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Hidden fats and calories in popular foods

SPONSORED BY: FUTURELIFE

So, it seems we have to play detective with our foods, even the “healthy ones”. Eating healthily is great, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re eating low-calorie. If you’re watching your weight and not seeing the results that you hoped for you may find that you are consuming extra calories through hidden fats (which are calorie dense) or even hidden calories.

 

FOOD & FAT CONTENT COMMENTS
Mayonnaise
Contains: a whopping 79g fat per 100g (regular varieties, not low-fat)

 

Most of your favourite mayonnaises are available in low-fat varieties, so give those a try. Also consider swapping mayo for other options, like fat-free cottage cheese, which has an impressive amount of protein and no fat to speak of. Even cutting out half the mayo you usually use and substituting for fat-free yoghurt makes a healthier spread that still has plenty of flavour.
Nuts
Contains: 47g fat per 100g almonds nuts

 

I’m definitely not knocking nuts, as they contain some seriously healthy mono-unsaturated fats and are cholesterol-free. But that’s a high fat content nonetheless, so you need to monitor your intake. Never have more than a small handful per day, and stick to the leaner options like almonds and cashews. Other options – like peanuts and macadamias – have almost double the fat content. To make the most of the health benefits, stick to the raw and unsalted varieties.
Peanut Butter
Contains: 50g fat per 100g

 

Much like nuts, peanut butter is another source of mono-unsaturated fats. Along with the high fat content, many nut butters are also packed with unhealthy sugars. Finding the sugarless varieties could lower the total calories of the product, and improve the health benefits. Stick to peanut butter in small quantities only, or remember to factor it in to your recommended fat allowance.
Avocados
Contains: 17g fat per 100g

 

We’re no strangers to the myriad of health benefits that avo’s offer, but they do still pack a punch when it comes to fat. Again, these are the healthy mono-unsaturated kind, but it’s still far too easy to devour a whole avo in one go. Keep portions to a quarter-avo at a time, to keep your intake on track.
Hummus
Contains: 10-33g fat per 100g

 

This tasty blend of chickpeas, oil and sesame seeds/paste is one of the healthiest spreads on the market, packed with protein, fibre, good fats and nutrients. What it isn’t though, is easy on the waistline. There are lower fat varieties out there, which usually contain less oil and still taste great. Grab those if you can, or just moderate your intake, as it’s ALL too easy to overindulge.
Dark Chocolate
Contains: 34.2g fat

 

Dark chocolate has long been celebrated for its whopping offerings of antioxidants, but while it may be wiping wrinkles off our faces, it’s racking up our fat intake with every bite. Remember, that chocolate is meant to be enjoyed in small quantities – the average slab is 90 or 100g, so polishing off the whole lot means you’ve well exceeded your daily quota.
Olive oil

Contains: 100g fat per 100g

 

Olive oil is a full-fat food – every gram of oil is a gram of fat. Whilst we obviously don’t use it in enormous quantities, portion control is still important. To get an idea, one tablespoon alone contains a whopping 120 calories. Remember too, that if you’re not enjoying olive oil raw, you’re not getting any of the healthy fat properties either.

 

 

And then we have hidden calories in foods that we consider to be “healthy”. . .

FOOD COMMENTS
Dried fruit and fruit juices

 

Concentrated sugar levels, taking in far more than eating the fresh varieties.

 

Cereal Bars Cereal bars might seem diet friendly, but while wholegrain varieties are high in slow-release energy, vitamins and minerals, the sugars and fats used to flavour and bind them send the calorie count whizzing upwards (the average bar contains 250-300 calories). Opt for naturally flavoured bars free from trans-fats and preservatives and factor the calorie count into your daily intake.
All-milk coffees Café Latte with full cream milk and 2 sugars is already 212 calories without even eating your biscuit OR ordering your meal! Filter coffee with fat free milk and 2 sugars is around 46 calories. This is a much better option and you now know you can order a meal without overdoing your calorie intake in a few sips.
Vitamin Water They draw us in with their promises to energise and refresh us, but the majority of specially fortified vitamin waters are also high in sugar and therefore pretty high in calories (some as much as 350 calories per bottle, which is the same amount as a small meal – Eek!). Top Tip: Stick to good old-fashioned water instead. It will save your wallet AND your waistline in one fell swoop. Result!
Low Fat yoghurts Remember – low fat doesn’t automatically equal low calories. Many ‘low fat’ yoghurts – while high in calcium and protein – are packed full of sugar, making some even higher in calories than regular yoghurts. Top Tip: Opt for natural, flavour-free Greek yoghurt instead, keep your portion sizes small, and if you need sweetness, add it yourself with a small drizzle of honey and fresh fruits.


CONCLUSION

It is important to read the labels of your food (where possible), to know what it contains. Some foods that we think are “healthy” and we consume frequently or in large amounts may contain more calories than you realise, making it difficult to achieve your weight-loss goals.

WHERE DOES FUTURELIFE® FIT IN?

FUTURELIFE® products are generally high in energy and moderate in fat. However, these fats are mostly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats which are healthy for you. Just remember to stick to the correct portion sizes and consume a healthy and balanced diet!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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