You're a smart cookie. You know that oatmeal is healthier than a bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats, and veggie pizza is better for you than a slice of pepperoni. Some foods that we consider to be healthy, though, are still full of calories. You may not realize that these supposedly good-for-you foods are packed with hundreds of calories, so day after day, you may be eating more than you thought, which could cause gradual weight gain. Here are some foods to watch out for:
- Veggie lo mein: Veggies are healthy on their own, but if you order veggie lo mein from a classic Chinese restaurant, you're looking at veggies and noodles that are fried in oil. One dinner from P.F. Chang's contains 1,340 calories. It is healthier than the chicken lo mein, which contains 1,610 calories, but not much. Go for steamed veggies and rice instead.
- Banana Bran Muffin: Bananas are full of potassium and have a fair amount of fiber, and bran is a healthy carb that keeps you regular. Two great things, right? Well, when you bake them with eggs and sugar, the outcome is not so nutritious. A Starbucks Banana Bran Muffin will run you 410 calories. You're better off eating a bowl of bran cereal with sliced banana.
To see the other three "healthy" foods,
- Odwalla Super Protein Vanilla Al'Mondo shake: I'm a huge fan of Odwalla juices because they're fresh and made with a short list of ingredients you can pronounce. A bottle contains more than a single serving though, and if you end up drinking the entire bottle of the Super Protein (which is totally normal, by the way), you'll have consumed 356 calories. Plain milk or soy milk is a better option if you're looking to drink a beverage that's high in protein, yet low in calories.
- Chicken and broccoli quiche: Quiche can be a healthy meal since it's made with eggs, but even if you add healthy ingredients to it such as chicken and broccoli, it doesn't take away from the fact that quiche is also made with cheese, cream, and butter. Aside from being high in fat (67 grams a serving), one slice from Ruby Tuesday is super high in calories — 872. Go for grilled chicken with a side of steamed broccoli instead of the quiche.
- Whole wheat bagel with lowfat veggie cream cheese: Sounds like a healthy breakfast, but one whole wheat bagel from Bruegger's contains 390 calories. Add a scoop of Garden Veggie Light cream cheese, and that tacks on 90 calories, making the grand total 480 calories. I'm not saying you should give up on bagels altogether, but I wouldn't have a bagel for breakfast every day. Two scrambled eggs and one slice of whole wheat toast add up to 266 calories, and one cup of Kashi Go Lean and 1 cup of skim milk contain 230 calories, so opt for these lower calorie options in the morning.