As healthy it may look, calorie intake may pile up unnoticed while munching these little rolls.

Are these “healthy” foods making you fat? [Part 2]

If you think you’re doing everything right, but the weight still isn’t budging, it can be extremely frustrating.

Although there can be multiple reasons for this, a big reason is because you are eating tons of stuff you believe to be super healthy …

When, in fact, it is super fattening.

I addressed this in Part 1 of this series.

But I have found more …

Here are 3 more foods you may believe are “guilt free,” but that may be helping you to pile on the pounds instead.

Sushi

Sushi seems like a virtuous meal … fresh fish and vegetables. But depending on what you order, the calories can really add up.

Some rolls are made with cream cheese or mayo, some are breaded and fried, and some can use up to a cup of white rice with just 1 little roll.

One cup of white rice packs a whopping 270 calories and 60 grams of starchy carbs. It has a Glycemic Index (GI) value of over 70, making it 1 of the highest GI foods you can eat.

High GI foods can cause spikes in your blood sugar and elevate your blood insulin level, which flips your body’s metabolic switch to fat-storing mode.

And let’s not forget about the salt. Oh, the salt!

To make sure your sushi is REALLY healthy, avoid the fancier (aka fattier) rolls like “rainbow,” “spider” or anything billed as “tempura.”

Ask your server if the chef can go lighter on the rice, and request whole-grain brown rice. Opt for hand rolls and nigiri, which tend to have less rice than cut rolls. Or skip the rice altogether and ask for sashimi, which is made without rice.

And stick with low-sodium soy sauce.

Instant oatmeal

When eating oatmeal, make sure to choose the non-instant one

You hear the word “oatmeal” and automatically you think “healthy.” No surprise. Oatmeal made from rolled or steel-cut oats is a terrific source of heart-healthy whole grains. Oats are rich in a type of dietary fiber (soluble fiber) that helps lower your blood cholesterol.

Unfortunately, the instant kind has been pre-cooked via high-heat processing, so you can prepare it more quickly. That also means it’s broken down and digested more quickly by your body, leaving you hungry a lot quicker than the steel-cut version.

Also, a description like “maple and brown sugar” may sound healthier than “loaded with artificial colors and flavors … and sugar.” But that’s essentially what most of those flavored oatmeals are.

If you do go instant, be sure to check out the ingredient list and Nutrition Facts panel. Aim for a 1-cup cooked portion and pair it with a bit of protein (like low-fat milk, a scoop of low-fat cottage cheese, a sprinkle of almonds, or a RealMeal GF shake), so you won’t be ravenous before lunchtime.

Wraps

Beware of vegetable wraps, they are made from powdered vegetables which do not have the fiber.

Sure, a spinach wrap stuffed with lean turkey and veggies sounds healthy. But how much spinach is really in that wrap?

Not a whole lot.

In fact, probably not any, as most spinach tortilla wraps are made with spinach powder.

And that wrap probably is made with refined grains, not whole, so it’s severely lacking in nutritious fiber.

And did I mention how big the tortilla wrap is? When it’s tucked under and into itself, it looks harmless. But its giant diameter means it is probably packing about 300 calories.

If you want a wrap, purchase a small or medium whole-wheat tortilla that contains at least 4 or more grams of fiber. Or pair half of a store-bought wrap with a side of berries and greens. Save the other half for tomorrow’s lunch.

Or try using some nice green lettuce as a wrap. The crunch is perfect, and you’ll get some antioxidants in the process.

Are there any “healthy” foods that you’d like me to check out? Let me know and I’ll do some sleuthing for you.

Steve Sisskind, M.D.

Hi, I'm Dr. Steve Sisskind, Chief Medical Officer & Founder at RealDose Nutrition.

As a young physician, I struggled because my patients came to me with serious health issues, but I didn't have the right tools to help them. Medical school taught me how to put "band aids" on their symptoms with drugs and surgery, but not how to address the root causes of their problems.

Years later I discovered a better approach... based on the fundamental idea that the power of nutrition can transform your health and vitality. But there's a lot of confusion... What foods should I eat? Which supplements should I take? What does the science say?

I have dedicated my life to answering these questions... And I share this knowledge with you every day here at RealDose Nutrition.

I invite you to connect with me by joining my free private community. I've helped thousands of people and I know I can help you too!

