People often start a diet by trying to incorporate more wholesome meals into their diets. Unfortunately, many foods aren’t as nutritious as they appear and will secretly sabotage healthy plans.
Something of a revolution occurred in popular dieting habits: people realize that macros (the total number of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins eaten each day as compared to calories burned) matter more than just eating large amounts of healthy foods, with no thought given to portion or nutrition.
However, there are still a few false friends in the diet world. Foods that act as healthy alternatives to other products, but which actually can have diet-ruining effects. Dried fruit is a great example. While it seems more nutritious to grab a handful of dried mango than a chocolate bar, it may have the same effect on your diet, as dried fruit has three times more calories than fresh fruit.
While substituting baking ingredients can be a helpful dieting tip, be careful with your replacements. Many items labeled reduced fat replace fats (which keep you full for longer) with sugars (which are quickly burnt through). Reduced fat peanut butter is a classic culprit, with plenty of sugar and salt added to keep it tasty. Similarly, bran muffins often make up for reduced fat with increased sugar. So next time you’re grocery shopping, remember to check the nutrients label and not trust your preconceptions of healthy foods.