The Truth About Low Calorie Foods

If you are constantly reading the labels of everything that you eat, you are most likely doing a good job at trying to eat healthy.  While knowing what ingredients go into your food is important, it is crucial to be aware of calories and fat too.  If you’re trying to cut back on calories, you may be surprised to find out that packaged food items that boast a “Low Calorie” label may not be the healthiest for you.

Don’t just take low calorie foods as healthy ones.  You need to know the quality of the calories you are taking in.  “Low calories may or may not make you thin.  Overall, it is the quality of the calorie that counts rather than the calorie itself when it comes to fighting off disease and maintaing health,” states nutritionist and author, Theresa Albert.  “While it hasn’t been studied, the theory is that if your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs, it holds onto whatever it gets, making it harder to lose weight.”

Check out the following low calorie foods that may not be as healthy as you think:

Crackers

They might be low in calories but they usually contain a hefty amount of sodium and carbohydrates that can impair weight loss.  Instead try unsalted walnuts; they may contain more calories than crackers but they have omega-3 fatty acids which can help to keep you feeling full for longer.

Chicken Breast

A skinless chicken breast can be a healthy boost of protein, but for only 34 additional calories, three ounces of dark meat provides more nutrients.  Dark meat can provide iron and zinc that can help promote the immune system.

Frozen Yogurt

Just because you opt for the low calorie variety, it doesn’t mean that it’s your healthiest option.  Most frozen yogurts have sugar substitutes that can leaving you feeling unsatisfied.  Try coconut milk ice cream instead, which contains healthy medium chain triglycerides which can boost HDL cholesterol (aka the good kind of cholesterol).

Egg Beaters

While Egg Beaters contain no fat, cholesterol, and less than half the calories of a traditional egg, they may not be as healthy as you think.  “They add sugar and fillers, including gums and ‘natural flavors,’ for taste and texture consistency,” explains Lauren O’Connor, Registered Dietician.  While regular eggs do contain cholesterol, the yolk is nutrient rich and can be good for you.

Puffed Veggie Snacks

Just because the word veggie is in the name, it doesn’t mean that they are actually chock full of vegetables.  These products usually contain very little, if any, actual produce.  In fact, they can contain twice the amount of sodium as regular potato chips.  Try air-popped popcorn instead.

Whether you’re trying to lose weight or just stay healthy, don’t always be fooled by foods that are low calorie.  Make sure you assess the quality of your food and know all the ingredients.

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