It can be exhausting trying to keep up with the latest healthy food trend. First it was kale, then it was coconut, now cauliflower is making a comeback — and the touted health benefits for each of these foods always seem to be larger than life.
But here’s the thing, some of these so-called healthy ingredients can do some real damage on your waistline if you overuse them. Fortunately, Brettan Hawkins of womenshealthmag.com turned to Jaclyn London, M.S., R.D., senior clinical dietitian at Mount Sinai Hospital, to help you decide which ‘healthy’ foods you should avoid on your next shopping trip:
Coconut is everywhere these days. You can’t push your cart two aisles in a grocery store without passing something coconut — be it oil, water, milk, sugar, shreds, the list goes on. But, did you know that just two tablespoons of coconut oil contain about 200 calories and 16 grams of artery-clogging saturated fat? According to London, that’s 80 percent of your recommended daily value of fats. So before you toss your bottle of olive oil, consider using the food only in moderation to your regular diet.
Let’s get this out of the way first: Unless you're suffering from celiac disease, you're not doing yourself any favors opting for a gluten-free product. In fact, London finds that most gluten-free products are “likely lower in protein and fiber than their whole-wheat alternative." Plus, you run the risk of over eating on gluten-free products since you generally don’t feel quite as guilty when you go back for that extra helping of those yummy baked lentil chips.
When you hear the word “vegan,” it’s easy to assume that version of the traditional food is healthier, but sometime’s that not always the case. "It sounds like a healthier choice, but it still has about 100 calories per ounce, just like regular cheese, and is loaded with fake ingredients such as starch, xanthan gum, and protein isolates," says London. Plus, with vegan cheese, you're losing the protein-rich benefit of the original, which takes longer to digest and ultimately helps you feel fuller after each serving.
To find out the four ingredients you should avoid, go to womenshealthmag.com.
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