6 “healthy” foods that fitness experts avoid eating


The pressure to eat nutritious foods and live a healthy lifestyle is hardly new, but recent trends promoting “wellness” have turned health-conscious eating into an even bigger industry. While upping your fruit and vegetable intake and focusing on energy-boosting protein and whole grains are recommended by fitness professionals, there are some “healthy” foods that experts say don’t work for everyone.

We asked professional fitness coaches, athletic trainers, sports nutritionists, and physical therapists which foods they personally try to avoid. They offered these six items that are traditionally considered healthy, but can cause complications for some eaters. Keep in mind that not all diets are for everyone, so talk to your doctor before making any diet changes.

Yogurt And Low Fat Dairy Products

Skim milk has been a big part of diet culture for decades now, but our experts generally agree that dairy products that claim to be low-fat aren’t as beneficial as they might seem.


You have to eat fat to absorb fat-soluble vitamins, [like] A, D, E and K. I tell my clients I will eat low fat dairy if they can show me a low fat cow,” she said Stephen Holtcertified nutritionist and personal trainer.

Low-fat yogurt often appears in recommendations for healthier meal alternatives.

“Could be fewer calories, but low-fat yogurt usually has added sugar to compensate for the lower fat content,” warned Jamie Boudreaux, golf coach and founder of Golfer Geeks.

For example, Dannon whole milk yogurt contains 7 grams of sugar per serving, while nonfat yogurt contains 10 grams of sugar in an equally sized serving. Boudreaux added that low-fat yogurt “may not make you feel as full as full-fat yogurt. I realized this when I tried using low-fat yogurt in my pre-workout meals and I was hungry a lot earlier than I would have liked.”

This experience is supported by Harvard Medical School, which explained that both the high protein content of full-fat yogurt and its richer, more succulent flavor “help with satiety.”

Boudreaux decided to switch to full-fat Greek yogurt, “which has more protein and healthy fats to keep me fuller longer.”

In general, nutritionists and fitness trainers told us that replacing low-fat dairy products with smaller portions of high-fat products made more sense for long-term health goals.


However, some people with breathing problems such as asthma may find that dairy products are uncomfortable for them, as they can “create mucus on the lungs,” according to Liana Werner-Gray, a certified nutritionist, health food chef and author. Werner-Gray prefers “a coconut milk yogurt.”

Sports drinks, energy drinks

Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade have had a prominent presence in gyms and sports fields for decades now, and their caffeinated “energy drink” cousins ​​like RedBull and Monster are popular with college students and night shift workers looking for a extra push.

But our experts caution that the benefits of sports drinks and energy drinks don’t outweigh the negatives.

“PRe- and post-workout energy drinks are often loaded with sugar and unnecessary extra ingredients,” explained Sami Ahmed, a Mid-Atlantic-based physical therapist. Advanced orthopedic centers.

Kacie Shively, a physical therapist with Revolutionary physical therapy in Washington state, told us that sports drinks can vary widely in quality, so consumers should pay close attention to signs that the neon-colored drink in their hands is full of sugar or other unnecessary ingredients.

“Most athletes know that electrolytes are critical to optimizing muscle function and performance,” Shively said. “The problem is that the term ‘sports drink’ makes the consumer feel like this drink is healthy and meant for athletes. In fact, many of these drinks contain “excess sugar” or artificial ingredients.


Shively urges you to “look beyond the major brands you’ve seen in commercials for years.” Check the sugar content and keep in mind the CDC’s recommendation that adults limit their intake of added sugars to less than 10 percent of their daily calorie intake. Shively recommends sports drinks that “PProvides a variety of electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium.

When it comes to caffeinated energy drinks, Chrisi Moutopoulos, certified personal trainer and regional manager of Gymguyzhe told us the potential health risks should be taken seriously.

Energy drinks have quickly become the new drink of choice for many people, especially teenagers,” Moutopoulos said. headache, anxiety, dental problems, dehydration, and heart disease.Many energy drinks contain well over 100 milligrams of caffeine, and the recommended daily intake of caffeine for a teenager is 100 milligrams per day total.

