Healthy Foods and Drinks That Can Make You Fat
Superfoods are jam-packed with nutrients and powerful macro blends. But a lot of healthy fat and complex carbs can pack the pounds on—fast. See which eats you should be mindful of.
Avocado is a superfood. Each fruit is packed with 10 grams of fiber and more than twice the potassium of a banana. Avocado has been shown to lower cholesterol levels, reduce cancer and diabetes risk. The drawback: Due to its high-fat content (heart-healthy monounsaturated fat is still fat) and the heavy praise avocado receives for its health benefits, it’s all too easy to go overboard. “While they’re packed with more than 20 vitamins and minerals, avocados are still calorically dense,” says Tanya Zuckerbrot, R.D., author of The Miracle Carb DietOpens a New Window “Use moderation when adding them to your salads, sandwiches, and anything else.”
Protein is good, right? Damn right it is. But not if it’s double-decked with ab-killers fat and sugar. Your protein-bar approach: Save them for when you’re in a jam, like when you’re traveling or out on a long hike, and in those instances eat half the serving size at a time. Rule No. 2: shop smart. Pick a bar with reduced sugar, or opt for a ready-to-drink (RTD) alternative. These products typically contain half the fat and sugar, and 100 fewer calories, compared with bars.
These tricked-out thirst quenchers might promise magical powers, like reviving you from the worst hangover of your life or helping you stay focused at work on a Friday afternoon, but the boost you feel after downing a vitamin-enhanced beverage comes more from sugar than it does from a slew of B vitamins and electrolytes. Some 20-ounce bottles contain more than 30 grams of the sweet stuff. And just like your body absorbs nutrients more effectively from real food than it does supplements, the same thing applies to the vitamins and minerals that have been used to fortify these rainbow elixirs. Get your nutrients from food, and stay hydrated calorie-free with pure water.
Order a blended drink at a juice bar and it’s all too easy to end up with a gut-busting beverage in your hands. Thanks to colossal cup sizes—we’ve spotted smoothies as big as 32 and 40 ounces—and dessert-like ingredients such as peanut butter, chocolate, real coconut milk, and sherbet, slurping down 600 to 1,000 calories (or more) is a cinch. A better bet: make your drink at home. Add ice, a serving and a half of produce, and yogurt for a protein boost and rich, creamy texture.
Greek yogurt’s got a tart taste, and it’s tempting to reach for a sweetened-up variety (there are dozens of flavour combos to pick from, after all). But a 6-ounce container of blueberry Greek yogurt packs approximately 16 grams of sugar, half the recommended grams of sugar per day. Your best bet is to stick to plain fat-free Greek yogurt and add your own berries