A particularly insidious cause of unexpected weight gain is what I call “Belly Fat Impostors.”
These foods dress up in healthy clothing, but behind the curtain they wreak havoc on your waistline.
Below are the seven impostors I find most egregious:
1) “Fat Free” Foods: Just because a food is labeled “fat free” does not mean it is healthy.
Lollipops are “fat free” but certainly not healthful. Often manufacturers take the fat out of certain products and simply add more sugar. I remember the “fat free” cookie craze of the late 1980’s – everyone who indulged simply became fatter.
2) “Organic” Food: The “organic” label means that the food you’re purchasing is free of preservatives and pesticides; however the nutritional facts should garner the same concern as any other food. Because it is trendy, I am seeing more and more junk food being labeled as organic.
So remember, a potato chip is still fattening whether it is organic or not!
3) Ground Turkey: Just because it’s turkey does not make it lean. Ground turkey often includes fat and skin, and can have more calories and fat than lean beef. So check the label and make sure you are getting only lean cuts.
4) Chain Restaurant Salads: Salads aren’t healthy by default. Like anything else, it depends on how they are prepared. Chain restaurant salads are often loaded with fats and sugars to the point where they contain more calories than a hamburger and fries. This is a delusion I see many people fall into. It is very important to ask your server for a calorie count of your salad and get your dressing on the side.
5) Frozen Vegetables with Extras: Like salads, watch out for what comes with your frozen vegetables. Often sauces are high in sugar and fat and simply take away the point of eating veggies in the first place. Make sure your frozen veggies are frozen with nothing else added.
6) Sugar Free Cookies:
When manufacturers remove sugar, they often add more fat and/or artificial sweeteners to the mix. So over indulging can still have major waist expanding effects.
7) Veggie Chips: This is the trickiest of all. Once you fry a vegetable, it is no better than a potato chip. Fried batter is fried batter and once fried a vegetable loses most, if not all, of its nutritional value.
So there you have it, my top seven Belly Fat Impostors…
There are plenty more, and I would love to hear your additions. Please write down your favorite Belly Fat Impostors in the comment section below.
Dr. Steven Sisskind, M.D.
Steve Sisskind, M.D.
Hi, I'm Dr. Steve Sisskind, Chief Medical Officer & Founder at RealDose Nutrition.
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