So you think you are making healthy choices? Advertising makes you think you are but if you read the labels you’ll get a much better picture of the food you are choosing as healthy. Most people think that a salad is a good choice and it is if you pick the right one and use the right type of salad dressing. Just because something is low fat doesn’t mean you can eat a large serving either, and low fat foods sometimes will have a high sugar content. Remember low fat doesn’t mean low calorie. If you want to lose weight and eat healthy you need to find out exactly how many calories you need to be eating everyday. Eating to few calories can cause weight gain and slow down weight lose as well. You need to know how much protein you should be eating everyday as well because protein will help burn fat and turn it into muscle. Here is some information I got from Prevention Magazine on some prepared foods: check it out!
Fast Food Chicken Caesar Salad
Culprit: McDonald’s Premium Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken contains 890 mg of sodium—more than half the recommended daily limit. And that’s without the Caesar dressing, which can pile on another 500 mg. (Select the low-fat Italian and it’s even 30% higher!) In these ready-to-go salads, says Lona Sandon, RD, an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, “the worst part is usually the chicken, which is often cooked in a high-sodium marinade for flavor and may also be injected with a sodium solution to keep the meat moist.”
Smarter choice: Skip the entrée salad and go for the burger with a garden salad on the side. A McDonald’s plain
Near East Spanish Rice Pilaf
Culprit: Near East Spanish Rice Pilaf contains 910 mg of sodium in its 2.5-ounce serving (240
calories, 0.5 g fat)—nearly two-thirds of the recommended daily dose (and more if you add butter as suggested). That’s high, even by the standards of these supersimple dishes, which generally contain about 500 to 800 mg of sodium.
Smarter choice: Near East Original Plain Whole Grain Wheat Couscous contains no salt; simply season with your own spice blend. Bonus: Many herbs and spices like cilantro and turmeric are packed with disease-fighting phytonutrients.
Fat-Free Cottage Cheese
Culprit: Breakstone’s Fat-Free Cottage Cheese has 400 mg of sodium per 4-ounce serving (70 calories). That’s like eating 2 ¼ 1-ounce bags of Lay’s
potato chips. In order to give cottage cheese its curds-and-whey consistency, manufacturers must add salt during production. This salt, plus the natural salt contained in the milk used to make the cheese, gives this typical health fixture a surprisingly high sodium level.
Smarter choice: Equally creamy and still diet friendly, Sorrento Low-Fat Ricotta (140 mg sodium and 100 calories per 4 ounces) is worth trying.
Fruit Juice Cocktails
Culprit: At 33 g per 8-ounce glass, Ocean Spray Cranberry Juice Cocktail has as much sugar as a can of
soda. (The word cocktail is a red flag.)
Smarter choice: For a refreshing (and guilt-free!) alternative, try flavored seltzer, such as Vintage Raspberry Seltzer (0 g added sugar).
Low-Fat Ice Cream
Culprit: Häagen-Dazs Low-Fat Vanilla Frozen Yogurt has 21 g of sugar in a half-cup serving—nearly double the amount in real ice cream such as Edy’s Grand French Vanilla (11 g) and close to your limit for the entire day.
Smarter choice: Edy’s Whole Fruit No Sugar Added Fruit Bars will satisfy your sweet tooth with just 2 g of sugar and only 30
calories per serving (0 g fat).
Fat-Free Salad Dressing
Culprit: Maple Grove Farms Fat Free Honey Dijon Salad Dressing has 8 g of sugar in 2 tablespoons. That’s like tossing 10 jelly beans into your
Smarter choice: Newman’s Own Lighten Up Balsamic Vinaigrette has just 1 g of sugar (and 4 g fat). Wish-Bone Light Italian has 2 g of sugar (2.5 g fat).
If low-fat foods add sugar to make up for missing
flavor, then full-fat varieties must be healthy and satisfying, right? Not when you look over labels with an expert eye. One pitfall is heart-stopping saturated and trans fats, which increase blood sugar levels, blunt insulin resistance, and decrease your ratio of good to bad cholesterol. Then there’s the serving size, which can trick you into thinking you’re getting a dollop of fat—when you are actually getting most of a day’s serving. Overall, try to keep fats to 35% of caloric intake. (In a 1,600-calorie diet, that’s 62 g.)
*A serving of whole-milk Greek yogurt can have more fat than 3 small vanilla ice-cream cones!
Culprit: Fage Total Plain Classic Greek Yogurt has 23 g of fat (18 g saturated) and 300 calories in 1 cup. That’s not to say there aren’t good reasons to buy this ultrathick and creamy yogurt. It’s a great
source of calcium (you’ll get 25% of your daily value in a 1-cup serving) and protein (15 g), plus it has those good-for-your-gut live active cultures. But the whole-milk variety has 5 times the fat content of the 2% fat version and twice the calories (300, versus 150 in the 2% product).
Smarter choice: Fage Total 0% Plain Greek Yogurt is made with fat-free milk so it still provides all the calcium and cultures, and it even has a power-packed 20 g of protein, all with no fat and just 120 calories.