Hey all! I hope you had a great weekend and enjoyed the last post. I threw a challenge out there that I will be doing on days leading up to Thanksgiving, which is writing down three things I am thankful for each day. To start off this post, I thought I would talk about the three things I was thankful for yesterday:
- I am thankful that my foot injury is healing quickly, and that I can walk without significant pain.
- I’m happy that I got to go to a Lightning game and that they won!
- I’m grateful that I got to serve as a Eucharistic Minister at Mass. It was a humbling experience 🙂
So in anticipation of Thanksgiving, I’ve seen many people starting to eat healthy to prepare for the most amazing holiday of the year. I’ve been chuckling to myself, though, because a lot of these foods have as many calories as a burger at McDonald’s. Yet, I’m also sad to see people fall victim to these foods and end up gaining weight when they are trying to do the opposite. Since I like my readers to be educated so as to make healthful decisions, this post is dedicated to debunking a few of these foods. I hope I don’t disappoint you too much 🙂
I’m sorry to say this delicious snack is not doing your waistline a favor! While it often contains whole grains, nuts, seeds, and some protein, granola is typically high in fat and sugars. These are the two ingredients that make it crunchy and sweet. I would argue that the ingredients granola uses are healthy, but the calories you end up consuming in “one serving” are probably more than you think. Let’s take Bear Naked Maple Pecan as an example. Looking at the product, it has whole grains and nuts. Yet, it has 140 calories and 6 grams of sugar per 1/4 cup serving. That doesn’t seem bad until you find out how small a 1/4-cup serving is. It’s enough for a bird to snack on! I’m sure most people are having 3/4-1 cup of this “health” food, which ends up being between 420-560 calories and 18-24 grams of sugar. For 530 calories, you could have a Quarter Pounder with Cheese at McDonalds. So, I’d suggest having a granola bar in place of the granola. While the bars are a little high in sugar, they are pre-portioned, which means you are less likely to overeat them.
Unfortunately, this falls under the same scrutiny as granola. It is not as high in sugar as granola, but it blows past it in fat. A lot of you might be thinking that the sugar is from the dried fruit, and you’d be right. Yet, this dried fruit is often dried with sugar. I understand nuts are healthy, and I do advocate for incorporating them in your diet but they pack on the calories very quickly. Planter’s Sweet and Nutty Trail Mix has 160 calories, 10 grams of fat, and 11 grams of sugar per 3 tablespoons. If you’re just picking at it out of the bag, you can quickly pass 400 calories without even getting full. What to do instead? Make your own and mind the portion sizes! Try out one of these recipes: https://www.shape.com/healthy-eating/healthy-recipes/healthy-homemade-trail-mix-recipes
Flavored Greek Yogurt
But it has protein! Yes, it does, but it also has a ton of sugar! If you’ve ever had plain Greek yogurt, you know that it’s pretty sour and tart. I love it, but I recognize that I am one of the few. To counteract this tart flavor, you have to add a lot of sugar, which is why a Chobani Greek yogurt has 16 grams of sugar. FYI…that’s about 4 packets of sugar. What I would suggest doing instead is trying their Simply 100 line, which uses Stevia, a natural zero calorie sweetener. You could also buy the plain yogurt and add fruit or even a little honey to mask the flavor.
I’m sure you’ve all enjoyed one of these at one point or another, and I have too. I know they are made from fruit and there’s no sugar added, but is it really going to fill you up? This Naked Boosted Blue Machine smoothie has 320 calories per bottle, but you can drink it in 5 minutes and be hungry in 20. If you really want fruit, try eating 320 calories of it not in smoothie form. That would be about 2 bananas and an apple or 80 strawberries! I bet that would fill you up a lot more. I do love smoothies though, so check out Tropical Smoothie Cafe if you are craving one and are in a hurry. To cut back on the calories, ask for it without sugar or substitute the sugar with Splenda. If you don’t, you could be getting almost 50 grams of added sugar 🙂 https://s3.amazonaws.com/tropicalsmoothiecafe/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/30195247/TSC_Nutrition_Guide_3_2017-Nov.pdf.pdf
When a lot of people try to eat a healthier breakfast, they immediately turn to oatmeal. While these instant packs’ first ingredient is rolled oats, the second is sugar. One pack of the Quaker Maple Brown Sugar has 12 grams of added sugar…that is the same as 3 packets of sugar. What I suggest doing is having plain oatmeal and topping it with sliced banana and cinnamon. It will fill you up longer and get rid of the added sugar. Check out some of these fun oatmeal recipes too! https://www.fitnessmagazine.com/recipes/breakfast/easy-oatmeal-recipes/
I hope this didn’t upset you too much, but I am glad that I got to share this knowledge with you. I encourage you to always check the nutrition and ingredient labels before making a decision on a “health” food. There are many other culprits out there, so eat wisely. I hope you all have a wonderful week. Just as a heads up, there will be a recipe post on Friday 🙂