If you’ve ever seen “Mean Girls,” you’ll remember when Lindsay Lohan’s character, Cady Heron, convinced mean girl Regina George (Rachel McAdams) to eat high-calorie nutrition bars by telling her they would actually help her lose weight. She fell for it because they were “nutrition” bars.
As it turns out, this doesn’t just happen in the movies. Many of us eat foods that we think are healthy, but really, they’re destroying our diet (or even worse, making us fat). We went to Registered Dietitian Nicolette Pace to give us the dirt on these fatty foods so that we never have to face the wrath of a mean girl at the lunch table.
Nicolette Pace, RD:
Healthy food choices have an allure of well-being and vitality, and make unspoken promises of making you fit. What you may not realize is that these foods top the list of healthy myths that will knock you right out of the diet ballpark and disrupt your plans to be slim and trim.
Granola: Granola grew its roots during the health food movement and started off as a simple mixture of whole grains without all of the added sugars and fats that are found in supermarket brands. Just one cup will deliver the equivalent carbohydrate load found in a jumbo bagel or a large plate of spaghetti! Studies also show that eating a breakfast that is super-high in carbohydrates may not be the best choice, as it will lead to an increased appetite throughout the day.
Hummus: While made from nourishing chick peas, packaged hummus carries a calorie and fat profile that rivals some mayonnaise, with many varieties containing 60 percent of the calories from fat. Be wary of the appeal of a seemingly small, personal-size package and stay mindful of the recommended serving, because using this vegetarian spread liberally opens the calorie door to extra pounds.
Smoothies: Today’s smoothies slide their way in with the appeal of wholesome fruit, dairy and friendly probiotic bacteria. Unfortunately, they have become a venue for lots of added sugars and are a concentrated source of calories. Couple that with the enormous serving sizes found in chain restaurants and you’ve got a great recipe for weight gain.
Peanut Butter: Even if it's "reduced fat," don't be fooled by labeling. While peanut butter is naturally cholesterol free, low in sodium, and contains some protein and carbohydrates, it also contains ingredients that will undoubtedly set your diet back. Some products contain palm oil and added sugar, which are jam-packed into a ping-pong-ball-sized dollop, so gobbling up this fat will cause calorie chaos and may disrupt healthy blood fat levels.
Wraps: These dense flatbread shells will roll up more calories than you bargained for, with some sizes having the equivalent carbohydrates and fat as three slices of bread with two pats of butter. Fiber may do little to redeem the value of using this starch due to a large surface area that can hold more stuffing and dressing than a regular sandwich. Be sure to wrap it up right by using healthy veggies and low fat proteins, and ask for dressing on the side.
To visit Nicolette's blog, click here.