Been trying to eat healthy, but not losing the weight? Sometimes when trying to diet we are a bit misguided about what’s healthy and what’s high in calories. Here are ten “health” foods that might be sabotaging your diet.
Many times when you go out for breakfast, the granola option seems like a healthy option compared to cheese-filled omelets and syrup-drenched pancakes. Granola might be healthier than some alternatives—in fact, the cereal is a great source of fiber, potassium, and protein--but granola is actually high in saturated fat due to oils used to make it, in addition to sugar, nuts, and other high-calorie ingredients, which can make it unhealthy. Be sure to check labels to see what’s in your granola, and try to get a mix without artificial flavors, or high-fructose corn syrup.
Trail mix can be a very healthy snack, high in fiber, vitamin C, and protein, but it’s important to look at the ingredients, and, as with most foods, to eat in moderation. Many trail mixes include bits of candy or chocolate. Even when they don’t include these sweets, dried fruits in the mix are often coated in sugar, while nuts are coated with salt. If you want to avoid unhealthy trail mix, look for a mix that is all natural.
Bran is good for you, no doubt about it. But when you hear the word “muffin,” attached, you can rest assured the chance of the baked good being healthy is slim. Most bran muffins contain high butter, oil, and sugar content. Plus, unless you’re making them yourself to control portion size, most muffins you purchase in a store or restaurant are huge and therefore high in calories.
Some fruit smoothies are an excellent snack, or meal. However, many commercial fruit smoothies are far more unhealthy than their advertising may have you believe. Store-bought smoothies often include ingredients such as sugary fruit drinks or syrups, ice cream, whole milk, and/or sherbet. In addition to high fat content, these drinks can include upwards of 20 grams of sugar! In fact, many commercial smoothies are worth more than 50 percent (1,000 plus calories) or more of the average daily calorie intake! Smoothies are best when all natural fruits are used, with no added sugar or sugary syrups, and make with a low-fat yogurt or skim milk base.
Flavored waters with added vitamins or nutrients seem like they might be a healthy option—after all, they have more nutrients than plain old water. In reality, these nutrient-enhanced drinks are often just as sugar-packed as soda or fruit drinks. You’re better off avoiding them altogether, and gleaning your nutrients from your food.
Okay, diet soda has fewer calories (read: zero calories) than regular soda. But there’s nothing inherently healthy about diet soda. In fact, many studies have shown that artificial sweeteners used to reduce the calories of diet soda are actually bad for your health.
Organic foods are healthier than non-organics because they are preservative and pesticide free. It’s good for us to consume fewer of these chemicals. What’s not healthy about organic foods? Well, you can get organic versions of almost everything these days, including snacks like cookies and potato chips. These foods are still high in calories. So, just because it’s organic, doesn’t mean it won’t pack on the pounds if you consume too much.
Frozen Diet Meals
These meals are aimed at individuals trying to stay lean or lose weight. Sure, diet meals are lower in calories and fat, but they usually contain shockingly high amounts of sodium.
If it’s Japanese food it must be healthy, right? Plus, fish is good for you. Well, some sushi is great for you, while other sushi is unhealthy. If you order maki rolls, you have to consider what’s in them. Cream cheese, avocado, fried shrimp—these ingredients are high in fat. It’s best to stick with sashimi, nigiri, or rolls that contain healthy ingredients.
Canned, chunk light tuna is a fairly low mercury fish (mercury levels vary based on the type of tuna). However, when you order a tuna salad sandwich, for instance, you’re not getting just tuna—you’re getting a whole lot of mayonnaise, and therefore a whole lot of fat.
Ultimately, the best way to ensure that you’re eating healthy is by checking the ingredients in your food. Sometimes foods with “healthy” reputations are just fat and calories masquerading as good for you.
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