So many people around me are on the fitness path, it’s so refreshing to see, but so many are still not doing enough…myself included. People aren’t doing the research and so consuming healthy options that are packed with antioxidants, protein, and healthy fat, but these nutrition powerhouses can pile on serious calories if not approached with care.
Avocado is everywhere, and rightfully so. It’s a superfood. Each fruit is packed with 10 grams of fiber and more than twice the potassium of a banana. Avocado has been shown to lower cholesterol levels, reduce cancer and diabetes risk, and improve skin health.
The drawback: Due to its high-fat content (heart-healthy monounsaturated fat is still fat) and the heavy praise avocado receives for its health benefits, it’s all too easy to go overboard. “While they’re packed with more than 20 vitamins and minerals, avocados are still calorically dense,” says Tanya Zuckerbrot, R.D., author of The Miracle Carb Diet. “Use moderation when adding them to your salads, sandwiches, and anything else.”
Visit a social club or hang out at a local bar and you’re certain to come across a variety of nuts and men snacking on them like there’s a world shortage. Like avocado, nuts are loaded with heart-healthy fats. But healthy doesn’t always mean lean. A couple of beers and a few handfuls of nuts and you’ve tallied up some serious calories. A good handful of nuts contains 135 calories.
Protein is good, very good. But not if it’s double-decked with fat and sugar. Your protein-bar approach: Save them for when you’re in a jam, like when you’re traveling, and in such an instance eat half the serving size at a time. Rule No. 2: shop smart. Pick a bar with reduced sugar, or opt for a ready-to-drink (RTD) alternative. These products typically contain half the fat and sugar, and 100 fewer calories, compared with bars.
Take all the nutrients and antioxidants from several servings of fruit and shrink them down into something that’s easy to eat. Sounds great, right? Well, these miniature fruit snacks are often loaded with added sugar, plus it’s not out of the norm to plow through an entire bagful. Go for fresh instead.
Even if you don’t have a wheat allergy, you may be drawn to gluten-free versions of pizza, pasta and pancake mix because they just sound healthier. Many gluten-free products actually have more calories than similar versions that contain gluten. Ingredients such as cornstarch and brown rice flour, which are used by manufacturers to mimic the texture and taste of gluten, are more calorically dense than the ingredients they replace.
Your best bet: stick to whole foods that are naturally gluten-free, like quinoa.
These pimped-up water drinks might promise magical powers, like reviving you from the worst hangover of your life or helping you stay focused at work on a Friday afternoon, but the boost you feel after downing a vitamin-enhanced beverage comes more from sugar than it does from a slew of B vitamins and electrolytes. Some 20-ounce bottles contain more than 30 grams of the sweet stuff.
Your body absorbs nutrients more effectively from real food than it does supplements, the same thing applies to the vitamins and minerals that have been used to fortify these rainbow elixirs. Drink regular water!
Order a blended drink at a juice bar and it’s all too easy to end up with a gut-busting beverage in your hands. Thanks to huge cup sizes and dessert-like ingredients such as peanut butter, chocolate and real coconut milk, slurping down 600 to 1,000 calories (or more) is easy. Make your drink at home.
I remember watching National Geographic once and my jaw dropped when I saw how big live Tuna are, google it! In its plain form, tuna is a smart pick, not to mention one of the most wallet-friendly ways to eat healthy. One can contains fewer than 200 calories, has only about 1 gram of fat, and packs 42 grams of muscle-building protein. But turn your tuna into tuna salad, and that’s where things go downhill. A tablespoon of mayo adds 10 grams of fat, plus 90 extra calories. Go for low-fat or fat-free mayo instead, and to cut back on calories even more, serve your sandwich open-faced on just one slice of bread.
See more at: www.mensfitness.com.