What's unhealthy about some 'healthy' foods

February 15, 2013 3:45:42 PM PST
Not everything that sounds healthy, is healthy. Fruit smoothies can contain 500 calories. Packaged turkey can be loaded with salt. And some sports drinks can have almost as many calories as a soft drink.

"Even though you think it's healthy, it's really not," said pharmacist Sherry Torkos.

That's what most of us think if we buy prepared salads at the grocery store.

Torkos said, "For example, tuna salad, broccoli salad, potato salad ? However, if you look at the number of calories and fat in these items you'd be astounded."

The bad actor is the mayo. Torkos is a pharmacist and author of "Saving Women's Hearts." She says instead of eating a broccoli salad with mayo, try a mixed green salad with balsamic vinegar. And Torkos says you don't need the mayo in tuna salad, either.

She recommended, "You can take your tuna, spread it directly on your bread. If you want to add some flavoring, you can add some balsamic vinegar or some mustard, and you have a much healthier lunch."

Beware of light dressings.

"We think fat free is always healthier, whether we're talking dressings or dip, but not always," Torkos said.

You also have to look at the sugar content and the salt content on low fat dressings.

We compared two peanut butters that have the same number of calories, but one is healthier.

"This peanut butter contains hydrogenated oil, molasses, sugar and a lot of salt," Torkos explained. "This peanut butter doesn't contain any hydrogenated oil."

Instead, the healthier peanut butter has healthy oils, such as palm fruit and flaxseed oils.

And just because a muffin has blueberries or bran doesn't mean it's healthy. Some have a whopping 350 calories.

Torkos said, "When you consider the portion size, the calories, the sugar and salt, you really are doing yourself in."

Even energy bars can vary widely. Some are healthy, but others have lots of fat and contain the same number of calories you'd get in a typical meal. So try to take the time to read the labels and check not just the calories, but also the list of ingredients.

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