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24 comments

  1. I have gone vegetarian and use brown rice with beams I drink protein bars and eat low carb whole grain tortillas can you give me advice as to what I can add

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Laure,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your eating plan! Based from the diet you describe, you may want to add fresh fruit ( 1 fruit per day) and plenty of fresh vegetables in your tortilla and to pair with your brown rice and beans. Though you have a good amount of protein in your diet, you lack precious dietary fiber which could results in you getting irregular from time to time. Also, instead of protein bars or drinks, try switching it up with leans cuts of meat or fish. If you like avocados, add them to your tortilla or burrito. They are packed full of omega 3 fat which is great in fighting off inflammation. Hope this helps! Make it a healthy day!

  2. so i know why i have been not so healthy but i stopped eating these foods and my weight is not going down.

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Sky,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your story with us! It will take a little while for your body to respond to your new healthy diet. Keep in mind, if you have not been eating healthy the past several years, it will surely take at least a few weeks to months for your body to recognize the changes and respond accordingly. I do encourage you to not give up and continue with your healthy regimen. I am confident that if you stay consistent with your diet, positive results will not be far behind. Have a healthy day!

  3. I NEVER EAT SUSHI, OR WRAPS OR INSTANT OATMEAL, AND I AM NOT LOOSING WEIGHT, I DONT’ EAT WHITE BREAD, ONLY WHOLE WHEAT, I EAT PEANUT BUTTER ON CELERY FOR SNAK, AND I EAT A LOT OF FRUIT AND VEGETABLES, AND BEANS AND CHICKEN, FISH AND JUST A LITTLE BEEF, AND I EAT NUTS, WHAT I AM DOING WRONG? I AM 77 YEARS OLD.

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Delia,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your concerns with us! If you have been exercising and eating right but have not lost any weight recently, it is highly likely that other factors may be preventing you from doing so. Factors such as age,medication, medical condition or even stress in your immediate environment may be stalling your progress. I do suggest that you speak with your personal doctor and get his thoughts. He may not only help start to get back on your journey to weight loss but ensure that you proceed safely and steadily. Hope this helps! Have a healthy day!

  4. Are oysters in a can good to use as fish replacement. Sorta get tired of fish all the time. Could I get the diet book that came with the first order of formula 1 pills. I loaned mine to some one and forgot who. I am 57 and went from 152lbs to 130lbs would like to lose around 6 more lbs love your products. Thank you.

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Janet,

      Thank you for writing in and for posting your concerns! Congratulations on the weight loss! I am glad to that have had great results with RealDose Weight Loss Formula NO.1 and continue to make us your partner in health. To your concerns, oysters cannot replace fish in most recipes but they are a nice treat to have once in a while. For one thing, they are made of a different kind of protein and do tend to have high concentrations of salt in them. Instead, I do recommend you try other kinds of shellfish such as scallops, mussels or shrimp, for example. With regards to your copy of the Fat Loss Fast Start program, I have asked a member of our RealCare team to get in touch with the download link. Hope this helps! Have a healthy day!

      • Doctor Sisskind,
        I don´t believe that salt itself is the enemy. It´s the kind of salt we are ingesting, the de-vitalized, de-nutrified refined salt that you find in a lot of products and put on your food. If we are eating unrefined sea salt or himalayan mineral salt this is actually a boon for the health. Not overdoing of course as with anything, but it´s actually a necessary nutrient for the body and all this hype about low salt diets is not exactly accurate. Dr. David Brownstein is a proponent of taking the right kind of salt in the diet, and it´s healthy to do so ( he explains in his book “Salt Your Way to Health” which you may have heard of). I´ve been doing this for a few years and I feel pretty good, had stress and overworked adrenals and salt has been a part of my therapy. The natural salt found in oysters would most likely not be harmful I don´t believe, if one isn´t overdosing on salt in all their meals. I´ve had many troubles with Graves autoimmune disease and of course the thyroid gland. The only reason I feel as good as I do now is because I´ve taken much of Dr. Brownstein´s advice.

      • Dr. Steve Sisskind

        Hi Melissa,

        Thank you for writing in and for sharing your experience with us! I do agree that salt is a necessary nutrient in our body but one must always have it in moderation or within the Recommended Daily Allowance. Too much salt, of any kind, can cause your body to retain fluids and upset the balance in your system. That said, the book you suggested seems like an interesting read and I am very interested to learn of its contents. Dr. Brownstein is a renowned doctor and I have no doubt that I have much to learn from him. Again, I thank you for writing in and make it a healthy day!

