Diet foods that are causing you to be fat
There is nothing worse than spending about 1 1/2 times the cost of normal foods for the so called diet foods that have been promoted to be good for you, and then find out that all the things you’ve forced yourself to get used to and tell yourself are good for you, have instead ensured you remain overweight. You may have heard about artificial sweetener actually causing you to be hungry and eat more, and also that it promotes the growth of kidney stones. That’s the easy one, diet sodas are a no-go, they’re the biggest culprit containing artificial sweeteners. What about the ones we know less about? Orange juice. It dumps so much sugar into our body all at once that our insulin levels spike dramatically. That’s not a good thing, because it results in a massive drop as the sugar wears off, and our liver cannot process that much sugar at once, so it takes what it needs, and sends the rest out as fat.
Now to nail the bad guys to the “Most Wanted” wall
Sugar-Free ANYTHING – Yes, ANYTHING. Unless it’s honey, don’t eat it. Sorbitol, commonly found in sugar free candy and cookies, aside from making you hungry more often, has the added benefit of causing bloating, cramps and diarrhea. If you find you need your cookie fix, try graham crackers. They’re just sweet enough to help curb a craving, and have a fraction of the sugar most cookies contain.
Yogurt – Unbelievable, truly isn’t it? Plain yogurt, without any added sweeteners, or fruit, contains 16 grams of sugar per cup. If you have flavor or fruit, that number becomes compounded quite high. If you love your yogurt and do not want to go without, try choosing Greek yogurt, plain, and use honey to give it the sweet you need without the extra sugars. Greek yogurt also contains protein which assists in keeping you feeling full longer.
Trail Mix – Likely the worst pre-packaged bad guy here. Though the general rule in dieting is to avoid pre-packaged anything, this one slips through the cracks, convincing hikers and outdoor enthusiasts everywhere that it’s good for them. Banana chips, commonly found in most trail mix contain fats from being deep fried, and yogurt covered raisins contain preservatives and oils containing saturated and trans fats. If you’re going to go with trail mix for the road, make your own, and choose plain nuts, dried natural fruit and whole grain cereal.
Veggie Chips – If they’re chips, they’re not likely to be good for you in any sense of the word. Though these puffy delights are the same color as vegetables, and they do contain traces of vegetable products in there, it’s not enough to be deceived to think that you’re eating more vegetables, and less flour, oil and seasoning. It’s just clever marketing, so avoid them. Crispy snacks that ARE good for you? Carrots. You can even get a julienne slicer to make them into chip-like slices.
Microwave popcorn – Pop your own kernels. Anything you find that is pre-packaged falls under the previous pre-packaged rule. Don’t eat it. They all contain high levels of sodium as well as a chemical called diacetyl. By popping your own, you’re getting nothing but the raw benefit of the corn.
“Light” Salad Dressings – Unless you prefer to fill up on preservatives and additives you cannot pronounce, leave this one on the shelf. Also in this bad guy are sodium and sugar. Drizzling something like balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar over your salad is your best bet for a little flavor.
Artichoke Spinach Dip – This one is a painful reminder that the name doesn’t denote any health benefits. The pleasures of the palette to be found in this dip should be enjoyed in severe moderation. One to two scoops of it, and no more. Though it contains vegetables, the heavy cream and butter content easily outweigh the slight benefit you’re getting from the vegetables. If you simply must have that dip, swap out the crackers for carrot and celery sticks and use a recipe like this: healthy spinach dip
Flavored Soy Milk – Soy milk alone isn’t necessarily bad for you, though it should be noted that high levels of soy can cause spikes in estrogen levels in both women AND men, leading to some rather uncomfortable medical problems. Chocolate and vanilla flavors of soy milk are no better for you than their chocolate or other flavored milk counterparts. Packed full of sugar and extra calories, they’re best in massive moderation.
Energy Drinks – This one should be really obvious. Even the ones claiming low fat, sugar free, just avoid them altogether. The only acceptable energy drinks are those that are packed with electrolytes like Gatorade or Powerade. Even those should be limited to one a day, two per day if you’re an athlete or a laborer. Otherwise, plain water is the best hydration you can get to keep your energy levels high.
Smoothies – They have been promoted for so long as being good for you, and some diets even center around the frozen drinkable treat, but they’re full of sugars and high caloric evils like chocolate, full fat ice creams or yogurts, and protein that you may not even need. If you want a healthy smoothie, your best bet is to make one from home so you can ensure you know everything that is in it.
Fish, Turkey and Chicken Sandwiches – While fish, turkey and chicken aren’t bad for you, quite the opposite really, they’re proven to be good for you. Fish has omega 3′s and essential fatty acids for cognitive functioning and amino acids found in turkey and chicken are also on the “must have” list. However, when you add bread of any variety, sauce, cheese… you are only adding calories, fat and sodium. Stick with just the meat, bake it, grill it, or steam it and enjoy it with vegetables or long grain rice.
Muffins – Even if your muffins say low-fat, low-sugar, sugar-free, or even “mini” you’re not going to get any health benefits from eating them, beyond pleasure. Even then, you’re better off eating the full fat variety if you’re going to eat them at all, because the low fat versions pack in extra sugar to make up for the lack of flavor. Best muffins if you must eat them, remain bran muffins.