You have heard about how bad white bread is for your health, but you might still be missing out on some offenders that are actually worse. Sure, you stick to whole grain toast in the morning, but what about the other processed food you’re eating on a regular basis? The best thing you can do is to stick to this rule of thumb: Eat whole foods that are as close as possible to their original source, according to Manual Villacorta, MD. The next most important thing is to, of course, watch your portion sizes. Regardless, here are some processed carbohydrates that you might want to watch out for—chances are they sneak into your diet without you realizing it.
Fancy coffee drinks. Loaded with calories and sugar, the carbohydrate count in these drinks can go through the roof—with up to 60-80 grams of carbs per serving. With saturated fats from whipped cream and sugary flavorings, you’re looking at a dessert to be reckoned with.
Bagels. According to Villacorta, even whole-wheat bagels should be given a second thought. “Depending on the size, I normally recommend a bagel to someone who is going on a two-to three-hour run afterwards,” he says. The portion size is large, with 50 grams of carbs, and 250-300 calories per bagel.
Juice drinks and smoothies. Seems healthy, right? But a 16-oz fruit juice can come with 75 grams of carbs and 64 grams of sugar—this goes for smoothies, too. 4 ounces is usually a good serving, so if you want your morning smoothie or juice, stick to this small size.
Cheese crackers. Full of additives, chemicals, artificial colors, and high-fructose corn syrup, even the organic versions of these orange crackers aren’t great. The processed flour, high-fat cheese, and even 18 grams of carbs per serving certainly don’t help in making this an ideal after-school snack.
Baked goods. If you make your own healthy versions at home, that’s one thing, but if you’re getting the softball-sized muffins from your local coffee shop, you’re getting up to 64 grams of carbs and more than 30 grams of sugar. Try to stick to a two-ounce serving of a whole grain bran muffin instead.
Fruity yogurt. If the fruit in your yogurt isn’t freshly sliced, you might want to rethink eating it. The jam-like fruit at the bottom of your yogurt container can double the amount of carbs in a plain yogurt, which is only 12-15 grams without the fruit. With the fruit additives, you’re getting about 30 grams of carbs—so stick to plain Greek yogurt and fresh-cut fruit instead.
Popcorn. Sure, you only eat it every now and then when you’re at the movies, but that’s the kind you should be avoiding. According to Villacorta, even one bag a week of movie theater popcorn is a bad thing—popcorn is already high in carbs, with 1,200 calories and 580 mg of sodium in a large bag—and that’s without the butter.
Yogurt-covered raisins. It’s a snack that’s easy to overeat, and even a ¼ cup has 20 grams of carbs and 19 grams of sugar—so stick to a small bar of dark chocolate instead.
Always consult your chiropractor or primary care physician for all your health related advice.
Image Credit: raisin bagel by ma_shimaro, used under a creative commons license.
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