5 surprising foods that can cause weight gain
We all know that eating too many cookies on a regular basis will lead to weight gain. But plenty of other foods that seem healthy are nearly as bad!
Who'd have thought that calorie-free sweeteners or your favorite sushi roll could be doing you in, diet-wise?
Below are five supposedly healthy foods to be wary of when you're trying to lose weight.
1. Diet Soda. Researchers believe that when we eat or drink something that tastes sweet, our bodies expect calories. When the calories aren't there, like in artificially sweetened sodas (or even those "naturally-sweetened" with Stevia or Erythritol), our bodies react by slowing metabolism, responding poorly to insulin, storing fat or doing other metabolically wacky things. Artificial sweeteners have actually been linked to long-term weight gain.
What to choose instead: water, unsweetened iced tea, sparkling water with a splash of juice, water infused with cucumber and mint
2. Low-Fat Foods. When people think something is low-fat they eat more of it – about 30% more – whether or not the food has fewer calories (Source). So those who buy the low-fat version of their favorite foods may find themselves slowly gaining weight rather than losing it.
What to choose instead: Small portions of the real thing.
3. Fresh Juice. Though juicing is all the rage, it won't lead to better health unless you swap it for some of what you're currently eating. And even then, you'd be better off eating the veggies and fruits in whole food form, to capture all the volume and fiber.
What to choose instead: Lots of whole fruits and veggies in all meals and snacks.
4. Granola. Oats, seeds and nuts are healthy, but when dunked in oil, honey and sugar they become more like a cookie. Many granolas do have nutritious properties, but the 1/4 cup serving is a lot smaller than you think and eating even two servings can easily set you back 400 calories or more.
What to choose instead: Whole grain cereal, or granola in small amounts (measure out 1/4 cup and stick to it).
5. Sushi. The fish and vegetable components of sushi are healthy, but when they're smothered with creamy sauces or covered in fried dough and rolled in white rice, sushi goes quickly downhill. One roll can easily contain 500 calories.
What to choose instead: Have a few pieces of your favorite sushi roll along with a salad, miso soup and edamame. Or, choose rolls that are heavy on the veggies and don't contain mayonnaise or fried ingredients.
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