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10 foods that pretend to be good for you

1. GRANOLA. Ironically, the word can describe a health food enthusiast or someone who is environmentally aware. The reality is that granola is laden with sugar and often cooked in butter, fat or oil. What self-respecting crunchy Earth mother wants that?


2. SMOOTHIES. If you drink liquified kale, you assume it’s good for you. Otherwise you might as well be drinking blended lawn clippings. Unfortunately, blenders and juicers strip out vegetative and fruit fiber, which slows absorption of the sugar often added to the drink. In turn, your blood sugar and insulin levels spike.


3. SKINNY COW ICE CREAM: The idea of this ice cream alternative was to offer a guilty pleasure without the guilt. And indeed, it has less fat and fewer calories, but the trade-off is more chemicals and artificial sweeteners. The latter has been found in some studies to actually increase the appetite for sugar.


4. FLAVORED YOGURT: Yogurt is good for you and has been for centuries. The problem is, today’s yogurt makers add dollops of fruit preserves or other sugar-heavy flavorings. Some yogurts have nearly as much sugar as ice cream. If you want the health benefit of yogurt, buy the plain variety and add honey and/or fresh fruit.


5. RESTAURANT CHICKEN DISHES: Restaurants often cook poultry in oil or slathered with butter, salt and/or cream. For example, the Cheesecake Factory offers a diet-busting Crispy Chicken Costoletta that will stress your gastrointestinal system with 2,610 calories, 89 grams of saturated fat and 2,720 milligrams of sodium. The lesson? Cook your chicken at home.


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