  5. I tried everything i could, my weight still isn’t budging, I carefully monitor my food intake of 1400 calories everyday. I am from south-India use one meal rice with cooked vegetables and fresh greens and garlic and ginger and green chillies, also lime. we cook everymeal at home with lentils part of our daily meals with condiments like natural yogurt and mint,coriander, and other herbs. for breakfast idlis-lentils +rice fermented and steamcooked with greens. For lunch only citrus fruit+melon+cofee or tea. For dinner 1 cup rice or wheat indian bread with green or veg curry. moderate exercise as advised by my doctor. I am arthritic patient aged 62 and started increasing since 5 years for unknown reason 160 cm height weighing 92 kg without any other ailment. my other health record is perfect can you advise me how to decrease my weight. I am a fruit person.

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Mrs. Annapoorna,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your story with us! I understand your concerns and know how difficult it can be to manage arthritis. And, while I am unfamiliar with the type of Arthritis you have, I would like to share a few tips which I hope can help.

      First, we recommend one 1/2 cup serving of whole non processed grains daily preferably early in the day. This includes your rice (wild, brown or colored). Whole grains contain all the essential parts and naturally occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed. If the grain has been processed (e.g., cracked, crushed, rolled, extruded, and/or cooked),it’s likely the food product would lose nutrients that are found in the original grain seed.

      Second, increase your consumption of Omega 3 rich foods such as fish, avocados and nuts. They are packed full of Omega fatty acids which is essential in not just fighting inflammation but also improving one’s overall health. Third, exercise. It is important to get moving as much and as often as you can in order to improve your range of motions and stay active, in general. By moving about or exercising, you are rotating and twisting joints as well as stretching your muscles. Over time, you will notice that not only can you reach what’s behind you but also lift items that are a bit heavier than you are used to. Lastly, sleep. Get at least 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep to help your body rest and recuperate. You will notice that the swelling is reduced significantly and the pain, if present, is a little easier to manage.

      That said, I want to reassure you that we are with you in your journey to better health. We have found that one of the best ways to succeed is by getting support from knowledgeable, caring people who can help with your challenges and keep you on track toward your goals. One of the services we offer is the Healthy Life Program. If you would like to get to know the program better or sign up, click on the link here: blogrd.wpengine.com/healthy-life-program/

      I hope this helps, Mrs. Annapoorna, and I wish you great success on your journey to better health! Make it a healthy day!

    • I eat everything I want, but beef is a big taboo {although I’ve been known to eat a good cheeseburger once a month]. Fish and chicken are my mainstays, but not fried. I used to weigh 205 lbs, and now 156. The solution, exercise, exercise, exercise. I do it one hour a day 5 days a week and look forward to it.

      • Dr. Steve Sisskind

        Hi ROBO,

        Thank you for writing in and for sharing your experience with us! Congratulations on the weight loss and I do hope your messagge inspires others to do the same. You imbibe a positive attitude and your easy going approach to your journey to better health makes it something to look forward to instead of being a taxing task. Hope to hear more of your thoughts! Make it a healthy day!

  6. I detest lettuce. What can I use for a wrap?

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi JJ,

      Thank you for writing in and for posting your question! I understand your concern completely as my children may like lettuce today and then ignore it tomorrow. For variety, I suggest you try Spinach or Kale as your wrap. Hope this helps! Have a healthy day!

    • CABBAGE–and it’s more nutritous.

  7. Hi there,
    I use kale in a fruit & veg mix every day. Is it ok to start using the dried packet mix or better to stay with fresh. I live in the tropics in Aus and find fresh doesn’t stay fresh for long!

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Mandie,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your thoughts with us! Kale is a healthy addition to your breakfast smoothie as it is packed with nutrients and fiber. I understand if fresh ones are not readily available in your area but do try to get these when they are available. That said, you can also substitute with spinach, steamed broccoli or other leafy greens that are easier to find in your supermarket. Hope this helps! Have a healthy day!

  8. food prepared simply always much better for you.Water the best drink in the world, once off sugar drinks.

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Mark,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your thoughts with us! Those are great words of wisdom and I do hope to hear more in the future. Have a healthy day!

  9. Love making my wraps with lettuce!

  10. You are totally correct. These foods hide a lot what is in them. Eating food like vegetables, fruit, meat in their original form fixing them to your taste is the best way.

    • Dr. Steve Sisskind

      Hi Mary,

      Thank you for writing in and for sharing your thoughts with us! Well said and I completely agree. Food prepared simply preserves a lot of their nutrients. Have a healthy day!

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