These foods that we think are healthy but which are not… that much

Rice cake, almond milk or smoothie, so many foods you should be wary of. iStock

Rice cakes, smoothies, 0% cereals… so many foods with seemingly innocent content that you should be wary of. We take stock.

The rice cakes

It is quite possible that the innocent pancake is lying around in a pocket of your bag or in a desk drawer to satiate the hunger of 16 hours in a healthy way. At the risk of disappointing its followers, on the side of dietician nutritionists, the rice cake does not achieve the same success. “The process of making puffed rice, the popping, increases the glycemic index of the food. Sweeter, it causes a rise in blood sugar which, when it comes down, causes cravings, “explains Florence Foucaut (1), dietician nutritionist. Needless to mention those that contain a thin layer of chocolate. What about rice cakes? “The glycemic index will be lower but still higher than wholemeal bread, for example,” adds the professional.


The drink has become the health accessory par excellence, the obligatory adornment of any self-respecting wellness guru. Multitude of fruits and vegetable milk, what more could you ask for to caress the body in the direction of the hair? Yes but no. In April, during a Flemish cooking show, nutritionists sounded the alarm after analyzing the composition of a smoothie, the sugar level of which exploded all the scores. Something to remember that smoothies contain fruit and therefore sugar. Even though they are natural, they react the same once absorbed by the body. And that’s how you can end up sipping a smoothie as sweet as a soda.

The trick to ensuring healthy smoothies? Mix fruits and vegetables. “The latter are less sweet than fruit, their fibers slow down the passage of sugar in the blood and they bring volume to the drink”, advised Raphaël Gruman. In practice, we favor fruits with a low glycemic index (apples, pears, kiwis, fruits rich in water such as melon and watermelon and red fruits except cherries). And we mix with celery or cucumber.

Homemade pressed fruit juices

They will always remain healthier than industrial juices because they are less sweet, we grant you that. But to do well, it would be necessary to go so far as to prefer them in compotes or in pieces. And this for a simple reason: “The fibers and the pulp are in the skin and the pulp. Once the fruit is pressed, only the sugar remains, which increases the blood sugar level. In addition, we deprive ourselves of chewing , which participates in the process of satiety”, explained to us in 2015 the doctor nutritionist Corinne Chicheportiche-Ayache.

almond milk

Calm. Far be it from us to claim that almond milk is unhealthy. Let’s say rather that the drink still hides its game a little. Of course, it is low in sugars, rich in fiber and very digestible. But pay attention to the quantity consumed: “We must not forget that this milk is made from oilseeds and therefore rich in fat. For the same quantity, it is for example richer in energy intake than cow’s milk”, indicates the dietitian nutritionist Florence Foucaut.

Light products

Products light are often loaded with sugars and fats. iStock

We have known it for a long time, if yogurts, chocolate or even 0% cakes are the slimming guarantee that makes you feel guilty, they are not healthy. “When they are light in fats, they are loaded with sugars. When they are labeled “0%” of sugars, they are rich in bad fat”, recalls Florence Foucaut. For what reasons? “Fat brings palatability to the food, in other words taste. It brings out the aromas”, retorts the professional. You can obviously consume it from time to time, provided you watch the grain and scrutinize the labels. “We look at the mention “carbohydrates, including sugars” and the amount of lipids. We always keep in mind equivalents: 5 g of sugar corresponds to a sugar cube; 10 gr of lipids correspond to a tablespoon of oil”, advises the dietician.

breakfast cereals

Drowned in milk, mixed with yogurt or in a porridge-like mixture, industrial cereals – those stamped 0% even more – are to be kept far from our cupboards. “To be transformed into flakes, the cereals are brought to a very high temperature and if their nutritional value is not zero, it is depleted. They are also often sweet and fatty because of the pieces of chocolate they contain. “, explained Dr. Chicheportiche-Ayache to us in 2015. For breakfast, we prefer oatmeal or oat bran, richer in fiber, therefore better for transit and for satiety.

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(1) Florence Foucaut is a member of the French Association of Dieticians and Nutritionists (AFDN).

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