We hate to it is in the ones to rest it come you, however that bran muffin you have for breakfast could be undermining your health (with several fat) and also sabotaging her waistline (with overfill calories). Exact same goes for granola, banana chips, trail mix, turkey hot dogs, and also any number of health-food pretenders that room often higher in fat, sugars, and also calories, or lower in nutrients than they would seem come be. Or they have all species of stuff included to them the you don"t really need.

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The solution? "Read nutrition labels," advises Leslie J. Bonci, M.P.H., director of sports nutrition at the university of Pittsburgh clinical Center. Right here are a dozen health-food pretenders that may seem an excellent for you, yet aren"t necessarily—plus suggestions on what to try instead.

Also below, inspect out ours advice on portion size, i beg your pardon is necessary for continuing to be slim.

(This write-up is reprinted from Food & Fitness, i beg your pardon you deserve to buy virtual or in ~ a newsstand. This consumer Reports magazine will aid you learn just how to eat an excellent tasting meals and stay healthy on a budget; recognize when it pays to purchase organic; find the supermarket traps the can price you money; and also find the end the tricks of exactly how real-life families maintain a healthy weight and also stay in shape. Plus, obtain our exclusive Ratings for renowned food items and exercise equipment.)


"Sweetened applesauce has lots of added sugar," claims Elisa Zied, R.D., author of "Nutrition at your Fingertips" (Alpha, 2009). A 1-cup serving deserve to have as much as 200 calories.Try this: Unsweetened applesauce normally has half the calories, Zied says. If it"s as well tart for your taste, add some cinnamon or, far better yet, eat an apple instead. You"ll acquire extra fiber together a bonus.


Yes, they"re made from good-for-you bananas. However they"re normally fried in coconut or palm oil, unhealthy sources of saturation fat. That"s why there have the right to be 210 calories and 13 grams of saturated fat in a serving.Try this: Have a banana. You"ll acquire lots of nutrients for half the calories and no fat.


Many bran muffins room the dimension of doorstops—actually 2 servings in one muffin. And they"re regularly loaded v fat, sugar, and also calories, Bonci says. Slather ~ above butter and you might also eat a frosted cupcake.Try this: Bran grain with low-fat milk and also fresh fruit. Flakes, buds, or clusters—it"s her choice.


Couscous "Regular couscous is a processed, polished grain, just like white pasta is," states Blatner. "It has little nutritional value."Try this: Whole-wheat couscous—or opt for a entirety grain choose quinoa or brown rice.


"It has a health halo since of words yogurt, but it"s yes, really a high-sugar dessert," says Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D., spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, and author of "The Flexitarian Diet" (McGraw-Hill, 2009). Generally, fro-yo has a nutritional profile the resembles light ice cream more than level yogurt.Try this: To acquire the probiotic services of level yogurt, look for the seal on the label of frozen yogurt denote "Live and energetic Cultures."

"The quantity of fruit lock contain is much less than 10 percent," states Bonci. "These are largely just focused sugar."Try this: A small part of dried fruit, such as apricots or raisins. They"re denser in calories yet contain an ext nutrients.

It"s commonly high in sugar, fat, and calories—and relatively low in vitamins and also minerals. There are around 400 calories in a cup.Try this: A bowl of one airy, oat-based cereal, like Cheerios, come out top in our critical test the kid-friendly cereals. For extra crunch and also sweetness, add just a sprinkling that granola ~ above top.

The nuts space a great source the heart-healthy fats, and also the dried fruits carry out good-for-you vitamins, however some mixes have actually lots of calories for simply a few ounces. One cup deserve to contain nearly 700 calories! and because it"s a tasty finger food, it"s straightforward to overeat. Try this: Cut calories by making your very own combination. Mix a palmful the nuts and seeds v a tespoon or therefore of raisins.

A many turkey warm dogs are surprisingly high in fat— higher, even, than consistent hot dogs, states Bonci. Some contain lots of sodium and also nitrates.Try this: A turkey breast sandwich—unless you"re yes, really craving that warm dog flavor. If that"s the case, check out packages and also go because that the version v the shortest amount that fat.

"They may contain the color of the rainbow, but they don"t count together a serving of veggies," claims Bonci. Worse, they"re normally high in fat and calories.Try this: Air-popped popcorn or dried veggies. Bonci recommends the simply Tomatoes brand that dried vegetables since they have no included fat, salt, or anything else.

Sure, they have some added nutrients, however they"re frequently packed through sugar and sometimes caffeine, says Catherine Christie, R.D., chair that the room of nutrition and also dietetics at the college of north Florida in Jacksonville.Try this: plain old water or sparkling water through a squeeze native a lemon, lime, or orange.

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They"re usually huge—enough for 2 people, really—and high in calories and sometimes fat. Try this: A sandwich ~ above wholegrain or whole-wheat bread. When shopping because that bread, inspect the ingredients: do sure whole grain tops the list.

Portion size, or exactly how much of a details food you actually eat, is crucial for continuing to be slim. Yet most of the moment you have to "guesstimate" the best serving size."While the state "serving" and "portion" are regularly used interchangeably, they actually mean different things," states Marisa Moore, R.D., nationwide spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.A offer is a standard sector amount provided to determine calorie counts top top food labels. A part is the quantity of food you actually eat. Together food containers, restaurant portions, and drink bottles have become supersized, the gap between servings and also portions has obtained really the end of whack. And also what us eat is frequently dictated through the dimension of the container or the dish we order—not the encourage serving sizes posted ~ above nutrition labels and websites.Even if girlfriend do inspect the labels, it"s not constantly easy to referee what constitutes a true serving, in component because it"s usually given in terms of weight, which the typical person might find difficult to transform to a real-world amount. After all, what walk an oz look like? How around a gram?To see how accurately civilization can referee a serving, we performed our own test: us gave about 100 staffers file plates and also asked them come dish the end one serving each of 3 foods: dry-roasted peanuts, cheddar-cheese cubes, and chicken wings. We provided each serving dimension in weight, the method it usually appears on food labels. Probably they were on come the function of our experiment: castle were more likely come measure the end too small food than as well much. However their all-over-the-map guesses highlight just how tough it is come judge just how much come eat—even once you"re trying!

usage a food range to weigh parts so girlfriend can construct an eye because that what a true serving looks like. You deserve to buy a scale for much less than $20.

Cheese cubes1 offer = 1 oz = around 4 cubesGuesses ranged indigenous 1 cube come 5 cubesChicken wings1 offer = 4.4 ounces = around 4 wingsGuesses ranged indigenous 1 wing to 4 wings

Peanuts1 serving = 1 oz = 39 peanutsGuesses ranged native 5 peanuts to 50 peanutsUse this visual cues to referee serving sizes and also limit calories:3 ounces the meat = a deck that cards1 cup of grain or cooked pasta = a baseball1.5 ounces that cheese = 4 stacked dice1/2 cup fresh fruit = half a baseball