Food Frauds: 9 Foods you think are healthy, but aren’t

We all love the holiday season, but dread stepping on the scales come January 1st.

So as we prepare for Thanksgiving this week, remember that even foods you think are healthy can actually hurt your health. Here is a list of 9 food frauds. Learn how to transform them into a healthier meal:

  1. Caesar salad: Just a small bowl of Caesar salad has 300-400 calories and 30 grams of fat within the creamy dressing, crunchy croutons, bacon and cheese. To make the salad a little healthier, try using only 1 tablespoon of dressing and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
  2. Fruit smoothies: A fruit smoothie can have 80 grams of sugar, 350 calories and often, no fresh fruit. Fruit concentrates, sorbet or sweeteners are frequently used in place of fruit to make the smoothie tastier. To improve your smoothie order, get the small cup, ask for fresh fruit, low-fat yogurt, milk and/or protein powder.
  3. Energy bars: Most energy bars are enhanced, expensive candy bars with more calories (around 500). If you must have an energy bar for an on-the-go snack, choose a bar with 200 calories or less, some fiber and at least 5 grams of protein to help provide energy after the sugar crash.
  4. Enhanced water: While vitamins are commonly added to enhanced water, most brands also add sugar, taking water from zero calories to more than 125 calories. Try refrigerating tap water to make it more appealing to drink. Use packets of crystalized lemon to add flavor without the additional calories of sugar.
  5. 2% milk latte with whipped cream: Even though 2% milk is technically reduced-fat milk, a 2% latte can be up to 580 calories and have 15 grams of saturated fat. Adding whipped cream to your beverage increases these numbers even more. To limit the damage and still have your tasty beverage, order your drink with nonfat milk and no whipped cream. You’ll avoid 130 calories and two-thirds of the saturated fat.
  6. Breakfast muffins: Muffins are essentially sugary little cakes of refined flour, according to WebMD. One muffin from the store can have 500 calories with 11 teaspoons of sugar. To make your breakfast muffin a little healthier, make sure it is no larger than 2 ½ inches in diameter. Choose this option or look for 100-calorie muffins containing whole grains and fiber, which are guaranteed to fill you up!
  7. Low-fat granola: The low-fat version of regular granola only has 10% fewer calories and more sugar. The low-fat label can also lead you to overeat. Instead, look for a low-sugar, whole-grain cereal, to solve this problem, and sweeten it with fresh fruit.
  8. Multigrain products: “Multigrain” or “seven grain” products are a scam. Even with more than one type of grain, the product could be made largely from refined grains, such as white flours, which have been stripped of their nutritional value. It is essential to look for “100% whole grain” as the first ingredient, ensuring your product is filled with oats and wheat.
  9. Bottled/machine iced tea: Even though tea has antioxidants, it is not a health food. It contains too much added sugar and can actually be a health hazard. A 20-ounce bottle can have more than 200 calories and 59 grams of sugar. To limit the damage caused by “sweet tea,” drink unsweetened tea or herbal or berry teas and use lemon or artificial sweeteners for the added sweetness.

To find a physician who can help you figure out the best foods for your body, visit www.mountainstarmedicalgroup.com

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