The distinction between the healthy and not so healthy foods on the shelves is relatively well understood. However, several products get misplaced.
For example, many would instinctively say that chocolate is a luxury food choice that belongs firmly in the desert section. That's not an entirely true portrayal of the humble bar. For example, dark chocolate (chocolate with a high cocoa content) has been proven to improve blood flow, it's loaded with antioxidants and it can also protect you from cardiovascular disease.
But don't get carried away. This single illustration does not imply that all convenience foods are being misrepresented. Fried foods will never take the number spot on a diet plan aimed at shedding weight.
And on the other end of the spectrum, there are several foods with high calorie counts that are masquerading as healthy foods. Be prepared, the six revelations below may cause severe shock among readers.
Despite the colourful appearance of a salad dish, munching on a mixture of lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber etc alone is remarkably bland. Salad dressings are the regular recruits in this case, but what you might not be aware of is the deceptively high calorie count in these products.
A tablespoon of ranch dressing contains up to 145 calories. Now that's an alarming figure on its own but a typical salad requires more than just one tablespoon of a dressing in order to leave it fully lubricated. So when you consider all those top-ups, you're looking at a sum total of over 700 calories in your salad.
There was a time when rice cakes were hailed as the righteous substitute for breads and pastas to hold your luncheon meat. And when you look at the nutrition label, you would be forgiven for assuming that this article must be misinformed. The calorie total rarely goes above 35 and the fat and carbohydrate contents are minimal. Eating foods that are inadequately stacked with important nutrients, leaves you craving for more rice cakes between the main meals. You also have to factor in the hidden calories in the added sugar and artificial flavours that go into the making of a rice cake.
Commercially Produced Smoothies
Provided you keep the sugar concentrated juices out of the blender, home made smoothies are the average dieter's dream. The commercially branded ones though, cannot make the same nutritional promise. They are loaded with simple sugars and the number of calories in a single bottle almost outweighs the number you should be consuming throughout the entire day.
Chia Seeds And Other Superfoods
These are the tiny, tasteless toppings you tend to see floating in a bowl of muesli. We give ourselves a virtual pat on the back every time we lob a handful of these into our meals, fully believing that no health implications will arise from the consumption. But with each chia seed weighing in at 70 calories, your meal could have an additional 200 calories lingering under the surface.
And just when you thought all other apparently healthy foods couldn't be touched, we have more bad news to announce. Dried fruit such as apricots and cranberries are normally the porridge lover's choice when it comes to toppings. Greek yogurt eater's are also partial to a few clumps of the preserved fruits but what they don't know is that they carry up to 500 calories for 100 gram serving.
Granola bars, cakes and cereals are perceived to have a healthy element to them which is further enhanced by their ongoing association with sport. In truth however, the nutritional content of a granola product will make people think twice about popping them in the shopping basket again. The general calorie count of even just a 1/4 cup of Fruit & Nut granola clocks in at 140 calories. When you convert that to a full cereal bowl, the number could exceed the 500-calories mark.