With summer around the corner trying to be healthy can be overwhelming, if not outright maddening. There's a ton of conflicting information out there, in this article we will be shocking you with foods masked as being healthy but in actual fact are loaded with all the bad words from calories to sugar to saturated fats.

So to make things a little easier for you, here's a list of 'healthy snacks' you should avoid:

  1. Fruit Smoothies - These are mostly made up of fruit juice and sugared-up yoghurt filled with artificial sugars and sweeteners. Although they taste heavenly, smoothies can make up almost as many calories as a full meal which you will be drinking on the go.
  2. Flavoured Water - There is no substitute for pure water, even if you think it's a close second- flavoured water usually contains flavouring chemicals and plenty of sugar. Flavoured water is almost no better than fizzy drinks. Don't be fooled by these sugar laden drinks posing as a healthy alternative to plain water.
  3. Fruit Bars - Fruit bars sound like the greatest idea when it comes to a quick snack on the run in today's bustling world, but did you know these healthy snacks are riddled with sweeteners, white flour, and high-fructose corn syrup which are all no go's when it comes to feeding our body nutrition.
  4. Dried Fruit - Dried fruit seems like an innocent snack, it's fruit, after all. But companies use sulphur dioxide to preserve freshness and add sugar to sweeten the flavour (cranberries and pineapple are among the worst), making dried fruit equivalent to sweets. Although you are still getting a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fibre, it's also a snack which is incredibly easy to overeat.
  5. Yoghurt Covered Snacks - We're going to let you in on a secret: Yoghurt-covered snacks aren't even covered with yoghurt. Those tubs of pretzels and raisins are likely just covered in sugar. More specifically, a 1/4 cup serving of yoghurt-covered raisins has about 150 calories, a third of which comes from fat, while the rest comes from carbs.
  6. Granola - It's a quick and easy yoghurt add-on, great with a splash of milk, and even a filling snack on its own, but nearly all granola brands add sugar and oil during the cooking process. Some are loaded with seeds, nuts and dried fruit, which ups the fat content as well.
  7. Flavoured Yoghurt - When it comes to yoghurt, choose plain or natural flavoured over fruity flavours because there is probably no actual fruit in your yoghurt and there is a lot more sugar in these variants.
  8. Anything 'Fat Free' or 'Low Fat' - Some low-fat/fat-free foods can contain up to 10% more calories and 40% more sugar. Fat usually equals to flavour, so when fat is removed, the flavour is lost - so there are normally additional flavours and sugar to make up for the fat loss.
  9. Veggie chips - Just because they're made with vegetables doesn't mean they aren't fired like normal potato chips. Baking, frying and even cooking vegetables removes some of their nutrients so if you're craving vegetables you should probably just eat them raw or make your own.
  10. Bottled Tea - Iced tea is a big culprit of hidden sugar. When you buy canned or bottled ice tea you're probably getting an additional 27g of sugar and 100 more calories. Always go with good old water if you need to grab a drink on the go.

So - the next time you glance at a nutritional food label remember that every 4g of sugar equals 1 teaspoon of sugar - and don't forget to add it up as most labels show nutritional value per 50g or 100g and the product could be 250g or even 750g!

You would be shocked if you did the math on some of your favourite/daily products.

We worked out 3 of the most common food items in our HQ kitchen:

  1. Peanut Butter - 400g (250ml tub) = 14.2 teaspoons of sugar
  2. Brown Bread- 700g (loaf) = 7 teaspoons of sugar
  3. Instant Cappuccino Sachet - 24g (one sachet) = 4 teaspoons of sugar

So rubies we challenge (or should we say 'dare') you to work out the sugar content in 3 items you eat or drink daily and let us know how much sugar you consume just by these 3 products.