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Healthy Foods That Aren't Healthy

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Bodybuilding and Fitness Newsletter 11/18/2020

These "Healthy" Foods Are Actually Bad for You!

Healthy Foods That Aren't Healthy

Whatever your fitness goals are, your primary goal should always be to build and maintain super health, because you will NEVER get big if you’re sick or puny. While eating for health seems like a simple idea, it can often be confusing because not all “health” foods are really good for you when you take a closer look.

Among a sea of options, here are foods that you THINK are healthy but are actually pretty bad for you.


Granola has the reputation as being a a super-health food, used by ultra athletes to fuel long runs and hikes, and avoided by those who don’t like to eat right. The truth is, though, that most pre-packaged granola is loaded with added sugars and even trans fat to help improve taste and shelf life. Both of these can by physique killers, and they make granola a no-no for improving health. Now, given the choice between granola and french fries, you will usually want to choose granola, but it’s not the no-brainer you might think.


What could be better than soy? It’s a complete protein from a plant source, and it MAY help reduce certain types of cancers. That makes it perfect for vegans and hardcore bodybuilders alike, right?

Well, don’t be so fast to throw out that whey protein!

Soy falls somewhere below just about every type of animal protein and just above wheat on the biological value scale, a measure of how well your body can use various proteins. What’s more, studies have shown that soy can lower testosterone levels, which may explain its anti-cancer tendencies but can also kill muscle gains.

Trail Mix

Like granola, trail mix is usually held up as an example of super healthy food, but most varieties fall well short of that mark. In particular, the majority of pre-packaged trail mixes are peppered with extra sugar, scads of dried fruit, and lots of nuts. While dried fruit and nuts CAN be part of a healthful diet, they are very high in calories, and a handful of trail mix can add several hundred calories to your diet. Add in preservatives and the goodies included in some varieties — M & Ms, anyone? — and trail mix falls outside of a true health-enhancing, muscle-building diet.

Wheat Bread

Wheat bread does have its benefits — fiber, low glycemic index, good taste. Even so, it’s not the best carbohydrate choice for most people because it is highly processed, often has added sugar, and its labeling can be misleading. Many people are also gluten-intolerant, which excludes wheat from a healthful diet. If you DO include wheat bread in your diet, make sure that it contains whole grains, has little to no sugar added, and has very few other additives.

Fat-Free Snacks

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, low-fat or fat-free eating was all the rage, and fat-free snacks came into their own. While some of the fervor around the low-fat eating plans has died down as people realized that fat is not evil, the fat-free snacks have stuck around. These typically take the form of 100-calorie cookie packs, fruit chews, dry and pasty fig newtons, and even certain candies. Walk into any grocery or convenience store and you’ll see these “treats” emblazoned with their “fat-free” labels … but don’t bite. In nearly every case, the manufacturers of these snacks have replaced fat with sugar, and turned an already junky food into a pure glycemic nightmare. If you REALLY need something sweet and fat-free, try an apple instead.

Be Aware

These five bad-for-you “healthy” foods are just some of the more glaring examples of misleading nutritional products that you should avoid, but others are not hard to identify. Keep in mind that you should be eating whole, unprocessed foods most of the time and you, too, can pick out the “good-for-you” foods that will halt your muscle gains and might have a negative effect on your health or well-being.

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