You meal prep, pack lunches and snacks for work, drink green shakes and skip dessert. Overall, you make some very healthy choices when it comes to your diet and that’s great! However, it’s important to consider the foods many people consume thinking they are making healthy choices. These foods aren’t always as nutritious as they seem.

Indulging in hidden sugars

You may avoid desserts and carbs and think you’ve decreased your sugar intake. But sugar is in many other foods that you may not suspect. A general rule of thumb is that if it’s packaged, it’s most likely packed with sugar.

Condiments like barbeque sauces, pasta sauces and ketchup generally have a lot of added sugar. So do foods like energy and protein bars – even if they appear healthy because they are a low-calorie option. Next time you’re in the grocery store, read the nutrition label and see just how much sugar these bars contain. And don’t forget the drinks! Coffee drinks, alcohol, soda and energy drinks are also high sugar culprits. These items may be convenient, but keep in mind there are healthier options. For example, try the GoodLife Kitchen homemade no-cook ketchup!

Eating low fat or low-calorie options

Foods like granola or energy bars that are lower in calories are not always better if they are filled with artificial sweeteners. These chemicals can be detrimental to the body and can cause the body to crave more sugar.

Something labeled ‘low fat’ doesn’t necessarily mean it’s better for you. Fat is not to be feared and is in fact, part of a balanced diet. If a food that naturally contains fat is being produced to have less fat, it’s likely not the best choice.

Eating too many meals

You may have been told that instead of eating three larger meals a day, to eat five or six smaller ones instead. While this may work for some people, this is not always the best strategy for everyone.

Some people will find their digestion is better with three meals and that they eat healthier overall as adding extra meals in between are where unhealthy choices might sneak in. Those with strong appetites might find they simply eat too much. As little as three meals might work for you, as there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach. Get to know your body and how it performs best.

Believing the marketing

Don’t believe everything you see. Many packaged foods come with ‘healthy food’ marketing. Terms like ‘pure,’ ‘natural,’ or ‘less sugar’ may sound like you’re making a healthy choice, but they don’t have any true meaning behind them in terms of nutrition and are not regulated.

If it comes in a package and is being advertised as healthy, it is likely not the best choice for your body. Stick to foods you recognize as being whole and that come from the earth as much as possible.