Are you looking for alternatives to healthy food that might not be as beneficial as they seem? In this blog, we’ll explore some common misconceptions and provide smarter choices for granola, protein bars, and salad dressings to support your weight loss and health journey.

As mentioned previously, foods that are marketed or labelled as healthier alternatives may not be as healthy as you think. Somebody you follow on social media may eat a certain food everyday and swear by it. That does not mean it will help you to lose weight though, and may actually be doing more harm than good. Everybody is different!!

Let’s take a closer look at 3 more of these foods nutritional profiles and see what the science really says. We will also look at how we can find actual healthier alternatives!




Surely if you eat granola breakfast, you’ll lose weight, right?

Unfortunately, the opposite may be the case. Most granolas you find in the supermarket are packed with sugar. Granola is a great example of a healthy food that has even healthier alternatives. You may also see ‘only 150-200kcal/ serve!’ on the packaging too, however a 45g serving of granola can be MUCH smaller than you think, and to feel slightly full after you may require 3 of these servings, which is suddenly up on 600kcals….


You CAN still eat granola and lose weight. You just need to be smart and balance the meal.

Rather than just overeating the high sugar granola, getting an energy spike and then crashing, have the granola with some protein yoghurt, fresh berries and chia seeds.

This will provide you will additional fibre and protein to keep you fuller for longer and sustain energy for the rest of the day. Which will also lead to less overeating. Homemade granola can also be made with less sugar.



Protein Bars


Protein, protein and more protein!

The latest food that everybody wants to be eating to ‘get in shape’. Just because a food is marketed as high protein though, may not mean that eating it will make you super healthy. Just because you are eating protein does not mean you will automatically knock off a few pounds.

Some ‘protein’ bars in fact – may actually not be high in protein at all and have the exact same number of calories as your favourite chocolate bar, so be mindful.


The best thing that you can do to determine if it’s worth spending $6 on your favourite protein bar is to get good at reading nutrition labels. Turn the bar around, find the nutritional information and search for protein. If it contains 20g of protein or more it gets a big tick.

After this take a look at the fat content. If it contains less than 5g fat, another tick (with saturated fat around 2g). A lot of the time, protein bars will contain up to 15g fat, with up to 6g saturated fat which is going to contribute to may additional calories which is not ideal.

Finally, check the sugar content under carbs and hope that it contains less than 5g. Even better, sweeteners are used instead of sugar. Some bars can contain up to 13g of fibre too – which will be an additional tick!

The reason protein bars have been shown to work is because they are much more filling than a regular chocolate bar which means you won’t be hungry for a longer time after. This can lead to quicker weight loss.

They can be a great, easy and convenient option to help you on your weight loss journey. You just don’t want to rely on them all the time, and learn to determine if it is worth the dollars or not.



Salad dressing


Salads are a tasty and versatile way to add colour to your diet. However for many they are only enjoyable when topped with a creamy topping. Some people may reach for a ‘low fat’ option with the hope to reduce the number of calories on the plate. Contrary to their beliefs however, this may actually lead to making a less healthy choice.

Many bottled dressings (even if they are marketed as low fat or low sugar), are typically made with non-beneficial oils, and contain stabilizers, preservatives, corn syrups and more questionable ingredients.


Many of the beneficial nutrients that are found in salads are actually absorbed better with the addition of healthy fats. Extra virgin olive oil is a healthy fat which is good for your heart, with additional antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Avocados also fall into this category and with a little bit of added lemon juice can be a great option for a dressing. Another personal favourite dressing of mine is to mix Greek yoghurt with lemon, chilli flakes and garlic – YUM.



In summary


In summary, by understanding the true nutritional value of popular items like granola, protein bars, and salad dressings, you can find better alternatives to healthy food that will more effectively support your weight loss and overall health.

You may have learned that some of these foods that you thought you could eat loads of are not as healthy as you thought. It is important to remember that there is a place in the diet for every food. You just have to be smart about timings, type and what you are pairing the food with. Taking these into consideration may really benefit your weight loss and health journey.


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