Before you start your day with a green juice, some coconut water or a handful of fruit and nuts, you might want to read this...
If you follow the latest fads in the hope of achieving health nirvana, you are not alone. But then you will also not be alone if you start to pile on the pounds, even though you are following a healthy/organic/vegan lifestyle.
One of the biggest misconceptions about health foods is that they don't contain calories. There are some supposedly healthy foods that are actually pretty terrible for you.
You can't drink a litre carton of coconut water or bowl of nuts without piling on the pounds. These healthy foods are supposed to replace other meals, snacks or treats. And although the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in these foods are important to our health, the fat, carb and calorie content might surprise you...
Here are some of the most popular diet foods that contain the most hidden calories.
One of the newest fads, coconut water has been touted as a new superfood, but actually has 45 calories in a small carton. Full of electrolytes, like sodium and potassium, coconut water can speed up exercise recovery, but if you're just sitting at the desk all day, stick to water.
We're often told that hummous is a great snack food to keep in the fridge and will stop us snacking on 'bad' foods. But did you know that there are 70 calories in two tablespoons of hummous? If you are one of the (few) people that can stop there, than hummous will work for you as a snack food, but if you are like the rest of us, the temptation to eat more isn't worth the extra weight you will put on as a result. Also, don't discount the calories from whatever you are dipping in the hummous too...
Ok so a few grapes aren't going to break the scales, but the sugar content will nudge you closer to your daily allowance pretty quickly. One cup of grapes has 15 grams of sugar - about the same as three biscuits. And if you eat a whole bunch, you're looking at 310 calories and 75 grams of sugar. Raspberries and blackberries are a low sugar fruit, so snack on those instead.
Far worse than either fresh or juiced fruit, dried or dehydrated fruit naturally contains a lot of sugar and calories. Half a cup of dried apricots has 107 calories and 25 grams of sugar. Try eating fresh, although beware of consuming too many bananas, grapes and mangos, as these are also very high in sugar.
A shot glass full of nuts is about 160 calories and has 14 grams of fat. If you're grazing from a pack or bowl, you will probably double that amount. To still get all the nutritional benefits of nuts without the fat and calories, try incorporating them into a meal by sprinkling a handful onto salads.
The holy grail of breakfasts, if supermodels are to be believed, but to make ingredients such as kale and Swiss chard taste ok, lots of sugary fruits are usually added to the blend. This means you can end up drinking as much sugar as you would find in a can of fizzy cola. Plus, as anyone who has embarked on a juice cleanse will know, there's not much longevity in a liquid diet and any calories lost will quickly be piled back on.
This grain is dubbed 'super' because it has a high protein content and is full of fibre, amino acids and potassium. But quinoa is still full of carbohydrate and one cup has around 200-260 calories. Plus it still triggers the same emotion that makes you want to overeat sugary foods, so restraint will still be needed, even with this healthy choice.
Make time for a quick fitness routine and make light work of losing weight...
Why not start with Tracey Anderson's top 5 body-sculpting exercises?
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