May 18, 2013
Surprisingly Unhealthy Foods that Could Kill Your Diet
You’re a smart person; you know you shouldn’t eat a donut or a double cheeseburger if you want to lose weight. But did you know there are several surprisingly unhealthy foods you might think are good for you but could be hurting your diet and actually cause you to gain weight?
If you’re trying to be healthy, there are several unhealthy foods sneaking in the health foods aisles you need to be aware of that can ruin your diet. Remember, that just because it doesn’t come from a fast food window doesn’t mean that it is healthy.
When looking for healthy options, avoid falling into the trap eating foods that offer healthy reputations while they are really packing on the calories, sugars, and grams of fat. Look out for the following foods:
Even though dried fruits come with the label of a “fruit,” they aren’t as healthy as you might think. Because they’re dried, they’re much denser, which means that for a single cup serving, you’re getting far more calories than you would if you were to eat a cup of the actual fruit when it’s fresh. Dried fruits have about 5 times more calories and sugar which are added during the dehydration process.
Stick to real fruits. You’ll get more nutrients, they’ll taste better, be less expensive, and give you much fewer calories.
Granola is usually full of oats, nuts, seeds, and oftentimes dried fruits. These ingredients all sound healthy; however, most brands of granola also come with added oils and sugar to make the product more palatable.
In fact, one cup of Quaker Oats Oatmeal and Raisin granola has more sugar and more calories than than Froot Loops, Apple Jacks, Golden Grahams and Frosted Flakes. Watch the calorie, sugar, and fat content to make sure you’re not being falsely led into thinking you’re eating healthy.
Although they come with added fiber, bran muffins are little more than fiber-rich cakes. They are packed with oils, fats, and usually topped with appetizing sugar crystals to tempt you while you are paying for your coffee.
While fiber is definitely essential to staying full, there are lower-calorie ways of getting your fiber fix, especially since you’re looking at about 420 calories just for one average-sized muffin. You can get around this, however, by baking your own muffins at home, substituting half the butter/oil with applesauce and taking out at least half of the sugar.
If you’re looking for low carb options, wraps might seem like the perfect choice for your next lunch; the tortillas aren’t as thick as bread, so they must be healthier, right? Unfortunately, the tortillas most restaurants/cafes use to make wraps contain much more surface area than two pieces of bread.
And this means you’re not only getting more carbs, but also more mayo, dressing, or other fattening ingredients that make wraps a tasty option. If you do decide to go for a wrap, only get half of one, or save the other half for a different meal, and make sure to pay attention to the ingredients to make sure you’re not getting hoodwinked.
Just because it’s made from fruit doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Juices contain several carbohydrates and usually have a lot of added sugar. While you may be getting many of the essential vitamins from the fruits by drinking the juices, you aren’t getting the dietary fiber that will help you feel full.
Instead of drinking fruit juices, incorporate real fruit into smoothies, giving you the smooth, refreshing taste of juice, but allowing you to retain all the dietary fiber and water that keeps your calorie-count down.
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