Our Fitness Blog
Don't be Tricked by these Treats
This Halloween, when the kids come home with a bucket full of sugary treats and you are patting yourself on the back for the willpower you showed in not raiding their stash, think twice about the treats you’re reaching for in place of those snack-sized Butterfingers and sugary Skittles. In many cases, the “healthy” snacks that we treat ourselves to really aren’t healthy at all. The American Heart Association recommends men limit added sugar to 36 grams, or 9 teaspoons, per day. Women should limit added sugar to 24 grams, or 6 teaspoons, each day. You may be suprised at all the places sugar is hiding, and how quickly you can reach the daily recommended limit. Take a look at these nine treats that might have tricked you…
Ditch the coconut water and hydrate with plain old H2O for better health. A single bottle of flavored coconut water can pack up to 29 grams of sugar — that’s just 2 grams less than a Milky Way bar.
While yogurt is often touted as a superfood for weight loss and digestive health, it’s not quite the health food you might imagine. Flavored yogurts can be loaded with artificial colors, flavors, and a ton of sugar. Choose plain, Greek yogurt instead, and toss in fresh or frozen berries for flavor.
You may be in for sticker-shock when you find out how much sugar is in that pressed juice from your health food store. It may contain tons of veggies, but all the fruit used to sweeten it is loading it with sugar, too. You're also missing out on all the benefits of the fiber you get from eating whole fruits and vegetables.
Many varieties of popcorn are loaded with trans fats and salt; one bag of name-brand microwave popcorn has 30 grams of fat and 688 milligrams of sodium. Good news is, popcorn can be low in calories. Try air popping your own at home and limit your serving size to make popcorn a healthier treat.
Self-serve frozen yogurt joints are popping up all over the place as a “healthy” alternative to the ice cream shoppe. However, frozen yogurt can have just as much sugar as ice cream, and the self-serve dispensers and sugary toppings make for large portions and a high-sugar, high-calorie treat.
Store-bought and Bottled Smoothies
Those store-bought and “fast-food” smoothies could be adding serious sugar and calories to your diet. For instance, a single 28-ounce Orange Dream Machine smoothie from a major smoothie retailer has 590 calories and 120 grams of sugar.
Let’s be honest, we all know that trail mix is masquerading as a healthy snack and we don’t care because…chocolate. Although it is healthier than that king size Snickers bar that everyone’s favorite neighbor passes out on Halloween, opt instead for a handful of your favorite nuts.
Granola’s reputation as a health food is a bit of a sham. Many of the granolas at your local supermarket are made using butter, vegetable oil, and white sugar. One popular brand’s “healthy” granola packs 6 grams of fat from canola oil, as well as 13 grams of white sugar, honey, and molasses. Pair this with one of those flavored yogurts we mentioned above and you’re in for a snack that could pack upwards of 400 calories.
Gluten Free Snacks
While going gluten-free is necessary for those suffering from celiac or gluten sensitivity, gluten-free doesn’t always equal healthy. Many gluten-free treats have just as much sugar, if not more, than their gluten-filled counterparts, and the flours in place of wheat are often significantly more caloric and not any lower in carbs.
Just like all of the kids parading around in costume on Halloween, many unhealthy snacks are dressed up as something they’re not in order to lure you in. Don’t be tricked by “healthy” treats that really aren’t. Read labels, eat unrefined, unprocessed "whole" foods whenever possible, and be cognizant of portion size when you’re choosing treats with good nutrition in mind.