||[Feb. 23rd, 2009|12:46 pm]
No More Jiggly Butts!
I saw this in my firm's weekly newsletter. Even though I consider some of this information to fall in the "no brainer" category, I still thought it had some good tips to pass along.|
5 Notorious Health Food Imposters
1. Baked Potato Chips
Yes, they're lower in fat, but they're still high in calories and law in nutrients, with little fiber to fill you up.
Smarter substitution: popcorn. You'll get the salt and crunch of potato chips plus fiber and around 65% fewer calories per cup. Look for oil-free microwave popcorn or brands that are air-popped or popped in healthy oils such as olive or canola.
2. Gummy Fruit Snacks
Although these products may contain some juice, they're usually nothing more than candy infused with vitamins. They also contain high fructose corn syrup.
Smarter substitution: fresh or dried fruit. Both are packed with filling fiber, which you'll miss if you opt for gummy snacks.
3. Light Ice Cream
Light ice cream can have fewer calories than regular, but there's no guarantee. Take Haagen-Daz Dulce de Leche light ice cream. With 220 calories per 1/2 cup serving, it's still higher in calories than the average full-fat ice cream, which has around 140 calories per serving. What's more, some light ice creams can lack the rich taste you crave, so you're less satisfied and may be inclined to eat more than one serving.
Smarter substitution: dairy-free ice cream. Soy and coconut milk ice creams may save you a few calories and have a creamy, satisfying texture.
4. Diet Soda
In a 2008 study, researchers linked drinking just one diet soda a day with metabolic syndrome - the collection of symptoms including belly fat that puts you at high risk of heart disease. Researchers aren't sure if it's an ingredient in diet soda or the drinker's eating habits that caused the association.
Smarter substitution: flavored seltzer water. It has zero calories and is free of artificial sweeteners but provides fizz and flavor. Beware of clear sparkling beverages that look like seltzer yet contain artificial sweeteners - they're no better than diet soda. Or try a sparkling juice; you can even water it down with seltzer to stretch your calories further.
5. "Calorie-Free" Spray Margarine
Even though some spray margarines claim to be "calorie-free," labeling laws allow products with few than five calories per serving to claim to have zero calories. So, while one spritz may be inconsequential, the whole bottle could have as much as 900 calories.
Smarter substitution: Spray-it-yourself olive oil. In this case, a bit of real fat is more healthy and flavorful - and within a reasonable calorie range if you watch your portions. Investing in an olive oil mister ensures you don't put on too much.