Everything you eat is wrong.
That seems to be the message with most nutrition advice.
Let’s agree not to do that. Let’s not polarize food the way children see the world as bad or good. This is the route of fad diets. Avoid. Instead, let’s consider food choices as stronger or weaker, where stronger reflects your goals.
There is nothing inherently good or bad about food, but if you’re seeing these six in your regular intake, you may consider making stronger choices.
This is still pretty popular advice: if you have hunger cravings, eat a handful of almonds. In and of itself, this advice is sound. However, peanuts, raisins and chocolate chips do not the appropriate substitute make.
In fact, for me, a handful of just almonds is never enough. If I put one hand in the bag, the other is sure to follow it.
The problem with nuts is they pack a lotta punch, regardless of how much fiber they bring to the table. Even 300 calories over your target could cause you frustration.
The picture above is what 100 calories of almonds look like. Filling, eh?
Butter is awesome, like bacon’s protein deficient cousin. Thankfully we’ve started to unravel the bad press on butter. Turns out, it was largely unfounded. Saturated fat is not the source of all evil.
HOWEVER, and that’s in all capital so you know it’s serious, butter is still a fat source packing nine calories per gram. In case you don’t know, that’s intense.
For someone who is trying to shed the freshman fifteen, butter in your coffee is not going to be your wisest choice.
Oprah, Doctor Oz, and five other celebrity nutrition experts told you to eat avocado, so you’ve been diligently cutting one into each salad. From Calorie King, the average Hass avocado is 227 calories. This could be the singular source of your frustration.
Avocados do have a power-packed-punch of goodness in every bite. The awesome and subsequently not-so-awesome reality of avocados is you only need a little bit.
For your salad? Try two tablespoons.
Alright, I said we wouldn’t demonize any food, but I have a hard time with this one. I know, I know. It’s popular in Europe and Latin America. It’s also popular in many Pinterest recipes.
Mayo isn’t without value. It tastes good, adds texture to foods and increases your fat intake. That last one is good, unless you go nuts, er mayo.
Truth time: every tablespoon is 90 calories. Most sandwiches can fit three of those tablespoons.
Don’t buy the low-fat one, but do take it easy on the mayo. For a lightweight more flavorful option, use mustard.
This one lives right next door to mayo, really. Most dressings are heavy on the oils; not always the best oils either. Regardless of your fat loss goals, watch out for trans fatty acids. Saturated fat may not be as bad as we once thought, but nobody is signing off on transfats.
For your salad, order your dressing on the side. Then, dip your fork in the dressing before you stab your greens, or lightly coat the salad.
Bear in mind, if your salad is already loaded down with avocado and nuts, then you are already deep into some high-intensity calories. Take it really easy on that dressing.
Seems healthy; juice comes from fruit, so a glass with breakfast is what healthy people drink, right? Not often. If your healthy friends are drinking juice, it’s likely a thimbleful of fresh pressed juice, not store-bought.
The problem with most natural juices is that there is nothing natural about them. They’ve been stripped of their fiber, pumped up with sugars, and generally not healthy.
Freshly squeezed juice is great, high in vitamins and mineral, but also high-octane fuel for your body. Drink water instead.
Keep an eye for the above ingredients, but remember, there is nothing inherently wrong with any of them.
If, however, you’re finding these foods making regular appearances in meals, sometimes together in one dish, you may want to slow down.
You can eat like that, loading nuts, avocado, and dressing on your salads, but if you don’t start cutting those portions down, you may find the results slow going.