ACROSS the UK, supermarket aisles are now filled with an increasing array of 'healthy' alternatives.
From protein-infused snacks to nut milks – as a nation we are obsessed with trendy foods, which promise to improve our bodies from the inside out.
But while these replacements are often branded as being better for us, is that really the case?
Not always, according to Dr Raja Mohan of weight management app, LEAN, said.
Many of these foods are filled with additional ingredients like salt and artificial sweeteners to maintain the flavour while keeping the calories low, he told The Sun.
Here are some examples of foods that may appear healthier, but are are actually not a whole lot better for you.
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1. Agave nectar
Agave is often marketed as a healthier – and often more natural – replacement for table sugar.
It has a similar consistency to honey, although slightly thinner and comes from the agave plant.
Despite its 'natural' label, agave nectar is heavily processed, Dr Raja warned.
"It can an contain more fructose (that's sugar) than any other common sweetener, including high-fructose corn syrup," he added.
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Excessive fructose, like too much of any added sugar, isn’t good for you.
Fructose is converted to glucose in the liver – which is what the body uses for energy.
But, if there’s too much, the liver produces uric acid and fat.
This can increase the risk of fatty liver disease, gout and heart disease, according to Harvard Health.
2. Vegetable crisps
If you're trying to sneak more veggies into your child's diet by swapping some veggie crisps for regular potato crisps, think again.
Dr Raja said this snack, although ostensibly good-for-you, is junk food in disguise.
"Though 'vegetable' might make it sound healthier, in reality, these chips are often heavily processed and high in unhealthy fats and sodium," he explained.
So sadly, veggie crisps won't be qualifying as one of our five-a-day anytime soon.
A 2017 study, actually found that vegetable crisps might be even worse for us than potato crisps and some chocolate bars.
The data sourced by Wren Kitchens found that a 40g pack of vegetable crisps had more fat than the same serving of salted Pringles and nearly double that found in a Mars Bar.
3. Protein bars
You'll find all sorts of protein bars on shop shelves these days.
Ranging from vegan ones, to chocolate ones to bars covered in sprinkles – it seems like there is no limit to what a protein bar can be.
Not only are the bars filled with protein, which is good for muscle growth and even weight loss, but they also taste great.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
According to the medic, many protein bars are essentially "candy bars in disguise".
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He said: "They’re packed with sugars and artificial ingredients."
If you are going to buy a protein snack, make sure to look at the ingredients list and hunt for a bar with minimal added sugars (less that 12g per serving).
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