Healthy dieting doesn’t just mean healthy choices. It means having those healthy choices in healthy serving sizes.
In the last few years, healthy snacking has finally ascended to its rightful place in the better body vernacular. Now, people realize that reaching for the right snacks during the day can suppress cravings, help stabilize blood sugar and keep you recovering well. But it was inevitable that people would take this to an extreme. They figure that if they’re eating something healthy, then just a little bit more won’t hurt. Wrong. Too much of anything, as you’ve heard me say plenty of times here, is a bad idea. Here are five snacks you need to pump the brakes on.
1 RICE CAKES
These unsavory little snacks are synonymous with weight loss. They can be very filling, which is a good thing – unless you have eight of them smothered in peanut butter and honey. The fact is that these “healthy” snacks, depending on the brand you buy, can have a glycemic index as high as white bread! This means that you can expect a huge spike in blood sugar, which then triggers the release of insulin, which causes your body to store fat. Rice cakes. Who knew?
2 AGAVE NECTAR
I’m a big fan of this stuff as a way to sweeten foods. But that doesn’t give me license to pour it into every dish I have. Even though it doesn’t raise insulin the same way table sugar does, it’s still a sugar and gets converted into cholesterol by the liver.
3 FAKE SUGARS
I won’t give them the respect of calling them “artificial” – fake is a better description. More and more research is coming out that these fake sugars trick the body into thinking food and calories have been ingested, causing the same kind of hormonal response as when you eat regular, natural sugars. Furthermore, fake sugars can disrupt the natural metabolic pathway for sugar digestion. You don’t want to mess with that because it can lead to other dangerous disorders, including insulin sensitivity — the way your body releases the fat-storing hormone insulin in response to ingested sugar. Doesn’t seem a fair trade-off, does it?
Mmmm, guacamole. Listen, even if you’re Paleo, the calories from the healthy fat-laden avocado can add up quickly. And if you are not working out enough or really in ketosis so you can burn the fat, then your avos are going to be with you for quite a long time. Probably around your thighs.
5 MCT OILS
Medium-chain triglyceride oils, or MCT oils, have been touted as the new healthy energy source, but be careful because not all MCTs are created equal. Coconut oil, for example, does not have all the MCTs your body uses for energy, so you will be consuming a lot of saturated fat (and calories) without the MCT benefit. Even these healthy oils need to be consumed in moderation.
What is the snack that you are guilty of indulging too much? Share with us in the comments below!
Need more ideas on what you should be eating? Here are some ways that you can eat healthy on a budget, print them out and start working on that grocery list!
Check out this free collection of fast and easy recipes for meals that are quick to make but still healthy.