However, companies embellish the truth quite a bit when they label some of their snacks as healthy. While choosing healthy lunch options is a commendable endeavor, the whole purpose is defeated if the food turns out to be detrimental to your well being. Looking into the foods you consume on a regular basis is a great way to ensure your body is being properly taken care of. Here are five common cafe foods that aren't nearly as healthy as they first appear.
1. Bran Muffins
We've all picked up a bran muffin because we thought it was healthier than its chocolate covered brethren. Unfortunately, most bran muffins tend to be oversized and filled to the brim with sugar anyway. The average treat has roughly 800 calories per serving. When you consider how a Big Mac only has 593, it makes you think twice about going with Bran.
A better way to get your carbs is to take a whole-grain bagel for breakfast. They offer a much more reasonable serving size and aren't nearly as fatty. If you need some extra flavor, use whipped cream cheese in lieu of regular to receive 30% less fat per serving.
Granola is another deceptive snack that can trick you off your diet in a hurry. While the nuts and oats aren't bad for you, most mixes have a mountain of sugar coating them. Sure, this makes it taste great, but you can't call it a healthy choice after that.
To avoid the excess sugar, try eating mussels as an alternative. You can use it as a topping or consume it by the handful just like regular granola. The key difference is that it isn't baked and never coated in sugar. Once you adjust to the new flavor, you won't be craving the sugary sweetness of granola quite as much.
Fruit-filled drinks may seem like an excellent meal replacement, but they have a few dangers lurking beneath the surface as well. Many smoothies come in massive cups that quickly dwarf your daily recommended intake of most ingredients contained within. A single large drink can have up to 70 grams of sugar, which puts you at the daily cap instantly. Other brands used refined sweeteners that provide a whole host of their own health concerns.
Instead of blending a bunch of produce, just eat fruits and veggies on their own. This way you know there isn't any hidden ingredients that will cause your body trouble.
4. Trail Mix
As the name implies, trail mix was meant for people who are actively moving about all day. The average collection of snacks is comprised of treats that give you way too much energy if you are just sitting down. In addition to the large amount of calories, the abundance of salt and sugar can be overwhelming for a sedentary lifestyle. Many commercial bags even have candy in them. This puts them on par with bags of chips and other junky snacks.
Go for unsalted nuts and dried fruit if you want a healthy substitute. By removing the candy, salt, and sugar, you can fashion a mix that supports your overall well being.
5. Salad Bars
Salads are one of the healthiest meal options around. However, salad bars have tons of add-ons that are just asking you to cheat on your diet. The cavalcade of cheeses, meats, and fatty dressings should be avoided whenever possible. Ensure your plate is filled with leafy green vegetables to start. Then, you can apply a dressing with reduced saturated fats to provide some flavor. If you tend to add too much dressing, use a spritzer bottle to moderate your portion size.