We hate to be the ones to break it to you, however that bran muffin you have actually for breakrapid can be undermining your wellness (with many fat) and also sabotaging your waistline (via excess calories). Same goes for granola, banana chips, trail mix, turvital warm dogs, and also any kind of number of health-food pretenders that are frequently higher in fat, sugars, and also calories, or lower in nutrients than they would seem to be. Or they have actually all sorts of stuff added to them that you do not really require.

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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 Medical Center. Here are a dozen health-food pretenders that may seem excellent for you, yet aren"t necessarily—plus suggestions on what to attempt rather.

Also below, examine out our advice on percentage dimension, which is crucial for continuing to be slim.

(This short article is reprinted from Food & Fitness, which you can buy online or at a newsstand also. This Consumer Reports magazine will aid you learn exactly how to eat good tasting meals and stay healthy on a budget; know when it pays to buy organic; find the superindustry traps that can cost you money; and discover out the secrets of exactly how real-life families maintain a healthy and balanced weight and also continue to be in shape. Plus, gain our exclusive Ratings for famous food items and also exercise tools.)


"Sweetened applesauce has actually numerous included sugar," claims Elisa Zied, R.D., author of "Nutrition at Your Fingertips" (Alpha, 2009). A 1-cup serving deserve to have actually approximately 200 calories.Try this: Unsweetened applesauce generally has fifty percent the calories, Zied says. If it"s as well tart for your taste, include some cinnamon or, better yet, eat an apple rather. You"ll obtain added fiber as a bonus.


Yes, they"re made from good-for-you bananas. But they"re commonly fried in coconut or palm oil, unhealthy and balanced sources of saturated fat. That"s why there deserve to be 210 calories and also 13 grams of saturated fat in a serving.Try this: Have a banana. You"ll acquire lots of nutrients for fifty percent the calories and also no fat.


Many type of bran muffins are the size of doorstops—actually two servings in one muffin. And they"re regularly loaded through fat, sugar, and calories, Bonci claims. Slather on butter and you could too eat a frosted cupcake.Try this: Bran grain through low-fat milk and also fresh fruit. Flakes, buds, or clusters—it"s your alternative.


Couscous "Regular couscous is a processed, sleek grain, simply prefer white pasta is," states Blatner. "It has little bit nutritional worth."Try this: Whole-wheat couscous—or opt for a entirety grain favor quinoa or brvery own rice.


"It has actually a wellness halo bereason of the word yogurt, but it"s really a high-sugar dessert," says Dawn Jackkid Blatner, R.D., spokeswomale for the Amerihave the right to Dietetic Association, and writer of "The Flexitarian Diet" (McGraw-Hill, 2009). Typically, fro-yo has actually a nutritional profile that resembles light ice cream even more than ordinary yogurt.Try this: To obtain the probiotic benefits of ordinary yogurt, look for the seal on the label of frozen yogurt indicating "Live and also Active Cultures."

"The amount of fruit they contain is much less than 10 percent," claims Bonci. "These are mainly just focused sugar."Try this: A tiny percent of dried fruit, such as apricots or raisins. They"re denser in calories yet contain more nutrients.

It"s generally high in sugar, fat, and calories—and also fairly low in vitamins and minerals. Tbelow are about 400 calories in a cup.Try this: A bowl of an airy, oat-based grain, favor Cheerios, came out tops in our last test of kid-friendly cereals. For extra crunch and sweetness, add simply a sprinkling of granola on optimal.

The nuts are a great source of heart-healthy and balanced fats, and also the dried fruits administer good-for-you vitamins, however some mixes have actually lots of calories for just a couple of ounces. One cup have the right to contain nearly 700 calories! And because it"s a tasty finger food, it"s simple to overeat. Try this: Cut calories by making your own combicountry. Mix a palmful of nuts and also seeds with a teaspoon or so of raisins.

A lot of turessential warm dogs are surprisingly high in fat— greater, also, than consistent hot dogs, claims Bonci. Some contain tons of sodium and also nitrates.Try this: A turkey breast sandwich—unmuch less you"re really craving that warm dog flavor. If that"s the instance, check out packeras and go for the version via the lowest amount of fat.

"They might contain the colors of the rainbow, however they do not count as a serving of veggies," states Bonci. Worse, they"re generally high in fat and also calories.Try this: Air-popped popcorn or dried veggies. Bonci recommends the Just Tomatoes brand of dried vegetables bereason they have no added fat, salt, or anypoint else.

Sure, they have actually some included nutrients, yet they"re frequently packed with sugar and also periodically caffeine, claims Catherine Christie, R.D., chair of the department of nutrition and dietetics at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville.Try this: Level old water or sparkling water with a squeeze from a lemon, lime, or orange.

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They"re commonly huge—sufficient for 2 civilization, really—and also high in calories and occasionally fat. Try this: A sandwich on wholegrain or whole-wwarm breview. When shopping for breview, inspect the ingredients: make sure whole grain tops the list.

Portion dimension, or exactly how a lot of a particular food you actually eat, is essential for staying slim. But the majority of of the time you have to "guesstimate" the right serving dimension."While the terms "serving" and "portion" are often offered interchangeably, they actually expect different things," states Marisa Moore, R.D., national spokeswomale for the Amerideserve to Dietetic Association.A serving is a standard industry amount provided to recognize calorie counts on food labels. A portion is the amount of food you actually eat. As food containers, restaurant portions, and drink bottles have actually end up being supersized, the gap in between servings and also portions has actually obtained really out of whack. And what we eat is regularly dictated by the dimension of the container or the dish we order—not the recommended serving sizes posted on nutrition labels and websites.Even if you do examine the labels, it"s not constantly simple to judge what constitutes a true serving, in part bereason it"s normally provided in regards to weight, which the average perkid can discover tough to transform to a real-human being amount. After all, what does an ounce look like? How about a gram?To view just how accurately human being can judge a serving, we carried out our own test: We provided about 100 staffers paper plates and asked them to dish out one serving each of three foods: dry-roasted peanuts, cheddar-cheese cubes, and also chicken wings. We gave each serving dimension in weight, the way it normally shows up on food labels. Perhaps they were on to the objective of our experiment: They were even more most likely to meacertain out as well little bit food than as well much. But their all-over-the-map guesses highlight just exactly how hard it is to judge how a lot to eat—even as soon as you"re trying!

Use a food range to weigh sections so you can develop an eye for what a true serving looks like. You can buy a scale for less than $20.

Cheese cubes1 serving = 1 ounce = around 4 cubesGuesses ranged from 1 cube to 5 cubesChicken wings1 serving = 4.4 ounces = around 4 wingsGuesses ranged from 1 wing to 4 wings

Peanuts1 serving = 1 ounce = 39 peanutsGuesses ranged from 5 peanuts to 50 peanutsUse these visual cues to judge serving sizes and also limit calories:3 ounces of meat = a deck of cards1 cup of grain or cooked pasta = a baseball1.5 ounces of cheese = 4 stacked dice1/2 cup fresh fruit = fifty percent a baseball