For the second part of the “Today” show’s Summer Slim-Down Guide, nutritionist Joy Bauer tells you about foods that seem healthy, but are actually packed with sugar, calories, or fat. When you’re trying to lose weight, remember that every calorie counts. Here’s the skinny on diet-busting health foods:
Most brands are loaded with calories and sugar. In fact, granola is one of the most calorie-dense cereals on the market. A typical 2/3-cup serving has 220 calories and 17 grams of sugar, or the equivalent of 4 teaspoons of sugar. What’s more, most people pour 2-cup portions – that’s a whopping 660 calories and 51 grams sugar, or 12 teaspoons of sugar!
Joy’s solution: Watch the portions. Have a small bowl of granola — 1/4 cup or 4 tablespoons —and mix it with another less caloric cereal like Bran Flakes, Total, Wheaties, or plain Cheerios. Or sprinkle 2 to 3 tablespoons of granola on yogurt. This way, you’ll be able to enjoy the crunch and flavor of granola, while minimizing the amount you eat.
Reduced fat milk:
When you consider that whole milk is 3.3% fat, 2% reduced fat milk is neither low-fat nor low-calorie. Here’s the breakdown in calories for one cup:
- whole milk: 150 calories
- 2% reduced fat milk: 120 calories
- 1% reduced fat milk: 100 calories
- skim milk: 80 calories
Joy’s solution: Switch from 2% reduced fat milk to skim milk. Assuming you have one serving each day, by the end of the year, you’ll save more than 14,000 calories and drop 4 pounds!
Chicken Caesar salads:
Thanks to excessive dressing, croutons and cheese, a standard chicken Caesar salad can total 1,130 calories and add more than 90 grams of fat to your diet!
Joy’s solution: Request your salad be prepared with NO dressing (you’ll save up to 475 calories) and no croutons (another 70 calorie savings). Instead, toss your salad with 1 to 2 teaspoons olive oil and unlimited vinegar. This lighter version provides about 685 calories — for a savings of 445 calories.
All fruit is loaded with nutrition, however, dried fruit is significantly higher in calories than fresh fruit. Consider this: 12 small pieces of dried mango have 320 calories. That’s the same amount as 2 apples, 15 grapes, and half of a small cantaloupe.
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Joy’s solution:If you’re watching your weight, eat fresh fruit! You’ll get much more volume and satisfaction. Plus, less risk of cavities and blood sugar spikes.
This yogurt is strictly food for the soul! It’s filled with calories, sugar, fat, and clearly NO active cultures. In fact, 20 yogurt covered nuts contain 460 calories, 32 grams fat, 14 grams saturated fat, and 8 teaspoons sugar!
Joy’s solution: Skip the candy and enjoy the real thing — raw almonds and a container of non-fat, flavored yogurt.
Bananas fried in oil and sugar — over the top! One cup typically provides 300 calories, 20 grams fat, 18 grams saturated fat, and 19 grams sugar, or 4 3/4 teaspoons of sugar!
Joy’s solution: Enjoy a fresh, frozen banana for only 110 calories (no fat or added sugar).
Although loaded with healthy nutrients, traditional trail mix is also loaded with calories that add up quickly. In fact, ½ cup of typical trail mix has 350 calories or the same amount of calories as 11 cups of air popped popcorn.
Joy’s solution: Keep trail mix portions to ¼ cup servings. When you’re looking for a snack with greater volume, enjoy 5 to 6 cups of air popped popcorn.
Beverages like Vitamin Water and SoBe Life Water contain many more calories than plain water. In fact, you’ll be taking in 125 calories (and 8 cubes of sugar) for every 20-ounce bottle you guzzle!
Joy’s solution:Read labels and take into account ALL of the calories. (For total calories, multiply calories per serving times the number of servings in a bottle). Optimally, skip caloric drinks altogether and enjoy unlimited amounts of plain waters/seltzers that have zero calories.
It’s true, fruit smoothies can be loaded with nutrition, but they also contain plenty of calories. One 24-ounce Jamba Juice (Banana Berry flavor) contains 480 calories. That’s the same amount of calories found in 12 glazed doughnut holes!
Joy’s solution: Save fruit smoothies for occasional indulgences or make less caloric homemade versions (use 1 to 2 servings of fruit, 1/2 cup of skim milk, ½ cup of non-fat, flavored yogurt).
For more information on healthy eating, visit nutritionist expert, Joy Bauer’s website at www.joybauernutrition.com
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