Ten Misunderstood Nutritious Foods

SmartShape Weight Loss Centre

Avocado: Packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, folate and fiber, avocados can be a healthy choice, but one avocado also delivers eight teaspoons worth of fat. Stick to 1/8th of an avocado as a serving.

Chickpeas: A good source of iron, magnesium, and potassium and just ½ cup cooked provides 7 grams of protein. If you’re adding chickpeas to a meal with animal protein (in an entrée salad, soup or stew, for example), treat them as the starch component.

Granola: Oat-based cereal can deliver a hefty dose of calories because of the addition of oil and sugar (including white sugar, cane syrup, honey or brown rice syrup). Ingredients such as nuts, seeds, banana chips and dark chocolate chunks also add extra calories. Limit your portion size to ¼ to ½ cup.

Peanuts: Loaded with niacin – a B vitamin needed for energy, metabolism and healthy skin, hair and eyes – and they’re a decent source of fibre, magnesium and vitamin E, but they’re also a significant source of fat and easy to overeat. The right-sized serving is one ounce.

Sushi: Most types of sashimi deliver 30 to 40 calories per one-ounce slice; one piece of nigiri sushi has anywhere from 40 to 65 calories. If you’re trying to lose weight, stick to six pieces of nigiri sushi along with a seaweed salad or order sashimi with a side of brown rice.

Super seeds: Hemp hearts, chia seeds and ground flax give smoothies, protein shakes, oatmeal and yogurt a nutrient boost by adding omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and even a little protein. But at 40 calories (ground flax) to 65 calories (hemp hearts, chia seeds) per tablespoon, you might be getting more calories than you think.

Trail Mix:  While plain, natural mixes of unsalted nuts and unsweetened dried fruits can make for a good portion-controlled snack, many mixes throw in chocolate chips, loads of salt, and added sugars which make them even harder to eat a small portion of and still be satisfied. Since a small handful easily contains 300-plus calories, consider an alternate on-the-go snack!

Smoothies: Although they have long been the darling of the health-food world, don’t get fooled into thinking anything with the name “smoothie” is good for you. Most smoothies are made with lots of added sugars, high-calorie ingredients like chocolate syrup, or even use full-fat ice cream as a base. Your best smoothie bet? Make one at home so that you know exactly what’s in it!

Gluten Free:  Gluten-free products are all the rage these days. Although some gluten-free products are healthy, by no means does the label “gluten-free” equate to health. If it’s packaged or processed — gluten or no gluten — it’s not as healthy as other whole foods you could be eating. The best gluten-free foods aren’t products at all; they’re fresh fruits and vegetables!

Multi-Grain and Wheat Breads: Terms like multi-grain, 7-grain, and wheat sound healthy, but they may not actually contain heart-healthy whole grains. Many breads labeled “multi-grain” and “wheat” are typically made with refined grains, so you’re not getting the full nutritional benefit of the whole grain. How can you be sure? Read nutrition labels carefully. If the first flour in the ingredient list is refined (it will typically say “bleached” or “unbleached enriched wheat flour”) you are not getting a 100% whole-grain bread.

This is recommended by SmartShape Registered Dietitian

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