Diet food. Sugar-free, fat-free, calorie-free beauties that you can gorge yourself on and never feel guilty about indulging with, right? In actuality, diet foods may be increasing the poundage you’re carrying around and thickening the very midsection you are trying to shrink. Is your diet food actually making you fatter?
Fat-free Salad Dressing 1 of 10The problem with salads is that they can often pack a large amount of fat in the dressing, so to counteract that, you serious dieters believe eliminating the fat will solve this dilemma. Enter: The Fat-free Dressing. No fat and a pile of vegetables. However, not only do fat-free dressings usually include enough sugar to be tossing jelly beans willy nilly into your salad, they also do nothing for those fat-soluble vitamins in the vegetables you're eating, like lycopene and beta-carotene, which are not being absorbed and just passing through.
Make your own vinaigrette instead and benefit from healthy fats, lots of taste, and get the most of those vitamins and nutrients.
Healthy Juices 2 of 10Cranberry juice is healthy, right? It protects women from urinary tract infections. It's high in phytochemicals, helping prevent cancer and cardiovascular disease. It's a good juice to be drinking. That is, until you realize that cranberry juice in its pure form is like sucking on lemons and limes all day, and so what you've actually been drinking is a cranberry cocktail, mixed with sugared water or other juices. Sugar that can add up to as many as 7 chocolate chip cookies' worth.
So what about sugar-free cranberry juice? Well, keep reading.In the meantime, buy 100% Cranberry Juice Unsweetened via Amazon.com
Artificially Sweetened Drinks 3 of 10Sugar-FREE! Calorie-FREE! Artificial sweeteners give you the opportunity to eat sweets and drink soda without feeling guilty or running the risk of gaining weight, right? Wrong. Studies suggest that consumption of these "diet" foods actually increases weight gain. Diet soda really makes your waistline grow, and artificial sweeteners also aid in weight gain.
Read Fat in a Can: The Ugly Truth About Diet Soda
Frozen Dinner Diet 4 of 10Sure, these frozen meals make it easy to see portion sizes and all you need to do is warm them up to have dinner ready, but they also hide a good dose of salt. One frozen entrÃ©e can contain the same amount of sodium that you can find in 4 to 8 servings of potato chips.
What frozen dinners really look like
Tomato Sauce 5 of 10Tomato sauce is good for you, end of story. We've all heard of how great lycopene is, but more than that, it's low in fat and part of a heart-healthy diet. The truth, however, is that if you're consuming jars upon jars of the store-bought stuff, you may also be consuming unnecessary sugar. Sugar is added to tomato sauce to balance acidity (in addition to being acidic themselves, more is needed for canning purposes), but that means your tomato sauce includes extra calories and dessert all in one jar.
Make easy homemade spaghetti sauce
Gobble Gobble 6 of 10Conventional wisdom: Ground turkey is always healthier than ground beef, and using it in place can make you lean and trim. False. Unfortunately, ground turkey can also include fat and skin layers, which add to the fat and fat calories. A simple side-by-side comparison of 90% lean ground beef and ground turkey shows that ground turkey actually contains more total fat and calories than the beef, with the same amount of saturated fat. The lesson: If you're going to eat a cheeseburger, enjoy your cheeseburger.
Make the Big Mac copycat recipe
Low-fat and No-fat Ice Cream 7 of 10Ice cream may be your best friend — the one you turn to when you've had a rough day — and perhaps you've also turned to believing that the low-fat and no-fat varieties are the answer to your prayers. Sorry, sister, but low fat means high sugar, nearly twice as much as the regular variety.
Make a healthy naturally sweetened banana split to cure your sugar cravings
Veggie Chips 8 of 10The answer to healthy for lovers of potato chips. Still, veggie chips tend to have as much fat as potato chips, and let's not forget that potatoes are, indeed, a vegetable. Sometimes veggie chips are just brightly colored potato chips to make it look like different vegetables. Other times they're just fried or greased and baked vegetables. Either way, the real message is to snack responsibly and watch your portion control.
Make baked potato chips and avocado-ranch dip via Food for My Family
Yogurt 9 of 10Yogurt is a healthy snack, but if you're choosing the presweetened varieties, then you're also loading it up with teaspoon upon teaspoon of sugar. Instead, opt for an unsweetened Greek yogurt and sweeten it with a bit of honey and fresh fruit.
Make a blackberry breakfast parfait
Cereal 10 of 10The labels scream, "Heart Healthy!", "Whole Grains", and "Fat Free", but what the labels aren't telling is that cereals are a great place for manufacturers to add high-fructose corn syrup, extra sugar, and plenty of food dye. Choose cereals that are low sugar, be sure whole grain means whole grains (whole oats or whole wheat are in the first ingredients), or make your own.
9 ways to get your oatmeal on
Don’t miss the latest from Family Kitchen – Like Us on Facebook!
More on Family Kitchen:
Dr. Seuss Mania: Throw a Party, Plan a Ball, You Can Do It One and All!
Why I Grocery Shop with My Kids (and Think You Should, Too)
Crazy Cookie Dough Creations: Cupcakes, Egg Rolls and More!
MORE ON BABBLE:
The 25 healthiest foods under $1
9 reasons why coffee is good for you
The 5 WORST foods for weight loss
10 fat-burning exercises you can do anywhere
The 8 most obese cities in America…and what they LOVE to eat