding healthy recipes to our Medical & Mind Weight Loss website which will present some healthy food choices. In the meantime, avoid these 5 “health foods” which unfortunately are not good for you weight wise, metabolically or health wise.

Dr Marlene Tham, Director of Medical & Mind Weight Loss and creator of the Redefine CBT Weight Loss Program.

Evidence based and psychological weight loss programs in Australia.



%d bloggers like this: