By nature women are pretty much programmed to count calories. We know if we consume more calories than we burn we will gain weight. So in an effort to lose weight we find ourselves analyzing the calorie count on every food label. And as we exercise and eat, calories become the focus of our day. But if we just focus on calories we are missing a key component of weight loss; this is nutrient density. The more nutrients, the better our health; so make healthy choices for your life!
1. Frozen Yogurt
Frozen yogurt is not as perfect and low calorie as you may have thought. Frozen yogurt is high in sugar and low in fat, leaving you hungry. You may end up eating more as a result. So avoid the chemicals and fulfill your craving with coconut milk ice cream. The saturated fat is healthy and enjoy a half-cup serving (about 250 calories) so you don't go back for more. The benefits don't stop there, though. Studies shows that these fats boost good HDL cholesterol, lower bad LDL, and help reduce waist circumference. And coconut provides antioxidants similar to those in berries, grapes, and dark chocolate.
With the thought of having 6 crackers for 120 calories as opposed to one ounce of walnuts for 150 calories, the first choice seems best. This is more portion size for less calories. But when you look at the protein and omega 3 in walnuts; this is actually the right choice! And if you choose unsalted walnuts you will have zero sodium which eliminates the worry of bloating over your snack. So now you make the better choice!
3. Sour Cream
Topping your chicken meal with reduced-fat sour cream may appear like the better choice, but on better examination, think again! Because in reality, it offers little nutrition other than about 12 percent of your daily recommended calcium. For an extra 40 calories and 6 grams of fat per quarter-cup, guacamole comes with the bonus of antioxidants, 4 grams of fiber, and 340 milligrams of potassium, a mineral that helps control blood pressure by sweeping excess sodium and fluid out of the body. And you'll get more antioxidants from your meal's veggies: In an Ohio State study, men and women who ate salads with avocado in them absorbed more than eight times more alpha-carotene and 13 times more beta-carotene, both of which help fight cancer and heart disease. So choose the guac and skip the sour cream!
4. Veggie Chips
Don't be fooled by the snacks labeled healthy like veggie chips - those vegetable versions of potato chips are made with very little produce and have up to twice the sodium of potato chips for only about 30 fewer calories. Air-popped popcorn gives you the same crunchy goodness and loads more. Three cups counts as a serving of whole grains and packs more antioxidants than a serving of fruit or vegetables, a recent University of Scranton study reported. That's because the antioxidants are more concentrated in popcorn due to its lower water content compared to fluid-rich produce. And while three cups of plain air-popped popcorn has only 93 calories compared to veggie snacks' 140, who really wants a flavorless snack? Add some oil and herbs, and both your body and your taste buds will enjoy the 160 to 220 calories.
Something made of rapidly-absorbed starch and sugar and little protein, which will spike your blood sugar and leave you feeling hungry and fatigued, doesn't sound like a healthy choice, right? So drop the jam or jelly and spread some nut butter on your toast, pancakes, or waffles instead. Although the nut butter is twice the calories of jelly, the protein and healthy oils will fuel your body and sustain your energy levels much longer. This can also help to stabilize your blood sugar level. Perfect snack any time of the day!
6. Egg Beaters
Check out the nutrition facts on a carton of Egg Beaters. It may list no fat, no cholesterol, and less than half the calories of a large egg but check out the ingredients. Believe it or not, they add sugar and fillers, including gums and natural flavors, for taste and texture consistency. They also fortify the formula since the nutrient-rich yolk is removed. Yikes! So forget going for eggs made in a lab and crack an egg the old fashion way. Real eggs offer plenty of protein, their yolks contain carotenoids, vitamins A, D, E, and K, a host of B vitamins, and DHA (an essential omega 3 fatty acid) - all important nutrients for your vision, heart, brain, and bones. Go all natural!
7. Low Fat Cheese
Yes, an ounce of real cheddar has 65 more calories and 7.5 more grams of fat per ounce compared to reduced-fat cheddar. But if you still haven't gotten the memo: fat is not the enemy (in moderation)! If you have low fat cheese you are probably having highly processed cheese like string cheese! Choose the real stuff in ultra-moderation. Think portion control! But what about the saturated fat, you say? A Danish study found no change in the LDL (bad) cholesterol of men who ate 10 ounces of full-fat cheese daily for three weeks. Though more research needs to be done, its likely women would be fine, too -- though we don't recommend eating 10 servings of cheese a day!
So ladies let’s stop focusing on simply counting calories and take a look at how this food can help you. Check out the nutrients and make the better choice for your body! Are you reach to ditch the low fat and focus on nutrients!