Can’t Lose Weight? These 9 Healthy Foods Could Be Why!

healthy foods

Reviewed by: Erica An, APD, BNutr&Diet

We’ve all looked at a product at one time or another, that made us feel as though we would be healthier if we added it to our shopping trolley. It may have been an ad on the telly, a recommendation from a friend or packaging with misleading claims. Whatever the reason you bought it, if it’s one of the below 9 products, it’s probably not as healthy as you think. We recommend re-thinking it (and then ditching it!)


COMMERCIAL ALMOND MILK. Frequently made with just 2% almonds, commercial almond milks are low in protein. Additionally, they have a list of added vitamins and minerals, sweeteners, emulsifiers and thickening agents. Commercial almond milks provide the body with very little nourishment.

AGAVE SYRUP. With its high levels of fructose, Agave can be compared to processed high fructose corn syrups. Fructose is tolerable when consumed as whole fruit. In a refined state and consumed in large quantities, it’s virtually the same amount of calories as table sugar.

FAT-FREE SALAD DRESSING. Salad dressing that is fat-free often contains an ingredient list of sugar, sodium, artificial colours, flavours and thickeners. So rather than drenching your salad in a fat-free dressing, opt for an extra virgin olive oil or a good quality balsamic vinaigrette instead. 

‘VEGETABLE’ CHIPS. It’s amusing to see a range of starchy vegetables like beetroot made into chips and marketed as a healthy option. After all, potato is a starchy vegetable too! Just be aware that whether made from beetroot or potato, a chippie is a chippie. 

QUICK ‘FLAVOURED’ OAT SACHETS. Porridge alone is a nourishing breakfast option but when it’s made from processed oats and packed with sugary powder, it’s not what’s best for our health. Ditch the sachets for some rolled oats and flavour with fruit or natural yoghurt instead. 

DIET DRINKS. If you are watching your calorie intake, a Diet Coke or a ‘diet drink’ might seem like a great calorie-free choice… but alas, it’s not. Research has proven that diet drinks really ramp up hunger and excess consumption can make your tummy feel very uncomfortable.

HIGHLY PROCESSED BREAKFAST CEREALS. There are a wide range of cereals out there that try to convince us that we will become an ‘Iron-Man’ if you eat them… no. Before you get sucked in by the fancy packaging or marketing campaign, first check the nutrition table and the list of ingredients. Look for whole-grains, high fibre and low sugar.

CUP OF SOUP. Soups can be incredibly nourishing and make a great work lunch. But if it comes in the form of a powder to be mixed with water, ditch it! 

HAZELNUT SPREAD. Hazelnuts are nutritious little nuts when in their natural state… but when they are made into a sweet chocolate spread, although delicious, it’s not the best option for your toast. Opt for a nut only spread instead.

This is only the beginning of what we can teach. To find out more about our nutrition programs, visit us here.

Lisa Donaldson, APD, M.Nutr&Diet, B.Edu
Lisa is the Lead Dietitian for 12WBT. With a Masters in Nutrition & Dietietics as well as a Bachelor of Education, Lisa is keen to help all 12 Weekers understand how to achieve health for life. Lisa studied Sports Dietetics at the Australian Institute of Sport and has a keen interest in gastrointestinal health. A highly regarded communicator, Lisa is a spokesperson for the Dietitians Association of Australia, the ‘Dietitian in Residence’ at the University of Canberra and a lecturer at the Australian Defence Force Academy. She has also been an expert on ABC Television’s Ask the Dr Series.

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