Snacking definitely isn't out of the question if you're trying to lose weight. But, unfortunately, many of the snacks lining your supermarket's health-food shelves are probably working against your goal to lose a couple of inches from your waistline. Check out these seemingly healthy snacks that can pile on serious sugar, calories, and—ultimately—pounds.
"When water has been removed from the fruit, you're eating less volume but more calories and sugar—and you don't even realize it," says nutritionist Jaime Mass, R.D. Case in point: A quarter-cup of raisins packs 31 grams of carbohydrates—as much as much as two slices of bread! Stick to whole fruit if you want to fill up without O.D.ing on sugar.
"Who doesn't want to eat little bits of chocolate, pair it with almonds and raisins, and call it healthy?" says Mass, who actually recommends candy-less trail mix to clients when they need to gain—not lose—weight. "A typical bag of trail mix contains about six servings and packs close to 900 calories, 78 grams of carbs, and 66 grams of sugar," she says. "Even if you eat onlyhalf the bag, you could be eating a third of your daily recommended calories in one sitting."
"Granola is a great snack to nosh on if you're climbing a hill or hiking trails since it's packed with carbohydrates for energy and will keep you fueled," says Mass. "But if you're sitting at your desk, it could be what's standing between you and your skinny jeans." A single cup can contain up to 560 calories and 28 grams of fat.
Any fruit on the bottom of your yogurt container is counteracted by the swamp of sugar it's swimming in. "Your typical six-ounce fruit-at-the-bottom yogurt contains almost 30 grams of carbs and 24 grams of sugar—that's as much as your favorite caramel- and nougat-loaded candy bar," says Mass. And unfortunately, the same goes for Greek varieties. Sure, you'll get some more protein—but you'll still have a sugar problem. For the fruity flavor without all of the sugar, dice up your own yogurt toppings.
Commercially Made Smoothies
"These are huge offenders," says Mass. "We think we are drinking antioxidant-rich smoothies, but after all of the fruit, juice, sherbet, and frozen yogurt is added in, you could be drinking more than 50 grams of sugar in just 16 ounces—and usually, the smoothies are larger." She recommends opting for homemade smoothies, but if you're going to order one or pick one up off of the shelf, be sure to check out the nutrition info first.