Five “healthy” foods that aren’t so healthy after all!

If you're trying to lose weight or simply to eat clean, it can be easy to be tempted by foods that claim to be healthy or "fat-free."

Not all so-called "healthy" foods are necessarily good for you or your waistline, though, so it's important to be clear what it is you're actually eating.

Here are a few not-so-healthy foods to watch out for…

1. Pre-made salads
A salad might seem like it's definitely the healthier option if you're grabbing lunch on the go, but watch out for dressings which can be packed with oil and sugar. As for tuna or prawn salads, these are generally loaded with mayonnaise and are far from a healthy choice. If you're ordering a salad when eating out, ask for the dressing on the side and watch your portion sizes. 

2. Energy bars or protein bars
If your pre-workout snack of choice is a shop-bought energy bar, you could be packing in excess calories without realising. These can often be filled with sugar and fat, so make your own instead or simply go for a protein-heavy snack like a handful of almonds instead.

3. Wholemeal bread
Many wholemeal breads, especially cheaper brands, are often simply dyed with colouring agent to appear brown and can in fact be worse for you than plain white bread. Even if you're choosing fresh wholemeal bread, be careful – just because it's wholegrain doesn't mean it won't bloat you as much as any other kind of bread.

4. Smoothies
Portion size is a huge issue when it comes to smoothies, especially if you are buying them from a juice or smoothie bar. While smoothies are a great source of fruit, they are often thickened and sweetened with sugar, full-fat yoghurt or even ice cream. Not good. Make your own at home instead and use a dollop or two of natural yoghurt instead of ice cream or excess sugar.

5. Granola
Granola once had a reputation as a serious health food, but there are so many better options out there than a bowl of honey coated oats with dried fruit. Try a wholemeal porridge instead – it'll fill you up for longer and you only need a small portion to feel satisfied. As for granola bars, look for brands with less than 10g sugar per bar or simply make your own to be sure of what's going into them.