Trying to lose weight can be a minefield as there are so many diet options out there.
To make matters even more complicated, many foods branded as “low-fat or “fat-free” could actually do more harm than good to your waistline.
This is because some foods which you might think are healthy are actually packed with hidden sugar and calories.
Darren Beale from MuscleFood.com said: “We’ve all done it – headed for the healthy food aisles in the supermarket and come out laden with smoothies, trail mix and other tasty treats.
“Look closely though and you’ll see that they can be packed with calories, sugar and fats.
“There are a few simple changes you can make. For example a homemade smoothie made with whole fruits is great so make it yourself rather than buy it from a smoothie bar or the supermarket.
“If you’re a sushi lover, try sticking to sashimi rather than other fancier choices with lots of sauces and unrefined white rice.
“The one thing it’s worth remembering though, is that in moderation, there is nothing wrong with any of these and they all play a role in leading a healthy lifestyle.”
Here are 10 diet foods that you need to be wary of:
This might seem like a healthy breakfast option, but many cereals are packed with unhealthy ingredients, including sugar.
The suggested serving is just 30g. Instead start your day with healthier wholegrain cereals or protein-packed eggs.
2. Low-fat spread
You might think opting for margarine over butter will help you lose weight, but this isn’t necessarily true.
Spreads and margarine are full of hydrogenated oils or trans fats which are bad for your cholesterol and heart.
While some are ultra nutritious, many supermarket smoothies are also fun of sugar and calories.
Some pre-made smoothies contain nearly 14 teaspoons (55 grams) of sugar in just one bottle.
4. Low-fat yoghurt
Slimmers are often drawn in by labels that say “low-fat”, but these options aren’t always better for you.
Many low-fat yogurts are loaded with added sugars, which isn’t good for weight loss or overall health.
It is actually better to opt for full-fat Greek yogurt. This type of yoghurt contains conjugated linoleic acid, which promotes weight loss and fat burning in overweight and obese people, according to research that includes a large review of 18 studies.
Another 11-year study on 8,238 women, published in the National Institute of Health, found those who consumed more high-fat dairy products gained less weight than women who consumed low-fat varieties.
5. Dried fruit
Dried fruit is beneficial in small amounts as it is packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre.
However, dried fruit also contains more sugar and calories than fresh fruit, so be cautious about how much you eat.
6. Protein bars
Although a high-protein diet can actually aid weight loss, some pre-made bars are laden with calories.
For example the Mars Protein and Snickers Protein contain 200 calories each, while Yorkie Protein Chocolate Crisp Bar has 218 calories per bar.
Some healthier sources of protein include eggs, milks, hemp seeds, black beans, chicken, tofu and fish.
7. Diet drinks
This is another industry trick and many dieters are drawn in by diet sodas.
However, a study of over 2,000 people found those who drank diet soda had larger waist circumferences than those who did not.
8. Low-calorie condiments and sauces
Shockingly many low-calorie condiments and sauces are actually packed with hidden sugars.
Where possible it’s best to make your own sauces and salad dressings so you know exactly what’s in them.
9. Fruit juice
Fruit juice is great way to quickly boost your antioxidant intake but, unlike a piece of whole fruit, the calories are more concentrated.
This can cause your blood sugar levels to spike which puts a general strain on your body. Try eating whole fruit instead. This is the best way to get your vitamins and minerals
Sushi is not as guilt free as many people seem to believe.
Sashimi is a great, protein based option but other fancier choices can be laden with unwanted sauces, fats, sodium and refined white rice.
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