Healthy food may be making you fat.
Hold on: I’m not talking about broccoli and bell peppers here. I’m talking about a lot of the foods that are sold to us as “low-fat,” “low-carb,” or otherwise “healthy” fare. The food industry invests $30 billion a year in advertising, and much of that is used to dupe consumers into believing bogus bites are somehow good for us.
The truth is, behind every low-fat label and celebrated salad is a list of ingredients that would give even the most relentless glutton reason to reconsider.
In researching the best-selling book “Eat This, Not That!,” the title for this new blog with my co-author Matt Goulding, we were shocked to find that the foods so many health-conscious eaters in this country consider to be smart choices are actually the most responsible for our ever-expanding waistlines.
Many of the “low-fat” or otherwise “healthy” options we examined packed several hundred extra calories in them! Translation: Get duped into eating one pseudo-healthy food a day, and you’ll have an extra 30 pounds (or more) to work off by the end of the year.
We’ve identified six of the most misunderstood foods in America, so that next time you think you’re doing your body a favor, you actually will be – by looking for something else that actually is healthy.
1. Bran Muffin
23 grams of fat
35 g sugars
Made primarily with sugar, refined flour and hydrogenated oil, it’s like starting your day with a candy bar. Actually, it’s like starting your day with two candy bars, since this misunderstood muffin has more fat and calories than two Kit Kat bars.
2. Chicken Caesar Salad
60 grams of fat
Caesar salads suffer the consequences of two natural disasters: a flood of fatty dressing and a blizzard of Parmesan cheese and croûtons. All told, it’s a caloric catastrophe – equal to scarfing down 20 Chicken McNuggets!
3. Tuna Melt
55 grams of fat
Plain tuna out of the can is healthy; tuna drenched in mayo, shrouded in melted cheese, and slicked with another layer of dressing is not. You’d be better off eating three six-inch roast beef sandwiches from Subway!
4. Chicken Wrap
35 grams of fat
How wraps got such a good rap is beyond us, since they’re really just over sized tortillas, packing up to 400 calories on their own – that is, before the onslaught of cheese, meat, and dressing it houses! You’d get the same number of calories from 20 strips of bacon.
5. Turkey Burger
50 grams of fat
At home a turkey burger might be a decent choice, but in the restaurant world it means high-fat ground turkey, heavy mayo, melted cheese, and a big, pillowy bun. It’s the equivalent of three 8-oz sirloin steaks.
6. Fruit Smoothies
120 grams of sugar
Unless it says 100 percent fruit, your “fruit” smoothie is likely made with ice cream, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and a few token chunks of banana. All told, this popular afternoon snack has as much sugar as six Haagen Dazs Vanilla and Almond ice cream bars. Ouch.
7. Granola Bars
15 grams of sugar
Ever wonder what keeps a granola bar together? The makers of one of America?s favorite (and most misunderstood) snacks use mostly high-fructose corn syrup as their glue, which in turns quickly raises blood sugar and cancels out any of the potential benefits you might otherwise get from the oats.
8. Pasta Salad
14 grams of fat
When the main ingredient for a snack or a side is pasta, you’re asking for trouble. That’s because pasta is made from highly-refined flour, which means quick-burning carbs and a huge spike in blood sugar. Not only does it save you a hundred calories, but the egg salad replaces those troublesome carbs with healthy protein, which helps fill your belly faster and keeps your metabolic fires effectively stoked.
9. Yogurt with Fruit on The Bottom
30 grams of sugar
You wouldn’t start your morning with a can of Coke, would you? Then you should pass on these troublesome yogurt cups since they contain as much sugar as a soft drink. Almost all of that comes directly from the “fruit” is mostly high-fructose corn syrup. Yogurt and fruit can be a great way to start your day, but do it yourself by mixing a cup of nonfat plain yogurt with a half cup of mixed berries.
10. Bagels with Cream Cheese
40 grams of fat
Bagels are bogus. The bread is bad enough, containing 300 calories and 60 grams of carbohydrates, but tack on the liberal cream cheese smear ( popular breakfast chains, up to 4 ounces for a single bagel!) and you’re “harmless” breakfast snack just got worse than a Whopper.
For even more ‘healthy’ foods that actually expand your waistline, check out these other surprising foods.