8 “Healthier” Foods That Aren't Always Healthy

8 “Healthier” Foods That Aren't Always Healthy

So you’ve purged your pantry, cleaned the cabinets, and now you’re headed into summer living healthier than ever — fresh foods are calling. Want to take the next step? Give the heave-ho to these “healthy” foods that aren’t always that nutritious and try the truly healthy options we outline below.

Try these healthier alternatives!

Gluten-Free Foods

"Gluten- free" foods can be found in almost every aisle of the market these days and many more people are consuming them for a variety of reasons. If a product has a label that says “gluten free,” it’s probably a heavily processed food that’s made with refined starches and chemical additives. Opt for naturally gluten-free foods like vegetables, fruits, and nuts if you’re trying to avoid gluten (all found on the outer edge of the market). Even folks with celiac disease who must follow a strict gluten-free diet for life can avoid processed gluten-free foods and choose healthier, more natural items. Click through to find all the delicious, nutritious gluten-free recipes on our blog!

“Organic” Junk Food

“Natural” cheese curls are still cheese curls, folks. Highly processed snack foods are junk food, no matter if they’re labelled “natural” or “organic.” Craving something salty and crunchy? Contributor Juli Novotny of Pure Mamas has some great ideas for healthier, fun munchables:


If you’re buying store-bought granola, it’s best to also read the box (ingredients & nutrition fact panel) carefully. Some brands have more sugar per serving than a can of soda and more fat than french fries! Granola made right is nutritious, full of healthy fiber, protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Try Juli Novotny’s Oven-Baked Sprouted Granola recipe.

Dried Fruit

Dried fruits are a super handy, sometimes healthy snack — if you know what to look out for. Read labels and avoid products that have added sugar, artificial coloring, or nitrite preservatives. Or, try DIY like these homemade peach fruit leathers from Weelicious. And always opt for “organic” fruits when possible too!

Store Bought Smoothies

Think you’re doing your body a favor by drinking one of those green smoothies from the store? Think again. Read the labels on most commercial products and you’ll find staggering amounts of sugar. Not only that, typically almost all the nutritious fiber from the fruits and veggies has been processed out. Making smoothies at home is super-duper easy and the recipe possibilities are endless! We like combining fruits, veggies, and healthful spices in one drink — not only do spices add nutrition, but they are a great way to add more flavor without adding more calories to your smoothies. Check out these recipes for smoothies with spices.

Oranges & Orange Juice

Unless they’re organic, the oranges you see at the market have likely been artificially colored to make them more appealing to consumers. And that 100% natural, “not from concentrate” bottle of juice? According to Alissa Hamilton, author of the book, Squeezed: What You Don’t Know About Orange Juice, “Juice companies therefore hire flavor and fragrance companies, the same ones that formulate perfumes for Dior and Calvin Klein, to engineer flavor packs to add back to the juice to make it taste fresh. Flavor packs aren’t listed as an ingredient on the label because technically they are derived from orange essence and oil. Yet those in the industry will tell you that the flavor packs, whether made for reconstituted or pasteurized orange juice, resemble nothing found in nature.”


Salmon is loaded with healthy fats that support brain development and function, but if you’re eating farmed salmon, you’re also eating artificial food dye. Wild salmon get their characteristic color from eating loads of krill in the ocean. Farmed salmon is a less-than-appetizing shade of gray, so manufacturers pump it with pink dyes to make it indistinguishable from it’s colorful cousin. Go wild (that is - wild salmon) and try this recipe for spring quinoa with salmon and a fresh herb salad.


Not so much a healthy food, but definitely a product consumed to promote good health. What’s the problem? The top brands (for kids) are filled with synthetic sweeteners, GMOs, and harmful chemicals. Not cool! Read your labels and look for whole food-based options. A good tip for the whole family!

Surprised by anything on this list? Have some others to add? Let us know in the comments!

We aim to provide you with the most honest and credible information possible. This article was reviewed for accuracy by The Honest Team and was written based on trusted sources that are linked at the bottom of the article.