Looking to lead a stronger, healthier life?
Sign up for our Wellness Wire newsletter for all sorts of nutrition, fitness, and wellness wisdom.

Now we’re in this together.
Thanks for subscribing and having us along on your health and wellness journey.

See all Healthline's newsletters »

10 Seemingly Healthy Foods That Could Make You Fat

1 of
  • The Truth Is In the Pudding

    The Truth Is In the Pudding

    Sugar-packed pudding generally isn’t the best thing to eat if you’re watching your weight. Neither are these 10 questionably healthy foods. 

  • Marinara Sauce

    Marinara Sauce

    Though a jar of crushed tomatoes doesn’t sound unhealthy on paper, it’s what’s often mixed in that can damage your waistline. Many brand name pasta sauces are high in calories and loaded with sugar (USDA), which adds empty calories to your spaghetti dinner. The good news: There are healthy options available – just check the labels.  

  • Macadamias


    While most nuts have similar calorie counts, the same cannot be said of their fat content. Macadamias pack a whopping 962 calories per cup (USDA). Which is okay if you have a few, but not so great if you eat an entire box of those chocolate covered ones from Hawaii.

  • (Farmed) Smoked Salmon

    (Farmed) Smoked Salmon

    An analysis by Britain’s Sunday Times found farmed smoked salmon from Scotland had up to four times more fat than the wild alternative. But it’s the calories – roughly 100 for just a few slices (USDA) – that can hurt your waistline. And that’s before you cover it all in cream cheese.

  • Yogurt


    You ever stare in wonder at the yogurt selection at your supermarket? There are myriad options available, and while some (plain, non-fat) make for a healthy snack, others (granola or fruit-filled) are often packed with over four teaspoons of sugar (USDA), which can add significant calories.

  • Cereal


    Even if you avoid obviously bad options like those with marshmallows or chocolate in them, there are plenty of seemingly healthy cereals that can make you fat. A certain brand with “Raisin” in its name also happens to have 5 teaspoons of sugar per serving (USDA). So make sure to check the nutritional facts before you wind up eating a Twinkie’s worth of sugar for breakfast.

  • Fruit Juice

    Fruit Juice

    Many juices can be terrible for your waistline, despite the misconceived notion that fruit is always good for you. From OJ to blueberry smoothies to lemonade, many store bought juices contain nearly as much sugar as soda (USDA;Nutrition). Especially bad: juice “cocktails” that substitute real juice with high-fructose corn syrup – which may contribute to obesity (NCBI) – and artificial sweeteners.

  • Granola Bars

    Granola Bars

    Some are protein-rich, low in calories, and good for you. Others are seemingly healthy, until you realize there’s chocolate, marshmallow, and other sugary ingredients packed in your bar. Read the nutritional label before you hit the road, or grab a handful of nuts and some fruit instead. 

  • Certain Sushi Rolls

    Certain Sushi Rolls

    It’s tempting to assume all sushi is healthy, and a lot of it is. The danger is when you order a roll that is fried (think: tempura), filled with fattening ingredients like cream cheese (USDA), or covered in a high-calorie mayonnaise-based sauce. 

  • Rice Cakes

    Rice Cakes

    Though they’re extremely low in calories and fat, rice cakes have very little nutritional value. And if you scarf down six of the sugarcoated, flavored kind, your blood sugar levels can spike, which is bad for weight management. 

  • Pre-Packaged Salads

    Pre-Packaged Salads

    High-calorie dressings like ranch (USDA) and ingredients like bacon, cheese, eggs or croutons (USDA) often sabotage the perceived health benefits of salad. People searching for a quick and healthy meal often gravitate toward the take-out or fast food salad. Just read the nutritional label before you dig in. 

  • Sports Drinks

    Sports Drinks

    Like juice, it’s sugar that makes sports drinks deceptive. Many popular brands contain over 7 teaspoons of sugar per bottle (USDA), which is way less than soda, but exactly 30 grams more sugar than you’d find in a glass of water. High sugar content can increase your blood sugar levels, which in turn hurts your body’s ability to burn fat.