10 Diet Foods That Make You Fat
Diet Traps 5-10The Cereal Saboteur: Granola
Pancakes drowned in syrup, eggs swimming in hollandaise sauce -- is there a healthy option on the brunch menu? Granola seems harmless, but it's no breakfast of champions. One cup contains up to 560 calories and 28 grams of fat before you add milk.
Reluctant to give up that sweet, nutty taste? Skip granola at restaurants, where you can't control your portion. Enjoy it at home by mixing a quarter cup into a cup of low-cal, whole-grain cereal, such as All-Bran Complete Wheat Flakes, or sprinkle a tablespoon on oatmeal.
Say sayonara to the trendy American-style sushi rolls. They're stuffed with high-cal ingredients like cream cheese, mayo, and shredded cheese. And remember that tempura is simply another way of saying "'battered and fried."' One shrimp tempura roll (just six pieces of sushi) contains about 500 calories and 20 grams of fat.
Look for the basics -- fish, rice, seaweed, vegetables -- and skip creamy sauces. Sashimi (sliced raw fish, no rice) and nigiri (raw fish with rice) are safe, as are cucumber rolls. Order a side of protein-rich edamame to fill you up.
Sure, you'll get your fruit servings. You'll also fit in a meal's worth of calories, and in some cases, way more fat than you think (17 grams in one popular chain's 16-ounce chunky strawberry smoothie). Even if you substitute one for breakfast, you're pushing your calorie limit: Some smoothies weigh in at 500 calories.
Pick the smallest size available, and avoid high-cal mixers like frozen yogurt, sherbet, sorbet, and especially peanut butter and granola. One good bet at Jamba Juice: the Berry Fulfilling (150 calories). Pair it with a low-fat cheese stick or a hard-boiled egg for an on-the-go breakfast or midafternoon snack.
That can of zero-calorie soda glued to your palm may be your waistline's worst enemy: Research from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio found that people who drink artificially sweetened beverages gained more weight than those who didn't, possibly because the sweet flavor may trigger cravings for the real thing. In another study, soda sippers were more likely to develop metabolic syndrome, a cluster of conditions including high blood pressure and ab fat that raises heart-disease risk.
Reserve diet soda for an occasional treat. Get your fizz fix from seltzer or sparkling mineral water, such as San Pellegrino.
Without fat, your salad is dressed for diet success, right? Wrong. Your body needs fat to absorb certain nutrients in veggies. In a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, people who used fat-free dressings didn't absorb any lycopene or beta-carotene, two health-boosting antioxidants.
Get an oil-based, reduced-fat dressing (usually 2 to 4 grams of fat per 2 tablespoons) that contains heart-healthy oils like olive and canola. Or make your own by whisking together 2 teaspoons of olive oil, 1 1/2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon of Dijon mustard, and a pinch of minced garlic.
It seems like a no-brainer for burgers and lasagna, but ground turkey often includes fat and skin. A 3-ounce serving can contain 13 grams of fat -- almost triple the amount in lean ground beef. With 40-plus percent of your day's worth of cholesterol, regular ground chicken is no better.
Look closely at labels. Extra-lean turkey is your best bet, with 1 gram of fat and no saturated fat per serving. Can't find it? Buy at least 92 percent lean ground beef.
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, January 2010.Outsmart Diet Traps
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