The healthy snacks that are actually bad for you

When good foods go bad...

When it comes to healthy eating, there’s plenty of advice out there. The problem for many people is sorting out the good from the bad with many people unsure about what foods to include in their diet and which ones to stay away from.

Last year we saw huge trends emerge in the healthy eating camp with many championing a range of so-called miracle foods that would keep the weight off.

The only problem was a lot of this advice came from people who weren’t experts in their field, leaving nutritionists shaking their heads.

Now, a group of experts have come out and sorted the good from the bad so that people don’t fall into the same bad eating habits this year.

Gluten-free products

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The war against gluten has been raging for some years now with some experts claiming it is ruining our bodies and putting our health at risk. The movement has certainly had plenty of publicity with hundreds of companies launching gluten-free ranges and even people who aren’t allergic switching to gluten-free options instead. The only problem with this is that these so-called healthy options are often lacking in the health department.

“If you remove gluten from your diet without medical necessity, you will run the risk of missing out on some vitamins and other essential nutrients,” nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert told the FEMAIL.

“Many gluten-free products available tend to be quite low in iron, calcium, fibre, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and folate.

“Many gluten-free foods would be tasteless without the higher levels of sugar, salt, and other additives to make them more palatable.

“And don’t forget that gluten-free junk food is still junk food.”

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Popcorn was one of the stand-out snacks of the year in 2016 with people regularly chowing down on the tasty kernels between meals. While many brands advertise it as a light and guilt-free snack, experts are warning they’re often loaded with sneaky extras that can do some serious damage to your health. Many are loaded with artificial flavours, sugar and salt in a bid to entice shoppers, while still claiming to be a healthy option. Nutritionists say that if you want to snack on popcorn, it’s best to make it at home yourself in a little sunflower oil and minimal to no salt.

Spinach pasta

If it’s green it’s good, right? Not so. While spinach is definitely an amazing vegetable packed with health benefits, this version is nothing more than a gimmick. Many shoppers found themselves reaching for green pasta last year thinking they were getting a good dose of iron as they tucked into their Bolognese at dinner. However, experts say they amount of spinach in this pasta is so small it gives little to no benefit. Instead, they say you’re much better off going for a whole-wheat version and sticking to a small portion size.

Veggie chips

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These chips are so tasty we’d do anything to talk ourselves into thinking they’re good for us! Unfortunately, when it comes to real health benefits, there’s no denying they’re really no better than snacking on a regular old potato chips thank to the high fat and salt content. The veggies are sliced so thinly that they end up soaking up plenty of oil and lose most of their nutritional value in the process. Still, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying them as a treat every now and again!

Protein bars

High protein, low carb diets have been hailed as the secret to keeping weight off for many years now. But while there are definitely benefits there are also a few ways people continue to trip up. Protein bars are a popular snack for many after a work out or exercise, with many brands claiming they help build muscle mass and keep you feeling fuller for longer. However, due to the fact that they’re highly processed they’re often packed with nasty additives as well as plenty of sugar and fat. Nutritionists say that if your protein bar has more than 200 calories or 8 grams of sugar, which many do, it’s just as bad as eating a chocolate bar!


Sushi is a bit of a tricky one thanks to the huge variety of types and flavours it comes in. While it can definitely be a healthy option for a delicious light lunch, experts say you need to be careful when making your choice. Avoid things like mayonnaise, cream cheese and fried meats as fillings and stick to fresh foods like salmon, avocado, cucumber and veggies instead. Most sushi stations offer brown rice versions now too, which are great for low GI options and keeping you fuller for longer.

Do you snack on any of these foods? Are you planning on eating healthy this year?