Healthy food traps
These are those foods that you may think are healthy choices but moderation is the key.
are high in fat - most of them around 50% fat - and therefore high in kilojoules. Even though many of them contain good fats and useful antioxidants, eat them in tiny quantities to get their positive benefits.
Dried Fruit :
Great for a quick pick-me up or if you have a sweet craving but stick to no more than one handful a day - they may be fruit, but they are a concentrated source of sugars.
Fruit Juices :
are energy dense. You're better off eating a whole piece of fruit which is not only lower in energy but more filling as the juice doesn't contain the fibre. If you love fruit juice try ½ a glass of juice diluted with water and limit to one a day.
Olive Oil :
1 tsp of oil or tsp of butter both equal 5g of fat. Olive oil is a better type of fat but just because it's better for you doesn't mean you can add LOTS of it! Get the benefits of the monounsaturated fats and antioxidants found in extra virgin olive oil by mixing small amounts with balsamic (or any other favourite) vinegar to use over salads.
Canola oil also has healthy types of fats.
Canned Fish :
a healthy protein choice, high in calcium and sometimes omega-3, but choose the ones in spring water instead of brine or oil. Those in oil can have the equivalent of 3 tsp of fat in the can, and brine is a salty mix that adds unnecessary sodium into your diet.
Muesli Bars :
come in all sorts of shapes and sizes - choose one that is wholemeal, oven-baked fruit filled. Look at the label and aim for a bar with less than 600kJ, less than 5g fat and less than 9g sugar per bar (serve)
Muffins/Carrot Cakes :
can just be 'cakes' in disguise. Buy (or make) fruit and bran varieties and make sure they are cup-cake size! To make a traditional muffin recipe healthier: halve the amount of flour, and add unprocessed bran (2 x the volume as it's lighter); use 1T fat per cup of flour and add tinned fruit for moisture or a bit extra milk; use a light polyunsaturated margarine instead of butter and use trim milk.
'Lite' Chips :
lite refers to the thin cut of the chip and possibly lightly added salt. These still contain approx 3 tsp of fat in a small 50g packet! It's best to try and find a healthier snack.
'Baked' not 'Fried' :
does not necessarily mean low fat. Whether baked or fried some crackers can be over 25% fat. Try the likes of rice crackers, litebread, water thins or others with less than 5% fat. Check the label and choose ones that have less than 10g of fat per 100g.
Just because there's lettuce in it doesn't mean it's healthy: a topping that contains one or a mix of bacon/fried meat (like chicken), nuts, cheese or deep-fried croutons, make this salad high in calories. Always think about what the additional ingredients are on top of the basic salad leaf and ask for balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon juice as your dressing.
'Fat-free' Confectionery :
most sweets get their energy from sugar not fat, so 'fat-free' claims have no relationship to the energy content. If you crave a sweet treat try sugar-free gum; flavoured water; grainy bread with honey; frozen yoghurt/sorbet or a juicy piece of fruit.