17 “Healthy” Foods that are Killing Your Diet
Do you feel like you’re eating all the right things but you aren’t shedding the pounds that you’d like to? It could be due to a few simple and supposedly “healthy” foods that are killing your diet.
Being “generally healthy” is tough, right?
Especially these days when you have 18 different roads of contradictory evidence about gluten, dairy, grains, meat, healthy fats, and the like.
Most of us just try to stick to the basics and eat everything in moderation.
The fact is though that moderation is an ambiguous word, and it has different meanings for different people. For some, it may mean eating your favorite dessert once or twice a week.
And that’s totally fine. One of the biggest problems for many people actually arises when you ignore that word “moderation” and eat a seemingly healthy food that may actually not be so diet-friendly on the reg.
It’s possible that your diet is being derailed by some of the foods you think are supposed to help you.
Many diet-busting ingredients lurk behind seemingly healthy foods. This is why reading nutrition labels is OH-SO-IMPORTANT!
So, two things to watch out for:
- Getting overzealous when eating things that are actually considered healthy in a normal portion size. Healthy snack turns calorie NIGHTMARE!
- Ingredients in “diet-friendly healthy foods” in disguise. Watch out for these specifically: hydrogenated oils, high-fructose corn syrup, aspartame, other artificial sweeteners. Also, remember to stay away from sugar as best you can!
Here is a short list of some of the most common foods that are causing havoc in the modern diet:
17 “Healthy” Foods That are Killing Your Diet
Trail mix is the “go to” road trip snack that will curb hunger. It’s easy to scarf down a bag of it from the convenience store when you’re in a hurry and think “At least it’s not potato chips!”
Prepackaged trail mix can be loaded with sugars, excess salt, and preservatives, along with high-fat nuts like peanuts. Make sure to check the package label before buying, or better yet, stick with homemade.
If you’re buying it, make sure to look at the nutrition label and read the service size. DO NOT eat more than one serving size or perhaps two if you are skipping a meal.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news about hummus. It’s such a fantastic and nutritious dip that’s loaded with protein, heart-healthy fats, and fiber.
One tablespoon of hummus has 24.9 calories, 2.1 grams of carbs, and 1.4 grams of fat. Doesn’t sound too bad, right?
It’s not that hummus is inherently evil. The problem lies in how much of it we eat.
Have you ever looked at the serving size on the back of the container? When was the last time you actually only ate the recommended serving size of two tablespoons? Yeah… me either…
You can double dip a carrot stick and you’ve already exceeded a tablespoon’s worth of hummus, so make sure to watch your portions when eating it.
Store Bought Fruit Juice
Contrary to what our parents told us, drinking a glass of fruit juice is NOT a great way to get your daily fruit intake requirements.
If you look at juice fasts, you’ll notice that most of them don’t have juice recipes for fruit juice only. They always contain vegetables as well. Have you ever wondered why?
If it was purely fruit, the juice would contain 50-100g of sugar per serving. Yikes!
Better yet, just eat some fruit.
Fruit has natural sugar, which is fine when you’re eating a serving or two, but that’s because fruit also contains FIBER, which helps keep you full.
Think about it. You can drink orange juice from 8 freshly squeezed oranges, but you aren’t going to eat 8 whole oranges anytime soon…
Another BIG problem is store-bought fruit juice because they almost always contain added sugar. Would you like some sugar with your sugar?
Smoothies aren’t bad per se, but fruit smoothies are where you need to be careful.
They are a deliciously creamy meal in a cup, and while it’s true that they have some redeeming qualities (nutrients and fiber from whole fruits), they can quickly turn into a sugar and calorie nightmare.
Would you down a 12 ounce can of Coke and feel like you’re sticking to your health goals? Probably not.
The truth is that most smoothies, even homemade ones, contain as much sugar in them as that Coke you might feel guilty about chugging down. Sometimes they’ve got even more!
The way to avoid this is to keep your ratio of vegetables to fruit 3:1 or more. For example, a smoothie recipe with one banana, two handfuls of spinach, and a couple of sticks of celery is a great combo. You can also add in a scoop of greens superfood powder to give yourself an extra boost of nutrients and energy!
