5 Health Foods that are Making You Gain Weight

Posted: Nov 26 in Healthy Eating Menu by

There’s plenty of so-called “diet foods” available in grocery stores today. Often labeled “low-fat,” “low-calorie” and “fat-free,” these products are marketed specifically to those looking to drop weight. But often, they don’t deliver. In fact, many of today’s supposed health foods are doing more than preventing weight loss; they are likely actively promoting weight gain. If you’re exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet but still not dropping those pesky pounds, these 10 pseudo “health foods” may likely be to blame.

Flavored yogurt

Yogurt has pretty much always been hailed as a health food, but it is also likely the culprit behind your stalled weight loss. Flavored yogurts (especially low-fat variations) aim to amplify the food’s taste with sugary additions like fruit preserve and unnatural sweeteners, which only serve to pack on pounds. Of course, not all yogurt is created equal. The food is still an excellent weight-loss staple, just be sure to stick to low-fat Greek yogurt alternatives that contain no additional sweeteners.

Prepackaged salads

For eons, salad as been hailed as the absolute health food, the #1 choice for anyone looking to shed those inches and shape up. While this may remain true for low-calorie variations topped with nutrient-rich ingredients, the average prepackaged salad tends to fall short. Pre-made salads, like the ones often found in quick cafes and grab-and-go style lunch spots, trade health for convenience. Most contain fat-rich dressings, bacon bits, candied nuts, low-quality deli meat, and sugary dried fruit; each of which will only add inches to your waistline.


Caffeine is a miracle. If coffee’s ability to boost your mood and douse you in energy isn’t enough, it’s weight-loss benefits are the perfect cherry on top. When consumed correctly, coffee is shown to reduce appetite and help shed body fat, and give you more energy for exercise.

The problem? Fewer and fewer coffee enthusiasts are turning to a plain black cup of joe to meet their caffeination needs. Instead, more are choosing flavored coffee beverages like frappes, cappuccinos, and lattes. One Starbucks Venti Cinnamon Dolce Latte, for example, yields an astounding 280 calories and 12 teaspoons of sugar, and that’s when it’s made with skim milk and no whipped cream!

Protein Shakes

Instagram wellness gurus and gym rats love protein shakes; it’s true some brands are jam-packed with nutrients and fuel. Most variations, however, are brimming with empty calories and sugar. Plus, because protein shakes are consumed quickly in liquid form, they just don’t feel like a hearty meal, meaning you’re far more likely to continue eating or over-eat later on in the day.

Granola Bars

Several years ago, a bunch of food-industry marketing professionals gathered around a board room table and decided to rebrand “cookies” as “granola bars” in order to gain traction in the health-food niche. Most general consumers are still falling for it.

Sure, the average granola bar has plenty of ingredients (dried fruit, nuts, coconut, oats) that are generally considered healthy on their own. But granola bars themselves are packed with sugar and empty carbohydrates. They also tend to have a bucket load of additives included to lengthen their shelf-life. If you’re a granola fiend looking to satiate your breakfast cravings, try homemade granola made with freshly baked oats, cinnamon, and coconut oil. On top of being healthier, it will likely prove more tasty, too.

At the end of the day, it’s best to realize that there’s a ton of misinformation floating around out there regarding which foods are supposedly “healthy.” Marketing companies and label designs do their best to cloud consumer perspective, making sugar-rich food and empty calories items seem like weight loss resources. What’s the best way to avoid falling for their schemes? Always read food labels thoroughly and research your diet choices rather than taking a label to heart.

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