Some "Light" Foods May Still Make You Fat

I read this list with some trepidation.  What am I eating that I thought was good for losing weight that really isn't (though the scale probably tells me, anyway)?

According to Greg Presto at yahoo health, the list contains some foods that are obvious, and others that aren't.

Like, take, for example, Dannon Light&Fit yogurt.  I live on the Greek kind (hope that's not next!), but this one, says Presto, takes the "light" part--removing the fat from the yogurt--a step that actually makes it less satisfying, "so you're bound to be starving an hour after eating." What's worse is the fat is replaced with sugar, 16 grams of carbs, 11 of which are, you guessed it, sugar.

That's a popular trick of many "light" foods. They have to make it taste good somehow.

Next foe of diets: instant breakfast drinks.  More than 50% of their ingredients are, yes, again, sugar. "This super-sweet beverage can actually make you hungrier," writes Presto quoting an expert who says, "This can raise your blood sugar, but then immediately, the cells take that sugar out of your bloodstream, which sends a signal to your brain that you need to eat." 

Next on the list?  Smoothies.  Not all, of course, but the ones at Starbuck's? They're not bad, calorie-wise, but they're liquid, and they won't fill you up, just make you want more.

Even diet microwave meals like Lean Cuisine Chicken Mediterranean are on the list, Presto says.  This may shock you.  His expert says there's not enough food in these meals.  "There's 19 grams of protein-that might mean two, three ounces of chicken,"  Valerie Berkowitz, RD, director of nutrition at the Center for Balanced Health, tells Presto. You could--and should--have more for your meal, she says. "Even if you ate 6 meals of this many calories, you'd still have fewer than 1,500 calories for the day--fewer than many diets recommend as their floor for fuel," according to Presto.

Finally there's chicken noodle soup (good for a cold, but mostly salt), snack packs (the famous 100-calorie packs of everything from Cheetos to Oreos), and take-out subs, 

So what should you eat?  Fruits; vegetables; grilled, unprocessed meats and take your carbs in high-grain foods like whole wheat bread or cereals, sweet potatoes, or oatmeal. 


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