09 May Healthy doesn’t mean low-calorie: 5 foods that can still make you gain weight.
It’s pretty common to confuse “unhealthy” with “fattening”. There’s some truth to this relation, mainly because unhealthy foods are often high in fat and sugar. However, not all fattening foods are unhealthy. In fact, some foods that are really good for your health, can potentially be really bad for your waistline.
One of the healthiest fruits out there, full of “good” fats, dietary fibre and antioxidants. Unfortunately, a single avocado has around 320 calories, which is a little less than a lean medium-sized steak!
Tip: Try cutting it in 2 pieces and eating one piece per day. This way, you can bring down the calories to 160, which is about as much as a low-fat cheese toasty.
Omega-3s, vitamin E, protein and dietary fibre… Dried nuts are pretty healthy for you. They do vary a lot, so let’s look at one of the most common ones out there for reference – almonds. Almonds have 7 calories per piece… not so fattening right? The problem isn’t the actual calories in each almonds, it’s the amount we eat. How many times have you found yourself in front of a television casually nibbling on a bag of chips, or better yet, a bag of dried nuts. It’s not hard to forget yourself and eat a whole bag. That’s 200grams usually, which doesn’t sound that bad. What sounds bad is that these 200 grams actually equate to about 1150 calories!
Tip: Try not to eat directly from the bag. Take some almonds, or any dried nuts, out and place them in your hand or in a small plate. You can eat about 25 per day without worries (it’s about 175 calories), but try not to exceed that amount.
Dried fruit has most of the benefits of fresh fruits, like a high vitamin A and fibre content. However, because they’re dried, they weight just one fourth (1/4) of their original weight, despite having the same calories as before. Effectively, the same amount of fruit will not have four times the calories. To put this in perspective, a cup of grapes has about 100 calories, whereas a cup or raisins has a little over 400!
Tip: Always go for fresh fruit. Use dried fruit as a treat or garnish, not as a regular snack.
Salads contain fruits and vegetables, so of course they’re good for you. So why is it on the list? It’s because of all the dressings we put on them! I’m Mediterranean so we really like olive oil down here. I mean really like it, we put it in everything! As a result, we add olive oil to our salads without even paying attention to the amount. Wherever you are in the world, I’m sure you can think of a similar example with a dressing. What happens is that a simple cucumber and tomato salad, or a lettuce salad, can go from 80-90 calories to a whopping 500 calories!
Tip: Control the amount of dressing you put on your salads. Remember that 1 tablespoon of oil of oil is about 120 calories, so add with care or avoid it whenever possible.
You’ll hear dietitians screaming about wholemeal and how you should eat it; we do it all the time. This is because it’s packed with dietary fibre, which helps you feel fuller and slows down the rate at which you absorb carbohydrates. One common misconception, however, is that wholemeal is somehow less fattening. Unfortunately, it’s not… a slice of bread has around 65-80 calories, regardless of its colour.
Tip: Don’t increase your consumption of starchy foods just because you switched to wholemeal.
Tip 2: Just because your bread is brown doesn’t mean it’s wholemeal. Always check the package to see whether the products in your shopping care are actually wholemeal.