By Yael Brender
At least when you sit down to a burger and chips, you know you’re doing something bad. You’ll eat it, you’ll love it, and then you’ll vow to add another half an hour to your next workout. You’ll cheat and then make up for it, and there’s nothing wrong or unhealthy about that.
Unfortunately, even more dangerous than unhealthy foods are the so-called “health foods” that are masquerading as diet-friendly but in reality are anything but.
Just because they have the words ‘healthy’, ‘superfood’, ‘granola’, ‘salad’ and so on in the title, doesn’t mean that they’re good for you. In fact, they could be really, really bad. We’ve put together a list of the six foods that are pretending to be healthy, but can actually make you gain weight.
Steering clear of the Wonder White doesn’t necessarily mean that your sandwich is healthier. Most ‘grainy’ breads are made from refined grain – you’re not actually getting the benefit of the whole grain, so it’s not much healthier than its white counterpart. You can spot the refined grain in the ingredients, though. Look for words like ‘bleached’ or ‘unbleached enriched white flour’. If you’re in a restaurant, just eat the inside of the sandwich, which will reduce both carbs and calories.
Repeat after me: muffins are dessert, not breakfast. And they’re a decadent dessert at that – they’re almost always oversized (even the ‘bran’ or ‘health’ muffins) and they can have anything from 350 to 700 calories in them. Have a mini-muffin, make them yourself or save them for dessert.
Problem one: it’s packed full of sugar. The fact that it’s stocked in supermarkets near the juices should tip you off. Problem two: people assume it’s the same as eating an apple. It’s not. Apple sauce has 22 grams of fat in one tiny snack-sized tub, and 90 calories, whereas a real apple has 13 grams of natural sugar, which is exponentially better for you, and only 60 calories. Either stew your own apples and DIY or look for an unsweetened brand at a health food store.
If you can hear your thighs screaming in protest, then listen to them! Brace yourself for a bombshell: some salads have more calories than a Big Mac. If a salad has any of the following, then steer clear: meats, cheese, bacon, croutons and any type of dressing. Especially the creamy dressings, and even the ‘heart-healthy’ olive oil dressings are calorific in large portions. Chefs Salad and Cobb Salad are the runner-up offenders, and the good old Caesar Salad is the worst of the worst. If you really are craving one, dip your fork into the dressing and then into the salad, rather than pouring the dressing over the entire salad. Or make it yourself at home. Spoiler alert: that’s the way to avoid most food-related problems.
For some unfathomable reason, the word granola has become synonymous with ‘healthy. Which is totally, completely wrong. Granola is made from puffed rice, honey and rolled oats, none of which have any real nutritional value. It’s also packed with sugar, fat and 400 calories per serve, it’s hard to digest and can make you look bloated and give you gas (ew). Eat a handful of almonds instead.
One word: SUGAR. Pure cranberry juice is tart and undrinkable on its own,
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