At the grocery store you’re on a mission to fill your cart with only healthful foods, drinks and snacks – so you choose yogurt covered raisins, Vitamin Water, and granola – but guess what? You’re about to sabotage your diet! A handful of yogurt raisins has about as much saturated fat as two BK burgers; the Vitamin Water has eight grams of sugar; and if you have two cups of granola cereal – that’s a whopping 660 calories and 51 grams of sugar (12 teaspoons).
On an episode of “Good Morning America,” nutrition expert Joy Bauer explained that when it comes to losing weight, cutting back on calories is critical – so it can be infuriating when you’re fooled by a food that sounds diet friendly but is actually loaded with calories, sugar, and fat! Here’s a rundown on some of the popular offenders Bauer calls “foods that fool”…
2% Reduced-Fat Milk: It’s not that lowfat/ low-calorie when you consider that whole milk is 3.3% fat. Solution: Switch from 2% reduced-fat milk to skim milk – and assuming you have one serving each day – at the end of the year, you’ll save more than 14,000 calories and drop four pounds!
Chicken Caesar Salads: Thanks to excessive dressing, croutons, and cheese, a standard chicken Caesar salad can total 1,130 calories and add more than 90 grams of fat to your diet! Solution: Request NO dressing (you’ll save up to 475 calories) and lose the croutons (another 70 calorie savings). Instead, toss with 1-2 teaspoons olive oil and balsamic vinegar. This lighter version is about 685 calories – for a savings of 445 calories.
Dried Fruit: All fruit is packed with nutrition; however, dried fruit is significantly higher in calories than fresh fruit when you calculate comparable amounts. That’s because you’re taking out all the moisture leaving a small piece of concentrated sugar. Solution: If you’re watching your weight, eat fresh fruit. You’ll get much more volume and satisfaction.
Fruit Smoothies: One 24-ounce smoothie provides about 450 calories. That’s the same amount of calories in 10-12 doughnut holes! Solution: Save fruit smoothies for occasional indulgences or make less caloric homemade versions using 1-2 servings fruit, ½ cup skim milk, and ½ non-fat flavored yogurt.
Coffee & Tea Drinks: Some can be astronomically high in calories depending on the ingredients and size of the drink…There are some with more than 1,000 calories for 16 ounces. At Starbucks, all those grande “skinny” Vanilla Lattes with 28 g. sugar/30 g. carbs could be why you’re not losing those last 10 pounds. Soups: Broth soups are great, but cream or milk-based soups can be fairly high in fat, with more than 300 calories for 8-12 ounces.
“Organic”: Just because you may be shopping at Whole Foods Market doesn’t mean you still don’t have to check nutrition content. It may be nice to think all those tantalizing prepared foods in the cases are “perfectly healthy” – but the pasta with cheese in that creamy sauce still has fat and calories… so don’t let the organic label fool ‘ya!