Questioning Whether or Not a Certain Food Is Healthy? It Might Be Time to Take a Closer Look!

Physical activity and nutrition are an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. At The Palms at Sunset Lakes Apartments in Zachary, Louisiana, we do our best to provide our residents with resourceful tips, exercise routines, and even recipes to help them reach their fitness goals.

Many foods often present themselves as healthy, when they are really anything but nutritional. It’s all in the packaging, with words like “sugar-free,” “reduced fat,” and so forth. However, once you look on the back of the box at the nutrition facts label, you might be surprised to find out otherwise. In other words, the branding might distract you from the fact that while the product is low in sugar, it’s high in saturated fat, cholesterol, or sodium. Don’t be fooled – here are four types of foods (and drinks) that you should stay away from at the grocery store, per nutritionists and other experts on the matter.

Pre-packaged smoothies

Pre-made smoothies are often made using fruit juice as a base, making them high in both added sugars and calories. For example, a 20-ounce pre-packaged smoothie can be upwards of 200 to 1,000 calories, one to 30 grams of fat, and fifteen to 100 grams of added sugar. It’s a smarter option to invest in a blender to make your own smoothies from the comfort of your apartment home. All the ingredients needed are frozen fruits and vegetables, low-fat milk, yogurt, and protein powder.

Beef jerky

While beef jerky is an excellent option for providing protein on-the-go, most selections of this dried beef snack are chock-full of sodium, in order to preserve the meat, to begin with. The bad news for someone indulging in beef jerky is the increased sodium intake can cause water retention and bloat. There are alternatives, however. Give low-sodium turkey jerky a shot – it is basically just as delicious as the original concept, but you can skip all of the extra salt!

Fat-free cheese

Full-fat cheese packs on saturated fat, which most nutritionists recommend limiting. Since cheese is also high in protein and calcium, though, can fat-free cheese serve as the perfect compromise? Well, not necessarily. Fat-free cheese is missing the same consistency as real cheese. Not only does it not melt well, but it also lacks a creamy mouthfeel. Skip this rubbery substitute for the suggested serving of real cheese with fruit and whole-grain crackers. It’s definitely one of those foods not worth compromising upon!

Veggie chips

No matter if it's made from potatoes or vegetables, a fried chip is a fried chip. The damaging ingredient isn't necessarily the food being fried, anyway. It’s really the saturated and trans fats being used in the frying process. Plus, most veggie chips contain the same amount of calories as regular potato chips. And, did you know most pre-made versions at the grocery store also include potatoes? Try baking your own veggie chips from kale, carrots, or zucchini to cut back on the fat and sodium and amp up the nutrients!

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