10. Foods Made of Wood Check out the list of ingredients on your high-fiber cereal or snack bar for an ingredient called “cellulose.” Alas. “Cellulose” is a code word for wood. Manufacturers use the wood to extend their products and to give the impression you’re getting more food. Not so, unless you’re a beaver.
11. Gluten-free Baked Goods Unless you’re diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, remember that gluten-free doesn’t necessarily mean healthy. Gluten-free baked goods are made with more refined flours, sugar and artificial ingredients than are standard baked goods. And they can cost twice as much.
12. Flavored Non-dairy Drinks Vanilla-eggnog-caramel-chocolate soy milk is a triumph of calories guaranteed to hike your blood sugar as well as your grocery bill. If you prefer non-dairy beverages, buy unsweetened soy milk.
13. White Rice A 17% higher risk of diabetes is linked to eating 5 or more servings of white rice per week, compared to eating it only once a month. Switch to fiber-rich brown rice.
14. “Gourmet” Frozen Vegetables Why pay so much more for frozen peas in an herbed butter sauce when you can make your own with the herbs of your choosing?
15. Microwave Sandwiches When you spend $2-$3 for pre-made sandwiches, what you’re paying for is its packaging and a lot of salt, fat and unnecessary additives. For the same amount of money, you can make a bigger, better, more nutritious sandwich yourself.
16. Premium Frozen Fruit Bars At nearly $2 each, these bars are rich in price. For far less expense (and sugar), you can make your family’s favorites at home. For 4 pops, put 2 cups of cut-up fruit, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice into a blender. Cover and blind till smooth. Pour into 4-ounce pop molds or paper cups, insert sticks and freeze till solid.
17. Boxed Rice “Entrée” or Side-dish Mixes Make your own using brown rice.
18. Energy or Protein Bars These calorie-laden bars can have a lot of fat and sugar and as many calories as a candy bar, though they’re 2-3 times as expensive as a candy bar. For a mid-afternoon pick-up, choose vitamin-rich fresh fruit, yogurt or a handful of nuts for a satisfying, healthful and inexpensive snack.
Coming up: Yet 9 more foods you should never buy again
SOURCE: Reader’s Digest slide show