Have you ever made bad food choices but thinking you were doing something good? Maybe you chose the sweet potato fries instead of French fries, or you ordered a smoothie while you were out to get your antioxidants but you were unaware of the excess sugar it contained. Whatever the reason, there are often times when people make bad food choices and they are unaware of the issue. So what are these bad food choices and are there healthier solutions? As a certified trainer, nutritionist and busy mother of three, I am accustomed to helping find the healthy solution. Here are the bad food choices and the healthy swaps.
You may have been using hummus to dip your veggies into thinking you did good but unaware of all the abundance of calories you are consuming. Just two tablespoons of this dip contain 50-80 calories. So how is this dip different from French onion, ranch and the other decadent array of dips and why is it one of the bad food choices? Hummus provides your body with a healthy dose of protein, fiber and heart healthy fats but if you have a weight loss goal, make portion control a must when eating your hummus. I like to buy small individual packages so they are portion controlled from the start and you can avoid over eating.
Due to the high carbohydrate content of bagels, the average bagel has the same amount of carbs as 4-6 slices of white bread. I recommend eliminating the bagel and choosing a whole wheat English muffin, or if you really are craving the occasional bagel, take the excess dough out from the inside. This will save you lots of carbs and reduce your guilt and your weight. Moderation is key so just make sure this does not become a staple in your diet.
3. Canned Soup
Do not be tricked by ordering canned soup and calling it a night. Canned soup is loaded with sodium as well as other chemicals. So why not skip purchasing a soup with ingredients you cannot even pronounce and make your own soup. You can freeze some of this soup in individual airtight containers and have them at a later time.This will help you to save on fat grams, calories and sodium in canned soup! Now that is worth the time of preparation!
4. Salad with Light Dressing
Do you think you made the best choice by choosing a light dressing? Think again! Light dressing has a long list of additives and chemicals, making this the unhealthy choice. These added chemicals can actually cause you to gain weight. Choose good old fashioned oil and vinegar instead.
5. Trail Mix
Trail Mix is a trap many health enthusiasts fall into because it looks healthy and it is often marketed this way. But with many dried fruits and nuts, this is very high in fat and calories. It can weigh in with as much as 11 grams of fat in a serving. Save the fat grams along with calories and create your own trail mix with quinoa, nuts and fresh fruits so you can eliminate the processed dried fruits and avoid any additives.
6. Flavored Fat Free Yogurt
Do not be fooled by the fat free label or the fact that you are choosing yogurt as being healthy. A small 6 ounce yogurt can contain over 15 grams of sugar. Did you know that the sugar you do not burn off gets stored as fat, making the fat free label null and void? So make the healthier choice and choose greek yogurt and put fresh fruit in there so you can reduce the sugar content. Add more protein to your diet by choosing Greek yogurt!
7. Chicken or Veggie Wrap
Most people order the chicken or veggie wrap and are proud of their decision, not aware of the total calories they're consuming. Most wraps have a high carbohydrate level and can range between 150-250 calories for the wrap alone. So do not be fooled. A safer bet is to choose a salad so you can skip falling into this trap.
Now that you know the list of bad foods and the healthier swaps, what is your favorite food and why? Are you ever fooled by low fat products?