At this time of year, many people turn their attention toward trying to eat healthier foods. After the overindulgence of the holidays, you can feel that it’s time for a serious menu audit. But are some of those healthy foods you’re looking to stock up on going to do more harm than good?
Here’s a list of 6 health foods that could actually cause you to gain weight.
Nuts often become the default snack substitute for those looking to ditch the chips and candy bars and go for something healthier. While it’s true that nuts are full of healthy fats, not many people register just how calorically dense they are.
A meager handful of almonds packs as many calories as the packaged cupcake you were trying to avoid in the first place. Make sure you read the nutrition information to gain a realistic idea of the serving size before accidentally snacking your way through hundreds of extra calories.
Salad is a wonderfully healthy option, full of vitamins, minerals and fiber, but you may be undoing all of that good by drowning it in a high-calorie salad dressing. Always read the labels as you may be pouring on three or four times the recommended serving size without realizing.
Red wine is often praised for its antioxidant content. Some studies suggest that people who drink a single glass of red wine most nights have healthier hearts and sharper memories. But let’s not overlook the important part of those studies: they’re talking about a single glass.
A serving of red wine is 5 fluid ounces. It’s going to come up very short in modern wine goblets, so be careful that you’re not inadvertently pouring yourself a double measure. Going overboard not only adds unnecessary calories to your diet, but too much alcohol also lowers your inhibitions about snacking.
Dried fruit seems like it ought to be healthy; it’s just fruit that has been dehydrated, right? Technically this is correct, but much like nuts, the problem with dried fruit is serving size. A single dried apricot is not very filling so you could end up eating 11 or 12 of them. But would you sit down and eat 12 regular apricots as a snack? That sounds excessive, because it is – but it’s what you’re doing with all those dried fruits.
Stick with fresh fruit where possible, and familiarize yourself with the caloric value of dried fruit before snacking.
Plain yogurt is actually pretty healthy. It packs a lot of protein and calcium into a low-calorie snack, making it an ideal health food. The problem is, it’s not very palatable on its own.
The yogurt that most of us consume is loaded with added sugar and sweeteners – all of which add on lots of extra calories. Check carefully before choosing yogurt as a health food.
Prepackaged Energy Bars
Take a look at the label on your energy bar. It is not unusual for the calorie count to be hovering around 300 or more. Energy bars are good for replenishing nutrients during or after an extended workout. They are not ideal when you’re sitting at a desk.
Don’t let these saboteurs sneak into your diet unnoticed. Become a vigilant label reader, and you’ll find yourself making much healthier choices.