Some of the rules for a healthy diet are pretty Obvious: Stay away from fast food, say "no" to fried foods, and keep chips and cookies to a minimum. Unfortunately, eating smartly involves more than just avoiding foods that are notoriously unhealthy.
Hidden behind a facade of adjectives like "organic", "fat-free" and "natural", there is a large amount of food that can kill a diet and fill you with calories. So here is a warning for any healthy and well-meaning dining: just because it sounds nutritious does not mean that a food is good for you.
Hidden behind a facade of adjectives like "organic", "fat-free" and "natural", there is a large amount of food that can kill a diet and fill you with calories.
The main drawback of a salad is ruining a meal full of vegetables with hundreds of calories as a dressing. "Check the label," advised Keri Gans, a registered dietitian and author of "The Small Change Diet." Often, a salad dressing in a restaurant has more calories than a candy bar. "Ask for the dressing on the side of the salad," Gans said. "You should not put more than 60 calories of dressing in it."
2. Fruit Smoothies
Fruit liquefied with frozen yogurt can seem like an unfailing healthy snack. However, Tara Miller, registered nutritionist and founder of Achieve Balance Wellness and Nutrition Counseling, warns against the excess of something good. "People believe that because it's fruit, it's healthy," Miller said. Thus, most shakes (especially those sold in specialty stores) are 16 to 32 oz. And contain too much carbohydrate. Try to maintain moderate consumption and try to add vegetables to your smoothies whenever possible.
3. Soy milk
Both soy milk and almond milk are excellent choices for people suffering from lactose intolerance. However, many choose the sweetened or vanilla-flavored varieties of these beverages, ignoring the excess sugar they contain and paying attention only to the healthy connotations of the word "soy" or "almond." If the sweetened versions are the only thing you can tolerate, however, Miller recommends avoiding the added sugar by mixing a teaspoon of vanilla flavoring into the non-sweet variety of milk.
Granola is a food that most people consider a very healthy option for breakfast. However, granola can also have high sugar content and little fiber, says Gans. "When you choose a granola food, you should read the label carefully," he says. "Not all granola is created in the same way."Make sure the cereal or granola you choose from the counter has a minimum of four or five grams of fiber.
Go in a hurry on the way to work and pounce on the nearest coffee shop to buy a quick breakfast. For the sake of health, your eyes are drawn to those bran bagels next to the donuts on the counter. But do not let the word "saved" or "yogurt" fool you when it comes to muffins, warns Miller. "Place these products rather in the donut category," he says. Bran muffins often contain extra fat, necessary to give them consistency. In addition, fat-free versions usually contain additional sugar to compensate for the decrease in taste and mouthfeel.
This food could be surprising, since tuna, salmon and other fish commonly used to prepare sushi are really lean. However, when you consider the cream cheese of your Philadelphia roll or the mayonnaise in most tuna rolls flavored, the calorie count skyrockets. Portion size also matters, says Gans. Stay in three sushi rolls or less, and choose brown rice when possible.
7. Turkey Burgers
When a craving for burgers appears, the person concerned about calories often turns to a turkey burger as the second best option. But be careful, cautions Gans. "If you have a turkey burger made with dark meat and skin, you can have more calories than a sirloin burger," he says. If you're in a restaurant, ask if the burger has dark meat and turkey skin in the background. In the supermarket, this is a bit simpler: check the label and choose a lean meat with less than 10 g of fat per serving, advises Gans.
8. Frozen foods
Decipher a label
The key to knowing if the food you buy is as nutritious as it seems is to be able to read nutrition labels. Some expert advice can help you navigate the information on a food package:
• Keep in mind the size of the portions: "People are always wrong with the size of the portions," said registered nutritionist Tara Miller. The package can make a food or drink look like a single serving, when in reality they correspond to two or more.
• Look for trans fat-free foods: "Trans fats are bad for your heart," Ginn said. However, when you verify this on the label, you also want the food to have no partially hydrogenated oils, another ingredient that you should avoid.
• Do not let yourself be seduced by deceptive words: "Organic" does not necessarily mean that a food is low in calories, and "fat-free" can be a mask to hide a lot of added sugars, says Gans. Instead of assuming that these catchy marketing phrases indicate that a food is healthy, check the label and take into account the order in which the ingredients appear.If an unhealthy component, such as sugar, is at the beginning (or near) of the list of ingredients, stay away from this food.