We hate to it is in the people to rest it come you, but that bran muffin you have actually for breakfast could be undermining your wellness (with numerous fat) and also sabotaging your waistline (with overabundance calories). Very same goes for granola, banana chips, trail mix, turkey warm dogs, and also any number of health-food pretenders that room often higher in fat, sugars, and calories, or lower in nutrients than they would seem come be. Or they have actually all kinds of stuff added to them the you don"t yes, really need.

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The solution? "Read nutrition labels," advises Leslie J. Bonci, M.P.H., manager of sporting activities nutrition in ~ the college of Pittsburgh clinical Center. Below are a dozen health-food pretenders that might seem great for you, however aren"t necessarily—plus suggestions on what to shot instead.

Also below, inspect out ours advice on part size, which is vital for remaining slim.

(This article is reprinted native Food & Fitness, i beg your pardon you can buy online or at a newsstand. This consumer Reports magazine will aid you learn exactly how to eat good tasting meals and stay healthy on a budget; understand when it pays to purchase organic; find the supermarket traps the can price you money; and also find the end the keys of how real-life families maintain a healthy and balanced weight and stay in shape. Plus, gain our to exclude, Ratings for renowned food items and also exercise equipment.)


"Sweetened applesauce has lots of included sugar," claims Elisa Zied, R.D., author of "Nutrition at her Fingertips" (Alpha, 2009). A 1-cup serving can have approximately 200 calories.Try this: Unsweetened applesauce usually has half the calories, Zied says. If it"s also tart for your taste, add some cinnamon or, much better yet, eat an apple instead. You"ll acquire extra fiber together a bonus.


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


Many bran muffins room the size of doorstops—actually two servings in one muffin. And also they"re regularly loaded v fat, sugar, and calories, Bonci says. Slather top top butter and also you might too eat a frosted cupcake.Try this: Bran cereal with low-fat milk and fresh fruit. Flakes, buds, or clusters—it"s her choice.


Couscous "Regular couscous is a processed, sleek grain, similar to white pasta is," states Blatner. "It has little nutritional value."Try this: Whole-wheat couscous—or opt because that a entirety grain prefer quinoa or brown rice.


"It has actually a health halo since of words yogurt, however it"s really a high-sugar dessert," states Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D., spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, and author the "The Flexitarian Diet" (McGraw-Hill, 2009). Generally, fro-yo has a nutritional profile the resembles light ice cream cream more than level yogurt.Try this: To obtain the probiotic benefits of plain yogurt, look for the seal on the brand of frozen yogurt describe "Live and active Cultures."

"The amount of fruit castle contain is much less than 10 percent," states Bonci. "These are mainly just focused sugar."Try this: A small section of dried fruit, such together apricots or raisins. They"re denser in calories but contain more nutrients.

It"s typically high in sugar, fat, and also calories—and relatively low in vitamins and minerals. There are around 400 calories in a cup.Try this: A key of one airy, oat-based cereal, prefer Cheerios, come out tops in our critical test of kid-friendly cereals. Because that extra crunch and sweetness, include just a sprinkling that granola on top.

The nuts room a an excellent source the heart-healthy fats, and the dried fruits carry out good-for-you vitamins, however some mixes have lots of calorie for just a couple of ounces. One cup deserve to contain virtually 700 calories! and also because it"s a tasty finger food, it"s straightforward to overeat. Shot this: Cut calorie by do your own combination. Mix a palmful that nuts and also seeds v a tespoon or so of raisins.

A many turkey hot dogs space surprisingly high in fat— higher, even, than constant hot dogs, states Bonci. Some contain tons of sodium and also nitrates.Try this: A turkey chest sandwich—unless you"re yes, really craving that warm dog flavor. If that"s the case, review packages and also go because that the version v the lowest amount the fat.

"They may contain the colors of the rainbow, yet they don"t count as a offer of veggies," claims Bonci. Worse, they"re commonly high in fat and also calories.Try this: Air-popped popcorn or dried veggies. Bonci recommends the just Tomatoes brand that dried vegetables due to the fact that they have no added fat, salt, or noþeles else.

Sure, they have actually some added nutrients, yet they"re frequently packed with sugar and also sometimes caffeine, states Catherine Christie, R.D., chair of the room of nutrition and also dietetics in ~ the college of phibìc Florida in Jacksonville.Try this: plain old water or sparkling water v a squeeze from a lemon, lime, or orange.

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They"re typically huge—enough for 2 people, really—and high in calories and also sometimes fat. Shot this: A sandwich top top wholegrain or whole-wheat bread. As soon as shopping for bread, check the ingredients: make sure totality grain tops the list.

Portion size, or exactly how much that a particular food you in reality eat, is crucial for remaining slim. But most of the time you have to "guesstimate" the ideal serving size."While the terms "serving" and also "portion" are often used interchangeably, they in reality mean different things," claims Marisa Moore, R.D., national spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.A offer is a standard sector amount used to recognize calorie counts ~ above food labels. A section is the lot of food you actually eat. As food containers, restaurant portions, and also drink bottles have come to be supersized, the gap between servings and also portions has obtained really out of whack. And what we eat is frequently dictated by the dimension of the container or the dish us order—not the encourage serving size posted top top nutrition labels and websites.Even if girlfriend do inspect the labels, it"s not always easy to judge what constitutes a true serving, in component because it"s usually provided in terms of weight, i beg your pardon the median person could find tough to transform to a real-world amount. ~ all, what walk an oz look like? How about a gram?To see just how accurately world can judge a serving, we conducted our very own test: we gave around 100 staffers document plates and also asked them to dish the end one serving every of 3 foods: dry-roasted peanuts, cheddar-cheese cubes, and also chicken wings. We gave each serving size in weight, the method it usually shows up on food labels. Probably they were on come the function of ours experiment: they were an ext likely to measure out too little food than as well much. Yet their all-over-the-map guesses highlight just how tough it is to judge just how much come eat—even once you"re trying!

usage a food scale to weigh sections so you can construct an eye because that what a true serving looks like. You deserve to buy a range for less than $20.

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

Peanuts1 serving = 1 oz = 39 peanutsGuesses ranged indigenous 5 peanuts come 50 peanutsUse this visual cues to referee serving sizes and also limit calories:3 ounces that meat = a deck that cards1 cup of grain or cooked pasta = a baseball1.5 ounces that cheese = 4 stacked dice1/2 cup fresh fruit = half a baseball