Not all food items masquerading as “healthy” or low-fat deliver what they claim. Click through to find out which food items you should avoid while losing weight.
1) Soy sauce
Despite being low in calories, soy sauce is extremely high on sodium that can leave you bloated and increase the risk of hypertension. There are many low-sodium soy sauce options available these days but they are not significantly lower than the regular ones. Use sparingly.
2) Multi-grain bread
All those pretty seeds sitting on top of the loaf look healthy and inviting. But it’s what the bread is made of that really matters. Multi-grain may not necessarily mean whole grain. Make sure to check the labels.
© iStock/Getty Images Alcohol
Even average wine drinkers consume up to 2,000 extra calories every month. A glass of sparkling white may look innocuous but its cumulative effects can hinder weight loss. According to diet expert Robert C Atkins, alcohol is the first thing your body burns before it moves on to anything else. So until your body gets rid of alcohol from your system, you won’t burn any fat.
4) Sugar-free products
How many of you are guilty of consuming this? Trust us these products just seem low in calories but the effect on your health is too dangerous to not pay attention to it. While these may be low in calories, consuming them can raise your insulin level, as they often contain unhealthy sugar alternatives.
5) Cereals sold in value-size boxes
According to research by Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab, people consume up to 22 per cent more when they eat from larger packages. Large packets may be easy on the wallet but certainly not on health.
6) 100-calorie snacks
So you know that you’re only consuming 100 calories per portion, but is it really adding to your daily nutrition? Cutting back on calories doesn’t mean you have to load up on junk. These make for great occasional treats but not for regular meal options.
7) High-fiber snack bars
These bars contain fiber, which is essential for you, but the problem is that they deliver it in big doses, not steadily throughout the day. Rachel Harvest, a registered dietitian affiliated with Tournesol Wellness in New York says, "Fiber intake has to be consistent throughout the day to stave off hunger, improve digestive health, and not cause stomach upset."
8) Whole milk
Whole milk is loaded with extra fat and cholesterol. Go for the skimmed variety to enjoy the goodness of milk without worrying about the calories.
9) Tropical fruits
Fruits make for great snacks when on a diet but there are some that you may want to avoid if your goal is to lose weight. Go easy on fruits such as mangoes and ripe pineapples as they are especially high in natural sugars.
10) Microwave popcorn
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the chemicals found in bags of microwave popcorn are known to increase the chances of developing infertility and thyroid problems. Popcorn is a great low-calorie snack, just not when it comes out of a bag filled with additives.
11) Fruit juice
Fruit juice out of a carton seems convenient for a quick breakfast, but really it's just a glass full of empty calories. Yes, even the 100-per cent variety doesn't help much. You're better off eating the whole fruit, which gives you fiber as well.
They are quick to eat, they're certainly healthy, but they also contain high amounts of sugar that may trigger cravings for other sweet products. Don’t avoid them altogether; combine them with proteins or add them to salads.
13) "Low Fat" foods
Consuming these may put you at risk of inadvertent binging, as they create the illusion that you're not consuming many calories. Manufacturers often replace natural elements with chemicals to make these foods "low fat".
14) Seasoning salts
We often spike up boring low-calorie dishes by sprinkling them with seasoning salt. But these are loaded with sodium which increases the risk of high blood pressure. Use fresh herbs to bring out the flavors in your meal.
Salads are good. In fact they're an excellent meal choice if you’re on a diet. It’s the dressing that’s the culprit. There’s no point ordering a garden salad at a restaurant if you top it up with a high-fat mayonnaise dressing.
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