Monday, May 16, 2011

Seven "Healthy" Foods That Are Making You Fat:

Food companies have mastered the art of making things SEEM healthy even if they aren't. For example, packages of gummy bears usually say they contain "real fruit juice." And even though they do have SOME, they're mostly made of corn syrup. So here's a list from the magazine "Prevention" of seven "healthy" foods that might be making you fat.

#1.) Baked Potato Chips. They have less fat than regular potato chips, but they're still high in calories, low in nutrients, and low in fiber. A better alternative is popcorn, which has more fiber but 65% fewer calories. And according to a recent study, adults who eat popcorn get as much as two-and-a-half times more whole grains than people who don't.

#2.) Light Ice Cream. First of all, it doesn't taste as good. And it can also have just as many calories. For example, the average full-fat ice cream has about 140 calories per serving. But there's a light ice cream made by Haagen-Dazs with 220 calories per serving, called Dulce de Leche. Dairy-free ice cream made with soy and coconut milk is better for you. And some people like it just as much as the regular stuff.

#3.) Zero-Calorie, Spray-On Margarine. Even though the bottle says zero calories, companies are allowed to SAY zero as long as it has less than five calories per serving. That means a bottle that says "zero" can actually have up to 900 calories. A better choice is spray-on olive oil, which has a little fat, but it's still healthier. The monounsaturated fatty acids in it are good for your heart and lower your cancer risk.

#4.) Fat-Free Salad Dressing. To make it taste good they add sugar, which means a lot of calories. And you actually NEED a little bit of fat to help you absorb the vitamins in your salad. So you should use regular, oil-based salad dressings, which have healthy fats instead of the saturated fat used in creamy dressings.

#5.) 100-Calorie Snack Packs. A recent study showed that people might actually eat MORE if the portions are presented in smaller packages. So, those 100-calorie packs are okay as long as you only eat one. If you eat three, it defeats the purpose. suggests eating almonds instead . . . which is a much LAMER option, but it's also much healthier.

#6.) Pretzels. Fat-free pretzels seem healthier than chips. But they're made with refined white flour, and they're stripped of all their vitamins and antioxidants. Plus, they're loaded with carbs. Think of it this way: One 15-ounce bag of pretzels has the same number of carbs as 24 slices of white bread. A better snack is a whole grain cracker that's high in fiber and protein.

#7.) Vitamin Water. It does have vitamins. But one bottle can also have up to 200 calories. And if you add 200 calories a day to your diet without exercising, it can make you gain as much as 20 pounds a year. Instead, look for a flavored water with zero calories . . . or stick with REGULAR water.


  1. You made a reference to studies which measured the effect of drinking diet sodas on weight gain. Has that been posted anywhere on the WARM103.3 web page?

    RAH Lancaster PA

  2. Hi RAH- I didn't post it on, but have pasted the story below for you to check out. Have a nice day and thanks for listening to WARM 103.3! -Traci

    Two new studies have linked drinking diet soda to poorer health compared with those who don't drink the beverage.

    People who said they drank two or more diet sodas a day experienced waist size increases that were six times greater than those of people who didn't drink diet soda, according to researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

    A second study that found the sweetener aspartame raised blood sugar levels in diabetes-prone mice.

    "Data from this and other prospective studies suggest that the promotion of diet sodas and artificial sweeteners as healthy alternatives may be ill-advised," said study researcher Helen P. Hazuda, professor and at the university's school of medicine. "They may be free of calories, but not of consequences."

    The human study was based on data from 474 participants in a larger, ongoing study called the San Antonio Longitudinal Study of Aging. In that study, the participants were followed for nearly 10 years.

    Diet soft drink drinkers, as a group, experienced 70 percent greater increases in waist circumference compared with those who don't drink diet soda. [Related: 5 Experts Answer: Is Diet Soda Bad for You?]

    Abdominal fat is a major risk factor for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and other chronic conditions, the researchers said.

    In the mouse study, researchers fed aspartame, a calorie-free sweetener used in some diet sodas, to diabetes-prone mice. One group of mice ate chow to which both aspartame and corn oil were added; another other group ate chow with only corn oil added.

    After three months, the mice that ate aspartame showed elevated blood sugar levels.

    "These results suggest that heavy aspartame exposure might potentially directly contribute to increased blood glucose levels, and thus contribute to the associations observed between diet soda consumption and the risk of diabetes in humans," said study researcher Gabriel Fernandes, professor of rheumatology and clinical immunology at the university.

    The studies were presented Saturday (June 25) at the meeting of the American Diabetes Association.