14 Health Foods That Aren’t

Posted by Mary Anne Tolentino | 7:27 AM | | 0 comments »

A friend shared this article in facebook which I found interesting specially now that I have to choose what I eat. I do agree with what was written below. I was told not to eat white rice and instead stick to organic brown rice. Sometimes however when I have to eat out due to some business meetings, I notice that if I eat pasta my blood sugar rises. Brown rice never spikes my blood sugar.

Last night at a coffee shop I was looking for a sugar free pastry. The only thing available was guiltless chocolate. It looked rich so I looked for something else. The staff recommended the bran muffin but I asked him to check the ingredient. True enough there was sugar and from the article below boy it was rich!

14 Health Foods That Aren’t
By David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding

If your weight-loss regimen consists of giving up pizza and burgers in favor of flaxseeds and rice cakes, it’s time to reconsider your strategy.
In the book, Eat This, Not That! Supermarket Survival Guide, co-authors David Zinczenko and Matt Goulding insist you don’t ever have to diet again. You can eat all of your favorite foods and still drop 10, 20, 30 pounds in just a few months.

To do so, though, you’ll need to learn the sneaky tricks the food industry employs to sabotage your waistline. The biggest hurdle to your weight-loss efforts isn’t the industrial-strength calorie bombs lurking in supermarkets and restaurants the country over (though be sure to brush up on the Worst Restaurant Foods and Worst Supermarket Foods in America, just to be safe), but rather, the flood of lackluster packaged and prepared foods masquerading as healthy eats. With the food industry spending $30 billion a year to peddle their most dubious products, it’s no wonder we’ve confused some of the most calorie-riddled, fat-laden products in America for truly nutritious food. To help you slim down this year, the Eat This, Not That! guys have identified the 14 most punishing health ruses and suggest delicious alternatives that will keep you satisfied and give you all the purported nutritional benefits that many of our most beloved foods sadly do not. Read on to discover a new, smarter game plan!

1. Bran muffin
# 420 calories
# 20 g fat
Eat this instead: Ham, egg and cheese on an English muffin
# 300 calories
# 12 g fat

Bran muffins are comprised of two things your body doesn’t want in the morning: sugar and refined flour. Both will work to spike your blood sugar, which signals your body to start storing fat and sets you up for a mid-morning crash. And with only trace amounts of fiber, there’s nothing healthy about this misunderstood muffin. The breakfast sandwich, on the
other hand, is a surprisingly great way to start your day. Besides having fewer calories, fat, and carbs, it also offers about 20 grams of protein, which we really need in the morning to jumpstart our metabolism.

2. Chicken Caesar salad (dinner-size portion)
# 900 calories
# 60 g fat

Eat this instead: Grilled chicken on mixed greens
# 400 calories
# 20 g fat

Caesar salads suffer the consequences of two natural disasters: a flood of fatty dressing and a blizzard of Parmesan cheese and croutons. Even a Caesar side salad before a meal can cost you up to 500 calories. Skip the emperor treatment in favor of a simple grilled chicken breast tossed in a bed of mixed greens tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette. The vinaigrette is a vast improvement over the treacherous Caesar dressing, and the absence of a Parmesan sea means that you’ll save nearly entire meal’s worth of calories by making this simple swap.

3. Tuna melt
# 900 calories
# 50 g fat

Eat this instead: Roast beef or ham sandwich
# 500 calories
# 15 g fat

Plain tuna out of the can is healthy; tuna doused in mayo, shrouded in melted cheese, and slicked with another layer of dressing is not. Both ham and roast beef are packed with protein and are super-satisfying and surprisingly lean, which means you can eat the same size sandwich and save 400 calories and 35 grams of fat.

4. Chicken wrap
# 700 calories
# 35 g fat

Eat this instead: Grilled chicken sandwich
# 375 calories
# 15 g fat

The wrap itself is the real offender here, dense with fast-burning carbs and containing up to 400 calories. It’s a tortilla shell pumped with a bunch of modified starch and fat. Plus the huge surface area means more room to slather dressing and pack in more cheese and meat than your typical sandwich. Definitely not a health food. A grilled chicken sandwich on a bun offers a great balance of fat, carbs, and protein, plus having a bun instead of a huge tortilla provides some much-need portion control. Bonus: Nix the mayo in favor of barbecue sauce or salsa (which is the ultimate fat-free, low-cal condiment).

5. Turkey burger
# 850 calories
# 50 g fat

Eat this instead: 7 oz sirloin steak
# 350 calories
# 20 g fat

People hear turkey and automatically think lean and healthy, but depending on the type of ground turkey and toppings used, one of these poultry patties can be every bit as fatty and caloric as a beef burger. Sirloin, on the other hand, is one of the leanest cuts of meat available, which makes for an incredibly satisfying, protein-enriched meal that will keep you feeling fuller, longer. Who wouldn’t want to make this swap?

