It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that a slice of pizza loaded with fatty sausages and drizzling with grease is bad for you. But some foods, such as trail mix, sports drinks, and even dried fruit are calorie bombs in disguise. “Frying a potato in olive oil and sprinkling it with sea salt doesn’t turn it into a health food any more than coloring a jelly bean with beet extract turns it into a nutritious choice,” says Monica Reinagel, a board-certified Licensed Nutritionist also known as The Nutrition Diva. Read to find out which so-called healthy foods you should eat with caution.
This lunchtime favorite has a reputation for being more filling than a salad, but not as bad for you as a sandwich. If only it were true. In reality, chicken, turkey, and veggie wraps are made with a gigantic tortilla that adds on major calories. With 650 calories and 35 grams of fat, a chicken Caesar wrap is about as good for you as a Big Mac.
Low-Fat Microwave Popcorn
A whole bag of the snack and only take in 400 calories and just a few grams of fat, but it’s got lots of sodium and absolutely no nutritional value. It’s still a better choice than a bag of potato chips, but don’t mistake popcorn for anything but junk food.
While not void of nutrition, most drinks like Gatorade and PowerAde are little more than liquid sugar. Unless your workout has lasted an hour or more, you don’t need to replenish your body with the electrolytes that come in drinks. Hydrate yourself with water instead.
“One of the most common mistakes is to assume that foods are good for you simply because they’re all natural,” Reinagel says. The ingredients in “all-natural” foods like pasta, bread, and rice may be easier to pronounce, but they contain about the same number of calories and fat as their counterparts.
Unless you’re on a long hike, steer clear of this innocent looking mix. It may seem like a snack, but just one cup of trail mix has the same amount of calories as five slices of cheese pizza.
Don’t let the name fool you. Diet sodas, including the newbies like Coke Zero and Dr. Pepper Ten, are anything bad good for you. It’s bad enough that you can’t pronounce most of the ingredients, but studies have found that aspartame (an artificial sweetener) lead to overeating other sweet foods.
It’s low in calories, but the dehydration process strips grapes, apricots, and cranberries of some of their nutrients. It also shrinks the fruit, so that you’re more likely to overeat. Case in point, a cup of raisins has almost four times the calories and carbs as a cup of grapes.
There’s a reason it’s called butter. While PB has few carbs and a significant amount of protein, one tablespoon has 100 calories. Keep this one in your diet, but remember that a little goes a long way.
Blue Corn Chips
Sorry guys, the color and texture of the Mexican snack food doesn’t mean it’s any better for the belly. Blue corn chip have just as many, and sometimes more, calories, fat and sodium as the tradition kind.
Although you can whip up a healthy version at home, most smoothies are really just desserts in disguise. They typically have between 300 to 600 calories per serving and some are even made with full fat ice cream.