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NUTRITION FITNESS

Sneaky Reasons Your Diet Actually Isn’t Healthy

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So you think you’re doing everything right when it comes to eating healthy. You eat breakfast daily, include a variety of fruits and vegetables in your meals, and try to limit processed and fast food as much as possible. But for some reason, those pesky 10 pounds haven’t budged. Ready to throw in the towel? Not so fast!

Most people will be surprised to learn that although their diets are very healthy, there are a few unsuspecting foods that can throw off the best of weight loss intentions. Here are three healthy foods that can sneak into your diet and throw you off track:

Hidden Sugars

Granola, fat-free frozen yogurt, and protein bars all seem innocent enough. After all, it’s not like your chomping into a donut, right? You may be surprised how much sugar is lurking in your so-called healthier choices. Take a look at these comparisons:

• 1 cup Kellogg’s Froot Loops = 26 g or 6 teaspoons of sugar
1 cup of Kellogg’s low-fat granola = 28 g or 7 teaspoons of sugar

• ½ cup Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream = 32 g or 8 teaspoons of sugar
½ cup Ben & Jerry’s Chocolate Fudge Brownie frozen yogurt = 34 g sugar

• 3 Oreos = 25 g or 5 teaspoons of sugar
1 Balance bar = 23 g or 5 teaspoons of sugar

Surprised? True, the Ben & Jerry’s frozen yogurt may have less fat, but usually less fat means more added sugar. Added sugars will contribute to your daily intake of calories and next, your waist line.

Lurking Fat

Most of us have heard of the healthy unsaturated fats vs. the artery-clogging saturated fats. Consuming unsaturated fats in the form of olive oil, nuts and nut butters, avocado and fatty fish help reduce inflammation that can lead to diabetes, heart disease and other diseases. Despite the health benefits, there is such a thing as overdoing unsaturated fats.

Spreading one tablespoon of natural peanut butter on toast for a satisfying breakfast is fine. Eating peanut butter mindlessly out of the jar with a spoon can tally fat intake equal to a slice of cheesecake.

The same goes for olive oil. Drenching veggies in olive oil for stir fry or making a homemade vinaigrette can bring calories into the hundreds if you have a heavy hand.

Always measure your fats, even the healthy ones. One to two tablespoons of olive oil or peanut butter can go a long way while keeping the calories and fat under control.

Hopefully these tips help you identify some healthy eating pitfalls. Making these slight changes can help save a few hundred calories. At the end of the day, this calorie deficit can translate to 1 to 2 pounds of weight loss per week.

Tanya Zuckerbrot MS, RD, is a nationally known registered dietitian based in New York and the creator of a proprietary high-fiber nutrition program for weight loss, wellness and for treating various medical conditions. Tanya authored the bestselling weight loss book The F-Factor Diet, and she is the first dietitian with a national line of high-fiber foods, which are sold under the F-Factor name. Become a fan of Tanya on Facebook, follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn, and visit her website Ffactor.com.