Are You Consuming More Calories Than You Think? – 5 Food Types to Check
1. Processed food products
Processed foods come in cans, packets, jars, foil and other presentations, and may be highly nutritious. But they often contain fattening ingredients you wouldn’t expect. A standard beef burger, for instance, contains beef fat as well as the lean meat you can see, and even a pack of lean ham may have been reconstituted with fattening additives. Some canned vegetables, such as baked beans and mushy peas, contain sugar, and the syrups that come with wholesome-looking canned fruits are sugar-heavy, so check the ingredients or play safe with modest servings.
A bottle of flavoured water may look pretty pure, but check the sugar content – you may be surprised. Alcohol, which looks so clear and watery, can also be deceptively fattening. A jigger of whiskey may contain 105 calories, so think before you treat yourself to a double. Tea and coffee are calorie-free, but only until you add the milk and sugar, and if you’re reaching for the cream or marshmallow sprinkles, be prepared for disappointment on the weighing scales!
When you’re cutting down your intake at meals, you may feel the need of a little something in between, but bear in mind that some snacks can be as high in calories as a whole slimline meal, or even higher. Size doesn’t always correspond with calorie content, so check the quota of your snack bar or packet before opening. A mini chocolate bar, for instance, will be packed with calories despite its modest size. A cereal bar may seem like a sensible alternative if you’re watching your weight, but beware – it could contain more sugar than the chocolate bar you’re craving. Again, check the ingredients before buying. Savoury snacks, such as crisps, may be free from sugar, but are usually cooked in fat, so keep these to a minimum, too.
A sore throat or head cold can be wonderfully soothed by a juicy lozenge or comforting syrup, whether medicinal or not. You’ll also find reviving cordials on the store shelves to relieve your symptoms. But sugar levels can be high in these refreshers – even the medicinal ones, so make your choices carefully. Alternatively, just soothe your throat with warm water or herbal tea instead.
Fruit is often perceived to be low in calories because they’re wholesome foods overall. But most are sweet, indicating sugar content, and bananas also contain a considerable amount of carbohydrate. If in doubt, check online calorie figures for your favourite fruits, or just keep an eye on your daily intake.
Once you’ve got a handle on hidden calories, you’ll have a much clearer picture of what you’re eating and how it’s affecting your weight. With your consistently careful diet, you’ll deserve a little treat now and again!