6 'Healthy' Foods That Are Surprisingly Bad for You

Thinking of stocking up on a healthy couscous salad for lunch? Think again! These seemingly 'healthy' foods aren't quite as good for you as you might think. We reveal the most common unhealthy food culprits...

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Couscous 

It's a common misconception that couscous is low-fat and low-carb. It's actually derived from pasta, so if you're watching your carb intake, it's best to steer clear of these moreish wheaty morsels. They're served as a staple with Middle Eastern stews and salads, and whilst they're not 'bad' for you as such, they're refined wheat, so has the same nutritional value as a bowl of white pasta. If you want a healthier option opt for wholewheat versions, bulgar wheat or quinoa instead. 

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Diet drinks

Don't be fooled by the label people! If you're watching your sugar intake steer clear of fizzy sodas and sugary drinks. Even if they have 'diet' stickers brandished all over them, the artificial sweeteners will cause more damage than good, even if they are lower in calories than the full fat stuff. Try fizzy water with fresh fruit instead, or even unsweetened homemade iced tea.

Rice cakes 

Light, airy and virtually calorie-free – rice crackers must be healthy for you, right? Wrong! Rice cakes have virtually zero nutritional value. They lack fibre and can also be high in sodium, the main culprit causing high blood pressure. Rice crackers are also shockingly carb dense, which means they have a high ratio of carb grams relative to their weight. A plain rice cake only weighs 9 grams but 80 per cent of it equates to carbohydrates. Something to bear in mind next time you load your cracker lovingly with all your favourite toppings! That pizza is not looking so bad bad now...

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Dried fruit 

It's tempting to think that sugars found in fruit and honey could never be bad for us, but even in its natural form, fruit should be consumed in moderation. What's more, dried fruit actually contains a ton of hidden sugars, so whilst dried apricots are relatively low in calories, the sugar hit can counter all the goodness in one fell swoop, so just make sure you only tuck into a few at a time. Your best bet is to opt for fresh fruit instead, as this won't contain any added sugars. 

Granola

Rolled oats, nuts and dried fruits. Granola must be brimming with health benefits! This scrumptious morning snack may taste like a pillar of health, but a bowl can easily contain around 500 calories, and that's without any milk. Opt for low-sugar wholewheat cereals like porridge or bran flakes instead.

Coconut oil

Despite being the world's biggest and latest health craze, coconut oil isn't quite as healthy as it's cracked up to be. It's been recommended by health gurus everywhere as an alternative to vegetable and olive oil, but it's important to bear in mind that coconut oil actually contains more saturated fat than butter and lard. Important to bear in mind if you're watching your cholesterol. 

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