We all know to avoid the candy aisle and the greasy fast food joints. But what about those seemingly healthy options lining the shelves?

Deceptive marketing and our own misconceptions can lead us to believe we’re making healthy choices when we’re not. To truly unleash your inner Golden Goddess (think health and radiance!), you need the knowledge to make informed decisions about what goes on your plate.

Here are 10 surprising hidden health villains to watch out for:

1. Protein Bars: Candy Bars in Disguise

Those protein bars boasting impressive protein content might seem like a healthy grab-and-go option. But a closer look reveals a not-so-pretty truth. Many are loaded with artificial ingredients, high fructose corn syrup (linked to weight gain and heart problems), and unhealthy fats.

The Golden Goddess Solution: Skip the store-bought bars and make your own protein balls with wholesome ingredients. If you need a convenient option, choose a brand like Larabar or make your own Nourishing Labs Energy Bites.

chocolate bliss balls

Grab and Go Goodness: Nourishing Lab’s energy bites are the perfect pick-me-up.


2. Sweetened Soy and Nut Milk

While nut and soy milks offer a dairy-free alternative, sweetened versions can be a double whammy for your health goals.

The added sugar significantly reduces the potential benefits of these drinks. Just like with protein bars, a quick glance at the label might reveal a surprising amount of sugar hiding behind claims of “healthy.”

Another sneaky culprit is carrageenan, a thickening agent sometimes found in store-bought nut and soy milk. While research is ongoing, some studies suggest a possible link between carrageenan and digestive issues like stomach ulcers and glucose intolerance.

The Golden Goddess Solution:

  • Opt for unsweetened nut or soy milk. You can always add a touch of natural sweetness like dates or a splash of pure maple syrup.
  • Making your own nut or soy milk is a fantastic option! It gives you complete control over the ingredients and allows you to avoid added sugar and carrageenan altogether.

3. Sneaky Spreads and Dips: Not All Veggies Are Created Equal

Don’t be fooled by colorful dips boasting “hidden vegetables.” Many store-bought dips and spreads are loaded with hidden health hazards. Cream cheese, artificial flavors, saturated fats, and added sugars can lurk beneath the surface, contributing to weight gain and other health problems.

The Golden Goddess Solution:

Ditch the creamy dips and cheese spreads! Opt for healthier alternatives like hummus, cashew cheese, or bean-based dips. These options are typically lower in fat and sugar, and often pack a protein punch.

4. Deli Meats: Buyer Beware!

Even lean meats like chicken and turkey can become health villains in disguise. Packaged deli meats often harbor sodium nitrates, saturated fat, preservatives, and fillers. These additives can negatively impact gut health and contribute to other health concerns.

The Golden Goddess Solution:

Seek out free-range chicken and turkey that are preservative-free. Look for trusted local butchers or stores that prioritize high-quality meats with minimal processing. By purchasing whole cuts of meat, you have more control over what goes into your body.

5. Juice Deception: Sweetness Can Be Deceitful

Many people reach for bottled vegetable and fruit juices, believing they’re a healthy choice. However, these beverages can be surprisingly high in sugar, especially “juice cocktails.” A single serving can easily contain 8 teaspoons of sugar or more – that’s a significant amount!

The Golden Goddess Solution:

Skip the sugary juices and opt for a more hydrating and nutrient-rich option. Try a delicious Nourishing Lab Golden Goddess Smoothie – packed with flavor and good-for-you ingredients. Remember, water is always your best beverage choice!

beet smoothie

Beet the Day with Nourishing Lab’s Golden Goddess Smoothie

6. Gluten-Free Doesn’t Equal Healthy: Read Between the Lines

Don’t be fooled by the “gluten-free” label! While this can be an important factor for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, it doesn’t automatically equate to health food. Many gluten-free snacks are simply empty calorie bombs loaded with sugar and unhealthy additives.

The Golden Goddess Solution:

Become a label-reading detective! Don’t assume “gluten-free” means healthy. Scrutinize the ingredient list to make informed choices.

Golden Goddess Alternatives:

Looking for delicious gluten-free options? Try making your own protein balls with wholesome ingredients, or explore options like Nourishing Labs Protein Doughnuts.

chocolate donut

Decadent Doughnut Dreams: Enjoy chocolate without the worry!

7. Low-Fat Salad Dressing: Don’t Fall for the Fat-Free Trap

Similar to “gluten-free,” the term “low-fat” doesn’t automatically translate to healthy. When fat is removed from salad dressings, manufacturers often compensate with flavor enhancers like high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), sugar, salt, and a variety of additives.

The Golden Goddess Solution:

Ditch the low-fat options and embrace healthy fats! They play a vital role in nutrient absorption and contribute to a satisfying meal.

Golden Goddess Salad Dressing Inspiration:

Explore homemade salad dressings bursting with flavor. Here are a few ideas to get you started: The Favorite Balsamic Vinaigrette, Danielle Walker’s Dairy Free Ranch Dressing  and Minimalist Baker’s Tahini Dressing

8. Frozen Yogurt: Not the Guilt-Free Treat You Think

Don’t be fooled by the “yogurt” label! While yogurt is often associated with gut health and probiotics, many frozen yogurts are loaded with just as much sugar as ice cream. Just because it contains yogurt doesn’t mean the added sugar isn’t detrimental to your health. The situation worsens when topped with sprinkles, cookies, or candy.

The Golden Goddess Solution:

Indulge in a truly healthy frozen treat! Make your own coconut yogurt at home, or choose a store-bought option that prioritizes minimal sugar content. Always check the nutritional information to make informed choices.

Homemade Coconut Yogurt

9. Trail Mix: Not Always a Walk in the Park

Trail mix conjures up images of a healthy snack packed with nuts, seeds, and dried fruit. However, commercially prepared trail mix can be a hidden health villain. Many store-bought varieties are loaded with candy pieces, chocolate chips, dried fruits coated in unhealthy oils, and minimal amounts of the good stuff.

The Golden Goddess Solution:

Take control and make your own trail mix! This allows you to customize it to your taste preferences and ensure you’re getting a truly healthy snack. Pack it with fiber-rich nuts and seeds, unsweetened dried fruits, and dark chocolate for a touch of indulgence. Goji berries, Brazil nuts, dates, and a sprinkle of herbs and spices can add exciting flavor and nutrient variety.

10. Veggie Burgers: Don’t Be Fooled by the “Veggie” Label

While opting for a veggie burger seems like a healthy choice, commercially prepared versions often fall short. They can be highly processed, packed with soy, preservatives, and additives, and may offer minimal nutritional value.

The Golden Goddess Solution:

Embrace the power of homemade! Wholesome veggie burgers like Nourishing Labs Beet Burger made from scratch allow you to control the ingredients and ensure you’re getting a nutrient-dense meal.

beet burgers

Ditch the Beef, Embrace the Beet: This burger is a game-changer!


Our grocery stores are lined with products that appear to be healthy choices, but a closer look often reveals a different story. By understanding these hidden health villains and embracing alternatives like homemade snacks and carefully selected ingredients, you can navigate the aisles with confidence and create a diet that nourishes your body and supports your golden glow!

Published On: April 20, 2018|By |
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