5 Popular Products That Are Less Healthy Than They Seem

Posted in: Diet & Nutrition
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Susan Ohtake, CPT

Billions of dollars are spent every year trying to convince the American public to buy products that claim to improve health. With that much marketing being thrown at us, it can be hard to figure out what works and what is just hype.

You’ve got to be extra careful when it comes to buying health products. Some of these items can actively harm you, in addition to failing to live up to their health claims.

Let the buyer beware: not everything is always what it seems…

Diet Drinks

Diet drinks have to make you lose weight. I mean, they have “diet” right there in the name.

Not so fast!

Diet sodas have actually been shown to make you gain weight. How is that possible, since the only ingredients are water and chemicals?

Well, the artificial sweetener tricks your brain into thinking you’re consuming something sweet, and when it doesn’t actually receive the calories it expects, it responds by sending cravings. These cravings make you more likely to overeat or make unhealthy food choices.

Veggie Chips

These days, you see chips made from all sorts of different vegetables. Joining the potato are the sweet potato, carrots, beets, snap peas, cassava and a variety of other vegetables. They taste pretty good, but they aren’t good for you.

Don’t be fooled by the packaging—these “veggie” chips are just as bad for you as their more traditional counterparts.

The minuscule nutritional content that survives the cooking process isn’t enough to counter the negative effects of deep frying and salty seasonings.

If you want junk food, eat veggie chips—just don’t convince yourself that you’re really eating health food.


Supplements can be a good addition to a healthy diet, but that’s not always the case. Because the FDA doesn’t oversee supplements, none of them are approved as safe. For that reason, substances that are unsafe are available alongside the helpful supplements.

Additionally, supplements aren’t one-size-fits-all. What you need to consume depends on your body, your diet, and your lifestyle. When incorporating substances into your health regimen, it’s important that you research whether or not they’re healthy for you.

Exercise Equipment

Sometimes, exercise equipment can be a great solution for working out. Treadmills and exercise bikes are good when used as a part of a regular exercise routine. They let you fight that flab and get fit no matter what the weather is like.

Unfortunately, not all machines are created equal. Some machines can prevent you from losing weight. Some can even hurt you. Be particularly aware of the strain that some machines can do to your muscles. Abdominal machines are a big no-no—they can cause serious back injuries due to the unnatural bending motion (did you know your abs are there to actually protect against bending?).

The best exercises are ones you can do with little or no equipment, so don’t get tricked into thinking you need a fancy contraption to get fit!

Sports Drinks

Sports drinks are so common in our lives that we hardly even think about them. We automatically look to them when we feel like we need hydrating.

Maybe it’s time we looked at sports drinks a little more closely.

The biggest problem with these beverages isn’t what they’re missing—it’s what they’re full of. SUGAR. Processed, refined sugar. The kind that eats away at your organs and causes deadly diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Basically, these sports drinks are no better than having a big glass of soda. They might taste good, but they’re definitely not healthy. Instead, drink some water! Nothing hydrates better.

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