Five Foods That Aren't as Healthy as You Might Think

Are you feeling virtuous as you take a bite of granola or a sip of smoothie in the morning?

Not so fast.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest is out with a list of five overrated foods that aren't as healthy as we think.

VIDEO: Report says granola, smoothies, energy bars and vegetable juice not as healthy as we think.
The 5 Most Overrated Foods

Foods Sound Great but Have Lots of Sugar and Salt

First up: Granola. The center says it's often packed with sugar and calories in a small serving size.

The manufacturer's serving size is one quarter to a half of a cup.

If you consume the amount of granola that most people do, you're getting 400 to 500 calories in a single bowl.

The next bummer? Smoothies.

"The problem is when you buy it at a smoothie store or an ice cream store, you're often getting a lot of sugar and a lot of calories," said Bonnie Liebman, nutrition director at the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

A large smoothie can contain as many as 1,100 calories.

On to energy bars. What does that term really mean?

"Whenever you see the word 'energy' on a food label, all it means is that the food has calories," Liebman said. "Energy is a synonym for calories. Nothing more."

And the center says many energy bars are glued together with four to six teaspoons of sugar.

And then there's the vegetable juice. A 12 ounce can contains about 600 milligrams of sodium.

"You get about at least a quarter of a day's salt from a can of these vegetables, so it's not as though it's harmless," Liebman said.

And finally, pita chips, which Liebman says have "slightly less fat than potato chips. About the same as tortilla chips."

Indeed, 10 chips contain about 5 grams of fat.

Underrated Foods

"GMA" cleared away the five foods the Center for Science in the Public Interest considers overrated, and brought out five underrated foods you could try instead.

Take sunflower seeds, which are full of nutrients.

"If you're snacking, you're better off with the ones in the shell," Liebman said. "It'll slow you down so you don't get quite so many calories."

Don't Avoid Watermelon, Plain Nonfat Yogurt

Next food hero: Leafy greens.

"You can't find a more nutritious vegetable," Liebman said, adding that many people pass them by because they don't know how to cook them.

The center is also gonzo for garbanzos.

"All beans are good beans," Liebman said. "They're high in fiber, high in protein, low in saturated fat."

Another underrated food is plain, nonfat yogurt. It's healthy and the Greek version is great.

"If you've never had Greek yogurt, you've got to try it," she said. "It's fabulous. You can't believe that there's only 90 calories and no fat in there."

And finally, watermelon. It's full of vitamins, not just water.

Click here to return to the "Good Morning America" website.

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