Granola has healthy grains and whole oats, but it’s often made with butter and sugar. Store-bought granola can also come with lots of preservatives, saturated fatty acids, and high fructose corn syrup.
Even a cup of granola that’s prepared without extra fat and carbs is still a whopping 400 calories. Then you add that to your 200 calories worth of yogurt, and you’ve got yourself a 600-calorie breakfast.
If you are only relatively active and really watching your waistline, that’s going to be about half or slightly less than half of the daily average calories the average woman should consume. Yikes!
Eat it in small doses or avoid completely. It’s just not the best healthy breakfast-friendly meal.
It’s weird that dried fruit would even be considered controversial, but it’s amazing how many experts disagree on whether it’s healthy because of added sugars in commercial options. The carbs can really add up if you’re not careful.
The solution is to dehydrate it yourself or look for store-bought fruit that doesn’t have any additives. Trader Joe’s has some brands that are 100% fruit with no added ingredients.
Even then, STICK TO SERVING SIZES to avoid an overdose of sugar and calories.
Beware the lure of toppings and flavors because they usually contain added sugars. If the thought of plain yogurt makes you want to snooze, add some fresh sliced fruit if you’d like a little extra flavor or our personal favorite: chocolate protein powder.
Avoid ANY AND ALL fruit flavors. Make sure to opt for GREEK yogurt over the regular variety to get the added protein boost as well! It will help you stay full and aid your weight loss efforts!
Sugar-Free Food and Drinks
Artificial sweeteners were once considered the answer to the prayers of those of us who crave a little sweetness in our lives, but wanted to stay slim. We could drink as much diet soda as our bellies could stand.
Now we know better. Studies show that people who consume artificial sweeteners are twice as likely to become obese as people who don’t.
They can also trick our already sugar-obsessed taste buds into craving more sweets and making poor food choices.
If you HAVE to have a little sweetener in your life, stick to a more natural form like Stevia.
There are few things better or more satisfying than almond butter slathered over a piece of whole grain bread.
While nut and seed butters like almond and cashew butter can be a great addition to any diet, they have a lot of fat and calories per serving. It’s important to eat them in moderation.
Not all store-bought options are created equal, either. They can have a lot of sugar, salt, and hydrogenated oils added, so check labels.
Also, ditch the bread and leave the PBJs to your kids. Stick to ONE serving size and eat it with some veggie sticks (carrots and celery are great!).
Veggie burgers can keep vegetarians from feeling a little less left out at a barbecue, but they can add a lot of calories and salt to a meal.
Some store-bought veggie patties can have as much as 400 grams of sodium, and that’s without any of the delicious fixins like buns and cheese.
Your blood pressure probably went up a couple of points just thinking about all that salt. Not to mention water retention.
Restaurant veggie burgers can also clock in at 1,000 calories and over because they hold them together with butter, oil, and add high-calorie toppings.
If you’re not careful, your favorite protein or fiber bar could be a candy bar in disguise. Their labels can be sneaky and misleading.
If you’re using it as a meal replacement, it’s okay to have a bar that’s got 300 calories in it, but if you just want it to curb hunger pangs or as a snack, stick to bars 150 calories or under.
Be ever vigilant about checking the nutrition. They can be loaded with fat, carbs, and other junk, while pretending to be a healthy snack option that’s going to support your diet.
In a strange twist of fate, it’s hard for our bodies to absorb many nutrients that we get from vegetables without eating fat with our foliage. Adding dressing to a salad can be a yummy way to help our bodies with that process.
The important thing to understand is that adding the right kind of fat is the key to nutrient absorption. Many commercial salad dressings are made with oils that are made rancid by processing.
They often also add sugar, salt, and preservatives to the mix.
Make your own salad dressing with healthy fats like olive oil so you know what you’re getting. Some of my favorite ingredients include: extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, dijon mustard, and honey.
Fat-Free Food and Drinks
If you desperately crave a latte in the morning, there’s nothing wrong with using a low-fat or fat-free option made with skim milk.
