High Calorie “DANGERS” in Your Diet!
There are several foods out there that are labeled as “healthy”, although they may also be very high in calories. As a result, many people can become frustrated and confused as to why they aren’t losing weight, even though they are eating “healthy”. So, what are these high calorie, “healthy” foods?
In no particular order:
1) Peanut butter/ mixed nuts-
Every fitness guru seems to be peanut butter obsessed! Protein packed, yummy, and nutritious are reasons why so many people choose to load up on the peanut butter. But, did you know that 2 tbsp of PB contains nearly 200 calories (190 to be exact)?! And let’s be honest…it can be extremely difficult to stop at only 2 tbsp. The same notion applies to mixed nuts. A handful of mixed nuts (28 g) contains about 180 calories. It is an easy snack to munch on, and keep munching on, without realizing how many handfuls you have actually consumed! In a matter of minutes, you could eat 3 handfuls and consume nearly 550 calories on a small snack!
In moderation, avocados make a nutrient dense, filling snack or toast topping. However, much like the mixed nuts, too much snacking can lead to an abundance of excess calories. One avocado has about 320 calories, while 1/2 cup of guacamole has nearly 155 calories. Controlling your portions on this food is vital!
3) Dried fruit-
Can you believe a cup of grapes has about 60 calories, while a cup of raisins contains about 430? With all of the water sucked out of dried fruits, they become a very concentrated sugar source. Eating dried fruit by the handful can lead to an excess amount of unwanted calories.
4) Salad dressing-
High in saturated fat, sodium, and sugar, salad dressings can also be loaded with calories. While one or two tablespoons may not be harmful, pouring on the dressing in large amounts could ruin your “healthy salad”.
5) Granola bars/biscuits-
I am guilty myself of loving granola bars. My fav? Belvita Breakfast Biscuits. But, is it worth it? 1 package of the Belvita biscuits contains 230 calories. Personally, it hardly makes me feel full, leaving me wanting more food. Therefore, although a “healthy” alternative to chips, cookies, etc., they are still something to beware of for their higher calories content and small portion density.
Cheese can make a yummy finisher on top of salads, turkey burgers, tacos, etc. However, get too carried away and you could easily add a minimum of 150- 300 unwanted calories to your diet. Be very mindful about how much cheese you “sprinkle” on top of your food!
7) Alcohol/ Coffee drinks (Starbucks)-
Okay- this is not a known “health food”, nor is it a secret, but alcohol and sugary coffee drinks (like Starbucks) are major, popular calorie dangers, so it was worth noting. People often forget that liquid calories count too! What you drink could be putting you into a caloric surplus (aka what makes you gain weight). Some Starbucks drinks can contain 500 calories, which for some people may be nearly 1/3 of their daily calorie allowance! And yes, wine has been shown to have some health benefits. But, empty calories, from any kind of alcohol, easily add up and could be the excess calories that cause you to gain weight.
Now to be clear, these foods are NOT meant to be seen as bad or unhealthy (minus #7). But, because they are relatively high in calories, it can be easy to eat too much without even realizing it. This is where measuring your food and/ or counting calories can be extremely helpful ( we will save this topic for a future blog). Nevertheless, the moral of this blog: although these are nutrient-rich foods, paying attention to portion sizes is crucial, especially if trying to lose weight.