Though cooking at home is generally a good technique for eating healthier, some things we might reach for, thinking that they'll be good for us, aren’t really as healthy as they seem.Greek yogurt, chia seeds, or almond butter, for instance, become the new trending health food, it’s only natural that we seek out recipes using these items. But many times the versions of these products that we find in stores have added sugar (and thus calories) to make them palatable to a wider group of people; not all people will eat and enjoy plain Greek yogurt, for example, but most can find at least one sugar-added variety that they like.
Other times, the recipes themselves become the diet bombs. Even if we choose the most natural, no-sugar-added versions of health foods, the other ingredients we add during the cooking process can make the recipe unhealthy. Quinoa is a healthy and delicious alternative to white rice — until we cook it with cream and top it with cheese to make a mock risotto.
Though many unhealthy choices can be avoided by simply cooking for yourself and paying attention to the ingredients you’re using, there are a few recipes that are sneakier than others. We’ve rounded up some of the worst offenders. If you’re going to eat one of these 7 foods, make sure you try a few healthy ingredient swaps.
Though they’re a good source of fiber, many bran muffins are made with loads of refined flour, butter, and sugar. Look for recipes that call for whole-wheat flour or replace part or all of the sugar with no-sugar-added applesauce.
Topped with bacon, egg, avocado, and blue cheese, this salad quickly becomes a major diet bomb. If you love cobb salad, make your own, being mindful of the amount of egg, avocado, and cheese that you use. You can also swap a leaner “bacon” like turkey bacon if you’re making this salad at home.
Kristie Collado is The Daily Meal’s Cook Editor. Follow her on Twitter @KColladoCook.