6. Fruit smoothies
# 600 calories
# 120 g sugars

Drink this instead: 100 percent fruit smoothie
# 350 calories
# 75 g sugars

Many fruit smoothies contain added sugars and high-fructose corn syrup, which means they’re more milkshake than smoothie. The key here really is in the name: A 100 percent fruit smoothie made with plain yogurt instead of ice cream or sherbet will contain nearly half the calories and significantly less sugar, plus it will provide all of the vitamin and
antioxidant capacity that a smoothie is supposed to have.

7. Granola bar
# 200 calories
# 15 g sugars

Eat this instead: 1 oz cheddar cheese with Triscuits
# 150 calories
# 5 g sugars

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 turn quickly raises blood sugar and cancels out any of the potential benefits you might otherwise
get from the oats. By switching over to good old-fashioned cheese and crackers, you swap out sugar and calories for protein and fiber. Talk about a great deal!

8. Pasta salad
# 300 calories
# 20 g fat

Eat this instead: Egg salad
# 200 calories
# 14 g 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
# 190 calories
# 30 g sugars

Eat this instead: Plain yogurt with fresh fruit mixed in
# 110 calories
# 15 g sugars

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 what comes directly from the “fruit” is 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. Bagel with cream cheese
# 700 calories
# 40 g fat
# 13g saturated

Eat this instead: Cheese omelet
# 425 calories
# 18 g fat
# 6 g saturated

Bagels are bogus. The bread is bad enough, containing 300 calories and 60 grams of carbohydrates, but tack on the liberal cream cheese schmear (by our survey of popular breakfast chains, up to 4 ounces for a single bagel!) and your “harmless” breakfast snack just got worse than a Whopper. The omelet swap will save you nearly 300 calories, plus provide a surge of metabolism-driving protein. And a recent study from the University of Connecticut found that eggs can help raise HDL (good) cholesterol.

11. Pasta primavera
# 800 calories
# 40 grams of fat (12 g saturated)

Eat this instead: 2 slices veggie pizza
# 400 calories
# 20 g fat
# 6 g saturated

Yes, there may be a few vegetables in this popular pasta dish, but there is also a ton of butter, cream, and quick-burning carbs from the mountain of noodles. If you want to stick to pasta, look for red sauce-based dishes like pasta pomodoro or penne arrabiatta (chili-spiked marinara). But ultimately, even a few slices of cheese or vegetable pizza turn out to be a relatively smart choice when the craving for Italian food strikes. Unlike the nearly bottomless pits of pasta most restaurants serve up, pizza comes in a naturally portion-controlled form: two slices and you’re done. Just be sure to opt for regular or thin crust; both pan and deep dish pizza have nearly twice the calories.

12. Dried fruit
# 175 calories
# 45 g sugars

Eat this instead: Fresh fruit, like an apple or a peach
# 70 calories
# 15 g sugars

Okay, so dried fruit won’t totally derail a day of good eating (unless you put down an entire bag of banana chips), but it’s far from being a harmless snack. First, because the dehydrating process sucks most of the volume from the fruit, you can eat cups of the stuff, and 600 calories later, still not feel any fuller. More troubling, though, is the fact that companies like Sun-Maid and Ocean Spray almost invariably add a ton of sugar to the fruit, making Craisins closer to candy than Mother Nature’s original intention. In this case, the
choice is clear: Stick to the real stuff. You’ll get more fiber and less sugar, a time-tested formula for superior snacking.

13. Fish sandwich
# 600 calories
# 30 g fat
# 11 g saturated

Eat this instead: Chicken sandwich
# 300 calories
# 13 g fat
# 4 g saturated

Fish is healthy. Fish battered, fried, robed in cheese, and bathed in tartar sauce is decidedly not. The lesson? It’s not about the star ingredient, but the supporting cast—in this case a cadre of fat-bearing miscreants. We’ve seen too many chicken- and fish-based dishes ruined by overly assertive (and caloric) accoutrements. To that end, make sure your next chicken sandwich is grilled (avoid any menu item with the word “crispy,” the restaurant industry’s euphemism of choice for fried food), dressed with fresh produce, and topped with
a low-cal sauce like barbecue, or even ketchup and mustard.

14. Stick margarine (1 Tbsp)
# 100 calories
# 11 g fat
# 2.5 g saturated
# 2.5 g trans fat

Eat this instead: Whipped butter (1 Tbsp)
# 50 calories
# 6 g fat
# 1.5 g saturated

In their haste to remove saturated fat from butter, stick margarine makers created a monster—a soft, spreadable sludge loaded with trans fats, a dangerous lipid with more concerning links to heart disease than saturated fat. Stick with the real stuff, but pick up whipped butter from brands like Land O’ Lakes instead; by whipping air into the butter, manufacturers decrease the caloric density of a tablespoon of butter, plus it makes for easier spreading. Learn more about the healthy foods you should be shopping for and print
out personalized grocery lists with the Eat This, Not That! Premium site.

Originally written January 20, 2009

Bookmark and Share