We all have needs.
The problem with fat-free foods is that manufacturers will often add sugars and other things that are bad for us (preservatives) for flavor and longer shelf lives. They can often remove the healthy fats that help promote weight loss and add in a bunch of other crap to try to make it taste better.
You are generally better off eating the healthy fats and avoiding the sugar and other additives.
Soup is comfort food that makes you feel warm and cozy on the inside and can also be great for weight loss. Creamy soups are especially delectable, but they can contain a high fat, salt, and calorie content.
Be wary of store-bought and restaurant soups. They are often loaded with butter and cream. It’s best to make your own when, or at the very least, check labels for calorie and fat content.
Some great options for making creamy soups without a cream base are using a bit of yogurt, white beans, and potatoes.
Nuts are loaded with heart-healthy fats and nutrients. If you eat too many of them, though, you are going to load up on calories and maybe get too much of a good thing by eating more fat than is healthy.
This is why nuts are not allowed on our 21-Day Fat Loss Challenge. It doesn’t mean that they aren’t healthy or can promote weight loss, but they are very high in calories and even easier to overeat. More on that at the end of this article.
It’s easy to gobble up an entire bag in one sitting. They’re just so little and so delicious!
Roasted nuts also contain a little more fat, salt, and calories than their raw counterparts. It’s honestly just best to avoid nuts completely when weight loss is your main goal unless you take the time to measure out your serving sizes.
Diet plans that feature frozen entrées are a huge industry in the U.S. Many companies now offer healthy organic frozen meals for people on the go, keeping them from hitting fast food restaurants or eating junk food on the way home.
The problem with even the healthiest of frozen entrée options is that their portions or calorie amounts are often too small. It’s important to have portion control when dieting, but for people who might only eat three meals a day, 300 calories or less in a meal might not be enough.
Too little calories can cause the need to snack later, which can blow your diet.
Avocados have tons of good fat and healing nutrients. They are also one of our selected foods to burn belly fat.
Smash them up, add some fresh salsa and lemon or lime juice, and they turn into a delicious party dip that makes every occasion feel like a fiesta.
The problem isn’t so much the guacamole as what we dip into it and the amount we eat. It’s almost impossible to keep it to one serving.
Sliced avocados can also be a great addition to a meal, but keep in mind what is on the rest of your plate when you consume them. They are very high in fat and those calories should be factored into the rest of your meal.
For example, if you are eating avocado or guacamole, skip other fats like oil and make sure to go easy on the carbs. Protein is an amazing macronutrient to pair with your avo or guac!
So, what can I eat???
It’s hard when you’re told to even watch the healthy foods that you eat, right? Where does that leave you?
This is the whole premise behind our 21-Day Fat Loss Challenge. The diet plan inside the program is composed of a healthy balance of protein, vegetable, and carb sources that you leave you feeling full and satiated far longer than you are used to.
In fact, many of our clients tell us that they actually have a little trouble getting in all of the daily food requirements. So… the OPPOSITE of a starvation diet! We specifically chose the foods in the program because you’ll find it very difficult to over-consume at meals.
Our fast weight loss program is designed to help you break your addiction and dependence on less-than-healthy convenience foods and snacks like the ones described above and create new habits and relationships with whole foods that are loaded with nutrients!
On top of that, our clients lose an average of 10-21 pounds in just the first round of the Challenge, which is 21 days. Got more weight to lose? No problem!
Many of our clients are over 200 pounds and complete the Challenge in multiple rounds for continued weight loss. We’ve had tons of clients lose 30, 40, 50, and even 60+ pounds with our 21-Day Fat Loss Challenge!
Lauren at Avocadu
Latest posts by Lauren at Avocadu (see all)
- 5 Best Probiotics for Weight Loss and Why You Need Them - March 1, 2019
- 10 Weight Loss Teas That Will Shrink Your Waistline but Not Your Wallet - November 12, 2018
- 7 Best Vitamins and Supplements to Help Hair Grow Longer, Faster, and Healthier - November 5, 2018