8 “Healthy” Foods That Can Bust Your Diet

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According to the South Beach Diet, there are many so called healthy snacks that are simply sabotaging our health and weight-loss goals.

I think many of us already know these facts, but it’s always good to have reminders.  It’s fun to fool ourselves into ‘thinking’ we’re eating healthy, when truthfully, we know what the real deal is.

1. Fruit Juices

Fruit juices, even some of those made from 100% fruit juice, can be a major diet buster. The reason: They’re high in the natural sugar called fructose, which can cause swings in blood sugar and cravings for more sugary foods. Furthermore, unlike whole fruits, which are high in healthy fiber, many fruit juices are not.  Quench your thirst with low-sodium tomato juice or a vegetable juice blend.

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2. Trail Mix

When made with nuts and seeds, healthy oils, and dried fruits, trail mixes can be a “healthy” snack food, eaten in moderation. But watch out: Many trail mixes contain candied nuts, buttered or caramel-covered popcorn, cheddar-flavored sesame sticks, pretzels, and sometimes even candy! Moreover, some of the ingredients, like granola clusters, may be cooked in fatty oils and overseasoned with salt. As an alternative, prepare your own trail mix, using walnuts, almonds, pecans, and sunflower seeds, and seasoning them with ground cinnamon, cumin, ginger, and chili powder for a little kick. Because even home-made trail mix is calorie-dense, stick to a 1/4-cup serving.

3. Fat Free Dressings

As you navigate the salad dressing aisle, you may think you’re doing yourself a favor by buying a fat-free variety, but don’t put that bottle into your cart just yet. While many fat-free commercial salad dressings are devoid of just that — fat — they make up for it with added sugar to help boost flavor. When shopping for dressings, look for those with the fewest ingredients and with 3 g of sugar or less per 2-tablespoon serving. Also look for dressings made with healthy monounsaturated fats, like extra-virgin olive oil and canola oil.

4. Full-Fat Greek Yogurt

Yogurt is a versatile food that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways on all phases of the South Beach Diet. However, not all yogurts are created equal. Full-fat yogurt and full-fat flavored yogurt are not recommended on the South Beach Diet because they are high in saturated fat and sugar. Instead, enjoy low-fat or nonfat plain yogurt on Phase 1 and low-fat artificially sweetened flavored yogurt on Phase 2. Plain nonfat (0%) Greek yogurt is always an excellent choice because of its higher protein content.

5. Muffins

Moist, flavorful muffins are hard to resist, but you’ll want to pass on this breakfast staple unless you make your own from scratch with healthy ingredients. Here’s why: Many storebought muffins and muffins served at restaurants are made with white flour and large amounts of sugar, which can cause cravings for more of the same. And then there’s the butter. Start baking your own health-ful versions– lightened-up muffins, using whole-wheat pastry flour, fresh fruit, canola oil, sugar substitute, low-fat or fat-free buttermilk, and wheat or oat bran.

6. Vegetable Chips

Store-bought vegetable chips may have a photo of sweet potatoes, taro root, or parsnips on the package, but they are often made with potato starch or puréed white potatoes, and rarely have any actual vegetables in them. As a healthy alternative, make your own kale chips by cutting kale into pieces and tossing with a little extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and other seasonings of your choice. Spread the kale on a baking sheet and bake at 350°F for about 10-15 minutes, or until the edges are just browned.

7. Sushi

Traditionally made with raw fish, white rice, vegetables, and seaweed, sushi may sound healthy, but many supermarkets (not to mention restaurants) have re-interpreted it to include cream cheese, spicy mayonnaise, tempura (fried seafood or veggies), and other unhealthy ingredients. When shopping for sushi, choose a simple tuna roll or California roll made with brown rice and no add-ins. Use reduced-sodium soy sauce for dipping.

8. Packaged gluten-free snack foods

While plenty of gluten-free foods are nutritious, there are also many sugary, high-fat packaged products labeled “gluten free” that you should avoid altogether. Gluten-free cookies, crackers, and chips made with white potato starch or white rice flour can cause blood sugar swings that can lead to hunger, cravings, and weight gain. Read labels carefully on all gluten-free foods.

Gluten-Free Waffles
Gluten-Free Waffles

Belgian Waffles (totally flour and gluten free!)
Ingredients:

2 large eggs
1/4 C Lowfat Ricotta Cheese (store brand)
1 T Granular Splenda, more or less to taste
1/2 t. Baking Powder
1/4 t. Cinnamon, more or less to taste
(optional)
Dash Nutmeg, more or less to taste (optional)

Directions:

Preheat waffle iron. If no waffle iron is available, recipe can also be used for fluffy
pancakes, but that is not as much fun! Beat eggs with electric mixer on high for 1
minute to make them light and fluffy. Add all other ingredients. Beat until smooth.
Spray waffle maker with PAM or other cooking spray. Pour all batter, should fill bottom tray. Close and cook as usual for waffles.

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