(photo credit: Dan Levy)
Ever in the mood for a sweet bite to eat, but don’t want to pack on the
calories? Many would opt for frozen yogurt instead of ice cream, or
maybe a bran muffin instead of a red velvet cupcake. They sound much
healthier right? And they are; however, just because they contain fewer
calories and fat doesn’t mean you are getting off lightly.
foods today have an aura of healthiness with the use of nutritious
sounding names and wholesome ingredients highlighted in bold. And while
these options are without doubt a better choice, they still contain more
calories, sugar and fat that most of us assume.
Here are four of the worst unhealthy “health” treats:Frozen yogurt
the summer heat, it can be very tempting to finish the day with a visit
to a favorite frozen yogurt joint. In the last few years, “froyo” shops
have popped up virtually everywhere, offering a variety of different
yogurt flavors with an assortment of toppings.
frozen yogurt is a tasty treat, but is it a healthy one? After all, it’s
just frozen yogurt, so can it really be that unhealthy? Yes and no.
start with the good news: Just like regular yogurt, the frozen version
contains active cultures that are great for digestion and boost
Now for that not so great news: Frozen yogurt is generally loaded with sugar, especially the flavored ones.
that’s far from all. Frozen yogurt can quickly go from being “okay,” to
atrociously bad, when people start piling on butterscotch syrup, sweet
candy and of course pieces of chocolate bars. What’s more, most of us
don’t even realize how much candy, chocolate and hot sauce has been
added as it quickly mixes up with the yogurt and fruit toppings.
small frozen yogurts topped off with a scoop of cookies and a dollop of
hot chocolate sauce can easily reach 300-400 calories per serving. To
bring the calorie back down, opt for regular plain yogurt topped off
with fresh berries.Dried fruit
could be so wrong with a handful or two of dried cranberries, prunes,
raisins or apricots? After all, dried fruit is still fruit, and
therefore is loaded with all sorts of “good for you” nutrients including
fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Unfortunately many companies add
sulfur and sugar to make dried fruits better for store shelves. What’s
more, when you eat dry fruit, as it is significantly smaller than fresh
fruit, you tend to lose track of how much you are actually eating, and
as a result consume more calories, and sugar than you think. So while
dried fruit can be nice once in a while, it is far more filling and less
fattening to eat fresh fruit on a daily basis.Bran Muffins
word bran typically has a healthy connotation as it is packed with
fiber goodness. The fiber from these muffins will fill you up more than
your regular carrot, blueberry or chocolate chip muffin. However, a
healthy muffin is still an oxymoron.
Even with all the fiber,
bran muffins are still made from mounds of butter and sugar – leaving
them high in fat, sugar and of course hundreds of calories. In fact,
depending on how large it is, a bran muffin can have anywhere from 200
to 400 calories. Banana Bread
like bran muffins, banana bread has the illusion of being healthy.
After all, any “bread” made from omega-3 rich nuts and vitamin-loaded
bananas should be healthy, right?
Unfortunately, the generous
amounts of butter and sugar that make this loaf taste so moist and
delicious, make it regrettably somewhat fattening.
When it comes
to store-bought banana bread, it’s important to check the ingredients,
as not all banana bread is made the same. For most varieties, lavish
amounts of butter, oil, refined sugar and flour as well as full-fat
yogurt or sour cream crank up the calorie count without adding any solid
In order to trim down the calories, it’s probably
best to make this tasty treat at home in order to increase the amount of
healthier ingredients while toning down or even substituting those more
calorie hefty and nutritionally depleted ingredients for healthier