That’s Not Healthy! A Guide To Hidden Fat, Calories and Just Plain Junk


Staying healthy is a top priority, but it isn’t always easy to get into the zone. It’s hard to always make the right eating choice, and when we operate under false assumptions about the food that we eat, the margin for error rises. Anyone who is serious about their diet and the foods they consume should avoid the following food traps, or things that we eat that aren’t as healthy as we think.

DON’T: Cheese

Cheese is delicious. It’s creamy, salty, and savory and pulls so many meals together. It seems to make a great snack because it contains protein instead of carbs and full of calcium, but there are some serious concerns about cheese. Most varieties of cheese Americans usually consume are processed and high in fat and have relatively little bang for their buck in the health department once benefits and concerns are evenly weighted.

DO: Reduced Fat Cheese

It’s easy to get the taste, texture and health benefits from cheese without the fat by making one small change in your shopping routine. Reach for reduced fat varieties, which often taste nearly identical to its full fat siblings. Reduced fat cheese is sometimes in brick form, sometimes shredded, and even comes in string cheese and other on the go snack friendly forms. There are many creamy, spreadable cheeses that reduce fat, and cream cheese is available in low fat versions as well. Feta, Colby, soft farmer’s cheese, and hard grating cheeses such as Parmesan and Romano contain less fat than choices such as Cheddar and Brie.

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DON’T: Croutons

Many healthy people eat lots of salads, which makes sense because vegetables are full of nutrients and fiber. The problem with salads arises from the ‘mix in’ add on items that get tossed in along the way to keep things exciting. One beloved salad topper is the Crouton, and while there are many croutons in the stores today that claim to be low fat, a crouton is a ‘junk’ food. The majority of croutons are made from white bread, full of the wrong carbs that your body will blow through with little benefit. A lack of nutritional value is another strike against croutons.

DO: Seeds and Beans

Satisfy your desire for crunch and texture by swapping croutons for seeds like pumpkin, flax, sunflower or even roasted beans. Garbanzo beans can be seasoned and roasted in the oven on a baking sheet to create a fantastic, crunchy, savory, nutritious and delicious salad topper. Seeds can be quickly toasted on the stovetop in a saute pan. Beans have significantly less fat than seeds, but either is a better choice for diet and nutrition than croutons. Remember to use ingredients like seeds sparingly.

This video is a tutorial on exactly how to roast garbanzo beans. You can add whatever spices you like best or ones that you will go great with each particular salad. Anyone trying to loose weight should be sparing with the oil.

DON’T: Oil

Every week there is a new miracle oil here to save the world from empty calories, fat and cholesterol. Some oil has more benefits than others, such as olive oil compared to corn oil, but all oil is fat and something you should avoid as much as possible when living a healthy lifestyle. When you need to use oil, consider loading it into a spray bottle before using, so you can add a small spritz instead of a heavy handed pour. This is a wonderful method for roasting vegetables or ensuring things won’t stick when cooking. Sometimes you can avoid the oil altogether, and we have the secret.

DO: Water or Broth

This method works particularly well when stir frying vegetables and even lean meats. Substitute a small amount of broth or water for the oil you would usually add to the saute pan. Heat the pan until the water steams, and add vegetables. As the water evaporates, add small splashes of water to the pan to help keep anything from sticking. If you fall in love with this way of cooking, it’s easy to load your liquid into a squeeze bottle, just like the pros do.

DON’T: Conventional Salad Dressing

Salad dressing is fine when used in moderation, and there are lower fat varieties available in all major grocery stores. Because of oil added little nutritional value and the seasonings of prepared dressings can often contain problematic ingredients such as MSG & sodium and finding a healthier solution to dressing your salads would be a total win.

DO: Vegetable Based Salad Dressing

A powerful blender or juicer can extract delicious, bright, healthy liquid or fine purees from vegetables like red peppers (fresh or roasted), onions, carrots, peas, garlic, and fruits like apples, citrus and pears. Get creative and mix ingredients: onion and pepper puree with lemon juice or a green pea puree with spices and ground nuts. Add a very small amount of healthy oil if you must, but you may find you never miss it. As long as your creation is tasty and will pour or dollop onto your salad, you’re ready to enjoy it.

How To Get Prepared

Some of the methods and swap outs we’ve shared involve some light equipment. When you set your kitchen up for success, you know you have the tools to backup your goals. Nobody likes to throw money away, so shopping economically is a priority.

Luckily, websites like are here to help with coupons for a really large variety of online stores. All shoppers have to do is find a coupon offer they want to use, click to select it, copy the code and proceed to the retailer website to get shopping. Paste that code in the appropriate place at checkout time, and you’re on your way to savings.

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