Wed, 04/07/2021 - 12:49
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Healthy foods that make you fat? Yup, it’s true. You see, the micro nutrients in food have nothing to do with the energy content in that food (also known as calories). And at the end of the day, a food might be loaded with wonderful nutrients, but also loaded with energy / calories.
Fat is simply stored energy. When we consume more energy than our body can utilize it will store that energy in our fat cells. So, no matter how healthy a food is, if it’s very high in calories and you are eating too much of it you will gain weight.
I bring this up because so often when people get stuck on their weight loss journey and I ask them what they are eating they almost always say, “I’m eating healthy”. And upon further exploration I come to find out that even though the foods have lots of vitamins and minerals they are eating too much of foods that are calorie dense.
Here are the top 5 foods to be thoughtful about when consuming:
Nuts. Love these guys. Loaded with healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, and fiber these guys are nutrition power houses, but they are also LOADED with calories. Just a quarter cup of cashews (about 9 cashews in total) is 170 calories! I don’t know about you, but who eats NINE cashews? I eat about 20 at a time and that is about 400 calories! For a snack! And it isn’t just cashews – almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds etc. All VERY high in calories. And this calorie count is just for raw or dry roasted. When nuts are roasted in oil – which many are - it adds insult to injury. Proceed with caution.
Flavored yogurt. We assume that yogurt is healthy and some of us don’t realize that these fruit yogurts are loaded with added sugar and calories! So if you are going to consume yogurt make it plain, organic, preferably low fat and add fresh fruit on top instead of the pre mixed with tons of added syrup, sugars, possible food coloring etc.
Juice. As I’ve said before, juice is a bit of a sad story to begin with. You squish the plant to oblivion and extract the sugary juice, but leave behind most of the good stuff that holds the majority of the nutrients and all of the fiber. When you have a glass of orange juice you are getting as many calories and grams of sugar as a coke. So avoid the juice and eat the fruit.
“Healthy sweeteners”. I see many recipes that substitute table sugar with honey or maple syrup. I myself have done this in many recipes created for my books or The Fitness App meal plans. These are definitely much healthier for you from a nutrition perspective, BUT they are still very high in sugar and calories, which simply means consume in moderation. Just because it’s a healthier option doesn’t give us license to overindulge.
Granola. I love this stuff. I used to put it on everything because it was “healthy”. On yogurt, in smoothies, with milk, as a stand alone snack etc. And while it can have fiber, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals it’s also really high in calories and in some cases added sugar. A half cup really should be the portion for this food coming in at about 230 calories. That way when you add milk, or yogurt, or top your smoothie bowl you don’t exceed 400 to 500 calories max. But if you have a cup of it (which looks like nothing in person), the whole meal can get up to about 700 calories which is a heck of a lot if you are trying to watch your waistline.