Nutrition Made Easy

Our nutrition experts and registered dietitians translate the latest nutrition research into tips you can use to eat healthier every day.

10 Foods That Sound Healthy (but Aren't)

Salad, bran muffins, fat-free foods―they're good for you, right? Not always. Nutrition expert Katherine Brooking, MS, RD, reveals surprisingly unhealthy foods, plus better-for-you alternatives.

Oat Bran Muffins
Becky Luigart-Stayner

Bran Muffins

Most bran muffins, even those sold at delis and coffee shops, are made with generally healthy ingredients. The problem is portion size. Many muffins sold in stores today dwarf the homemade muffins made a generation ago. A random sampling of some coffee and restaurant chain bran muffins showed that many topped 350 calories apiece, and that's before any butter or jam. The bran muffins at one popular chain bakery contain 600mg of sodium―roughly one-third of a day's maximum. Even a healthful food, if over-consumed, can be not-so-healthful. Enjoy your bran muffin, but just eat half, and save the rest for an afternoon snack. If you want to save money and calories, bake your own.

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