Are you falling for these 'healthy' food choices?

Trying to lose weight? These 'healthy' foods might not be helping.
Trying to lose weight? These 'healthy' foods might not be helping.

So you've cut the fat, cut the sugar and cut the carbs - but the scales still won't budge? You might be falling foul of one of these 'healthy' mistakes.

Ultimately, weight management is a pretty simple equation. Energy in needs to be less than energy out to bring about a reduction in total body mass.

For your average woman, that means sticking to approximately 1200 calories a day to lose weight, or about 1500 calories a day to maintain your weight.

But as you'll see below, some of those 'healthy' choices are really racking up the calorie count.

Nut spreads

Nut butters are a popular low-sugar choice over jams and other breakfast spreads. But be careful how much you use.
Nut butters are a popular low-sugar choice over jams and other breakfast spreads. But be careful how much you use.

As the world wakes up to the mortal danger of sugar, trying to choose a breakfast spread is becoming increasing tricky. Nut spreads have seen a surge in popularity as people try to cull sugar from their diets, plus they're full of so-called 'good fat'.

Which is good. In moderation. But you really need to keep an eye on just how thick you're spreading it. While an official serving size is approx 25g, the reality is most of us use nearly that much on just one slice of toast. So while technically, a serving of Pic's peanut butter clocks in at 142 calories, chances are you're probably smearing closer to 250 calories on your two pieces of toast.

And it gets even worse when you start swapping bread for lighter alternatives like rice cakes. While you save on calories from the bread, you can end up eating more calories as you spread each piece with nut butter. Suddenly that 'lighter' option has become more calorie-laden than a Big Mac. Ouch!

Lower carb bread

Freya's lower carb breads have less carbs but more calories than other options.
Freya's lower carb breads have less carbs but more calories than other options.

Carbs are bad so lower carb anything is good, right? Well, maybe. But in the case of Freya's lower carb bread, which promises 40% less carbs than "standard multigrain breads", it would seem not. In fact, Freya's soy and linseed lower carb option has more calories than either their own Dutch Wholemeal variety or Vogel's original mixed grain.

The lower carb option clocks in at 215 calories per serving (two slices), versus Dutch wholemeal at 203 and Vogels at 190 calories.

Easy fix? Stick to the regular stuff. It's cheaper as well.

Avocado overload

Smashed avo is a favourite brunch dish but often exceeds the recommended 50g serving of avocado. Photo / NZ Herald
Smashed avo is a favourite brunch dish but often exceeds the recommended 50g serving of avocado. Photo / NZ Herald

Kiwis' avocado obsession became evident last year when the great avocado shortage of 2016 made national news headlines. But while the superfood has plenty to recommend it, most people are eating way too much of it.

A recommended serve of avocado is 50g, or about 1/4 of a medium sized fruit. But most people are eating nearly double that, especially if you order the millennial fave, smashed avo on toast at your local cafe.

A whole avocado has around 320 calories in it and that's before you add the obligatory freedom toast and poached egg.

Bliss balls

Bliss balls may seem like a healthy treat but can be just as calorific as a more traditional sweet treat.
Bliss balls may seem like a healthy treat but can be just as calorific as a more traditional sweet treat.

The raw food movement might be a step too far for most but it's managed to infiltrate most neighbourhood cafes in the form of the bliss ball. We've all been sucked in by these small little mouthfuls of "sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free" gunk, congratulating ourselves on our healthy life choices. But are they really that healthy? Short answer, nah.

A single bliss ball can contain anywhere from around 150 to 250 calories. Which is almost the same as a croissant or donut (at approx 260 calories).

Unless you actually enjoy the taste (and let's be honest, who does?) you're better saving the calories for a real genuine treat.

Muesli

Not all muesli is created equal. Some can be packed full of hidden calories. Photo / NZ Herald
Not all muesli is created equal. Some can be packed full of hidden calories. Photo / NZ Herald

It seems like such a virtuous choice, right? When faced with a menu of French toast, pancakes and big breakfasts, ordering the fresh fruit and muesli delivers an instant and overwhelming feeling of smugness. But buyer beware, you might actually be downing more calories than your pal with the bacon. And you won't be nearly as happy.

Toasted muesli that is full of dried fruits and nuts can be incredibly calorific, especially when served with full fat yoghurt (which most cafes opt for) and fruit soaked in sugar or syrup.

And once again, serving size is a major factor with most cafes serving more than the recommended 45g serve.

- NZ Herald

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