If you’re on a diet, the supermarkets seem to be chock-full of foods that promise to help you. But, a word of caution is necessary, and should be heeded before you run down the aisles, grabbing low-fat and reduced-sugar options willy-nilly.
Some of these foods that are low-fat, low-sugar, and even low-carb options are not all they’re cracked up to be, and may actually sabotage your efforts to lose weight.
Here’s a list of five “diet” foods that can actually be counterproductive to weight loss.
Protein shakes and smoothies
Protein shakes and smoothies are having a moment, and, indeed, they are convenient ways to lose weight and get some vitamins and extra protein. They can decrease hunger and appetite, and make you feel fuller for longer, so you consume fewer calories.
But while some shakes and smoothies are healthy and contain extra nutrition, beware: some premade smoothies can have up to 55 g of sugar and almost 400 calories per serving.
Low-fat, flavored yogurt
Yogurt has many clinically proven health benefits. It can be a good source of calcium and protein, enhance healthy gut bacteria, and even protect against osteoporosis and help your digestion.
But, when eating yogurt, it might be good idea to stick to unflavored, full-fat options. Low-fat products usually contain added sugar to compensate for the flavor loss that occurs when fat is removed. In fact, eating high-fat dairy products is usually a better choice, based on results from a study involving over 8,000 women who became obese or overweight. Researchers found that those who ate more high-fat dairy products actually gained less weight than those who consumed low-fat products.
If you’re trying to avoid white sugar in your diet, the good news is that you have a wide array of alternative sweeteners to choose from. The bad news is that these products may not be as healthy as they are touted to be.
Agave, for example, has more calories than regular white sugar, and is high in fructose. Fructose has a lower glycemic index than glucose, and won’t cause quick spikes in blood sugar or insulin levels. But, fructose may contribute to insulin resistance and fat accumulation. And, agave is much higher in calories than regular sugar.