5 ‘Healthy’ Foods Nutritionists Say Are a Waste of Money

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yogurt in dish

You can probably guess that bagels, soda, candy, and potato chips rarely make it into a nutritionist’s grocery basket. But some of the other items they refuse to eat may surprise you. Don’t waste your money on these supposedly good-for-you products, which are actually among the worst.

Flavored yogurt

Yogurt is a great source of calcium and protein, but Isadora Baum, Health Coach, Founder of Live for You Now Coaching, says it’s best to buy plain and sweeten it with fruit and honey. Some pre-flavored yogurts are as sugary as a candy bar. Save money by buying a big tub of plain Greek yogurt rather than the single-serving containers.

Puffed veggie chips

“Veggie” may be in their name, but check the ingredients list—you’ll probably find a long list of additives like potato starch, corn starch, and soy flour, says Cynthia Sass, RD, author of Slim Down Now and Health contributor. Plus, a serving contains nearly as many calories as a serving of potato chips.

Bottled salad dressings

They’re full of highly processed oils, added sugar, and artificial colors, says Megan Roosevelt, RD, founder and host of The Healthy Grocery Girl Cooking Show on YouTube. You’re better off making your own using olive oil, vinegar, and herbs. Not only is this healthier, but homemade costs a fraction of the price of store-bought.

Cold-pressed juices

You are not getting your nutritional bang for your buck with juice. Juicing a fruit or veggie strips out most of the beneficial fiber in the produce, and leaves behind the fruit’s sugar, says Natalie Rizzo, RD, a nutritionist in New York City. And although one juice may contain multiple fruits or vegetables, the truth is, your body can only absorb so many nutrients at one time. Your waistline (and your wallet!) is better off eating the whole produce.

Gluten-free packaged foods

Unless you have been diagnosed with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, there is no reason to be buying gluten-free foods, says Samantha Lynch, RD. They come with a hefty markup—and for the healthiest diet, you should be avoiding foods sold in a bag or a box anyway.

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