Protein bars

Protein bars are marketed as healthy and energizing options for active people and athletes. But our fitness professionals were skeptical.

“Protein bars are it won’t give you the same bioavailable nutrients as consuming whole protein,” she said Bianca BeldiniDoctor of Physiotherapy and Holistic Life Coach.

Some protein bars aren’t transparent about their ingredients, noted Beldini. “Recently a patient sent me a picture of a mass produced Costco protein bar and [she] he asked if it was a sufficient form of protein. I looked into the ingredients that made up this protein bar; it was filled with “natural ingredients” of which none were pronounceable.


Aroosha Nekonam, a certified personal trainer at Maximum performance Los Angelessaid protein bars aren’t an ideal source of this crucial nutrient.

“Compare a protein bar and a chicken breast,” Nekonam said. “Yes, they might contain similar amounts of protein, but that protein bar is essentially just a protein candy bar. It’s highly processed and full of different artificial sweeteners and flavors” and “it won’t give you the same energy, nutrients and building blocks as a single source ingredient like a chicken breast or a piece of salmon.”


Granola has a long-standing reputation as an all-natural, hippie-approved smart choice for healthy eating. However, prepackaged granola tends to run into the same problems as most boxed breakfast cereals: lots of sugar and artificial ingredients with no nutritional value. Even though store-bought granola claims to be wfull-grain, low-fat, or organic, they’re often “full of added sugar and provide little or no protein or healthy fats,” she said. Leah Isaacs, a certified nutritionist with Root2Rise nutritional therapy.

Granola is mostly carbohydrates, and “starchy carbohydrates high in sugar burn quickly, raise glucose, are deficient in nutrients, and can’t keep you full or energized long enough. In fact, they can wreak havoc on energy levels,” she said. Isaacs. .

If you like your granola in the form of individually wrapped granola bars, you might consider that these snacks have the same problems as other forms of store-bought granola.

Most granola bars are sweet junk food in disguise,” said Dominion Ezechibueze, a certified personal trainer with Minion Training. “Not all granola bars are bad, but the main ones are low in fiber and very high in sugars and other highly processed additives.I would consume a granola bar high in fiber and protein to give me the right energy for my workout, [but] conventional granola bars would do the complete opposite by dehydrating me and increasing cravings due to the high sugar content.

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The plant-based Beyond and Impossible burgers are full of filler ingredients and additives.

Plant-based meat products

The rise of plant-based “meat” has been swift and dramatic, with popular fast food restaurants now featuring meatless hamburger patties on their menus. But Karina Blackwooda personal trainer and yoga instructor, echoes what HuffPost previously reported: Vegan meat substitutes often include more than just healthy veggies and natural ingredients.

“While some are tasty and convenient, many are highly processed and contain lots of added sodium, preservatives and artificial ingredients,” Blackwood said. “In my opinion, it’s much better to stick to whole, minimally processed foods like vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins to support our health and fitness goals.”

If you crave a plant-based burger, consider skipping the meat substitutes in favor of a black bean or chickpea patty. These contain substantial protein with no unwanted additions.

Gluten-free bread’

Obviously, gluten-free bread products are a welcome development for anyone with celiac disease or other forms of gluten intolerance. Per Jay Patruno, Head of Nutrition and Head of Coach Development at Orange theorygluten-free bread may be on its list of recommendations for people with these conditions, but it doesn’t encourage gluten-tolerant customers to add these products to their shopping lists.

“Gluten is a form of protein found in grains” such as wheat, barley and rye, he explained. “It provides structure to the plant, as well as [to] the foods that are made from it”.

But gluten-free, “something else (usually multiple things) has to be added to create a dining experience similar to the gluten-containing version,” Patruno said. These gluten-free ingredients may include additives such as saturated fat, sodium and sugar which can prove irritating to the digestive system and can lead to empty calories.

“Take real bread instead!” Patruno advised those without medical needs to limit their gluten intake.

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