Curious as to what 5 seemingly healthy foods aren't really at all? If so, read on!
Five Healthy Foods that Aren't by Jennifer R. Scott, About.com
Updated: January 08, 2009
As you make eating choices during your day, some mistakes are easy to avoid -- that fried chicken you were eyeing at lunch didn‘t make its way to your plate, and that candy bar your cubicle-mate offered to split with you wasn't the least bit tempting. But what about those sneaky foods that sound healthy but aren’t? Have you been tripped up by these five not-so-smart choices disguised as health foods?
Bran muffins.A bakery bran muffin can pack in around 500 calories and as many as 25 grams of fat! Fat-free muffins aren’t necessarily a better choice, either, because they contain more sugar, which only ups the calorie-count. If you are aiming for a fiber fix, you might be getting fooled there, too. Many commercially-produced bran muffins don’t actually have that much bran in them, which means the fiber count is lower than you think; try to find a variety that offers about five grams of fiber per serving. A better choice? A serving of bran flake cereal such as Kellogg’s All-Bran provides those five grams of fiber and then some, and even with one cup of fat-free milk and some sliced strawberries, has only 200 calories.
Tuna salad.Tuna itself is a smart choice for anyone, whether you’re managing your weight or you want to get more omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. It’s a great protein source which will help you feel fuller longer than many other foods. But mix in all the other yummy stuff that goes in tuna salad, and tuna becomes a diet disaster. At my favorite deli, the tuna salad sandwich packs in a whopping 620 calories and almost 40 grams of fat. That’s more fat than three McDonald’s hamburgers. Swap tuna for turkey (hold that mayo!) and you’ll be much better off.
Energy bars.Unless you’re super-active or an athlete, energy bars aren’t a smart choice when you’re watching your waistline. Although fortified with nutrients, weight-wise, they’re not much better than a candy bar -- a typical protein bar has about 200 to 300 calories. Instead of viewing these bars as a health food, they should be considered a treat and you should take into account their caloric content as you would any other food that you fit into your calorie budget. If you are accustomed to having a bar in the afternoon for an energy boost, consider having just half and wrapping the other portion up for tomorrow.
Frozen entrees.Frozen entrees have definite good points, such as automatic portion control and being a quick, convenient alternative to fast food. If you shop carefully, you can find a variety of healthful, low-fat varieties on the market today, but there is a “hidden” minus to some frozen entrees: sodium. Many frozen meals have as many as 400 to 500 milligrams of sodium. Eat a few of these meals in one day, and that’s near the recommended sodium limit for the entire day! Excess sodium can lead to high blood pressure, something you’re already at risk for if you are overweight. Avoid any frozen meals that contain more than 600 milligrams of sodium in a serving; healthier choices will have 480 milligrams or fewer.
Granola.Although granola often has the words “all natural” in front of it, that doesn’t make it a good choice for dieters. While the individual components of granola are in fact healthful -- oats, raisins, almonds -- the pieces are held together with oil which markedly increases the fat and calorie count. Some varieties have as many as 200 to 400 calories in a single serving, such as my former favorite, which packs in 220 calories a half cup! Try to find a low-fat version, but keep an eye on calories, too. A better way to work in more whole grains -- choose a bowl of oatmeal instead and you’ll save yourself hundreds of calories and slash your fat intake. (My favorite variety is Quaker Weight Control oatmeal in banana bread flavor!)
Would it be ok if you lost two pounds a week by eating cookies?
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