If you’re aiming eat right this year, you may want to read those labels a little closer the next time you’re walking down the grocery isles. You might be setting yourself up for a dietary disaster. I have to be the bearer of bad news, but your health foods might be worse than the double cheeseburger you've been avoiding. There’s plenty to choose from out there, but some foods are more deceptive than others, so here are some of the most sneaky diet killers out there.
Starbucks Matcha Green Tea
If you’re still getting your fix from Starbucks, then you’re doing yourself a disservice. If you decide to go green, instead of your usual chocolate mocha caramel frapp with a double shot, Starbucks’ Matcha Green Tea powder contains more sugar than matcha, with more than 50 percent sugar and less than 50 percent green tea. A grande Matcha Green Tea has 32g of sugar! That’s already 7g over the daily recommended amount. Your best bet is to buy your own and make it at home.
Don’t believe all the hype with this dessert option, as not all froyo options stick to the under 100 claim, and in some cases they’re not actually yogurt. Generally speaking, frozen yogurt has less fat than ice cream, but often has more sugar to make up for it — especially if you layer on toppings like cookie chunks and gummie worms. To add insult to injury, most froyo shops are self-serve now, making it much easier to go over the suggested serving size and snack on double, possibly triple, what you’d hoped to be a light treat. If you’re hoping to get health benefits from froyo, Look for the National Yogurt Association’s Live & Active Cultures seal to make sure you’re getting real frozen yogurt.
If you want something done right, you’ve got to do it yourself — smoothies included. Getting the wrong smoothing to start your day can really crash any hopes of healthy eating. Some pre-made smoothies can have as much as 1,000 calories — half of the suggested daily intake — and lots of sugar. That’s more than a double cheeseburger from McDonald's. Take time to grab your own ingredients and take charge of your health. If you do decide to go the pre-made route, just remember: everything in moderation.
A Glass of Orange Juice
Don’t be fooled by the labels. Store-bought O.J. has been processed to maintain the flavor. If you’re going for name-brand juice, you’re looking at approximately 23g of sugar, so unless you’re looking to leave out sugar for the rest of the day…you may want to reconsider that morning pick-up. For full disclosure, fresh-squeezed orange juice contains natural sugars that can boost your metabolism and the nutrients that are lost in processing for the store shelf. You may want to opt for a home juicer like the one seen in our holiday issue.
Most granola you buy from the store has a lot of sugar, which will make you crave more. Granola can be good in proper serving sizes, but more times than not it’s not enough to satisfy — leading many people to up their intake, and sabotage their diet. A single cup of granola can be up to 600 calories in some cases — still more than that double cheeseburger and less filling. Opt for high-fiber cereals instead.
In case you somehow missed the memo, Vitaminwater is not your friend. To sum it up, a 20 oz bottle of Vitaminwater contains about 120 calories and 32 grams of sugar (50% less than a regular Coke) and about the same amount of fructose as a bottle of Coke. When you drink liquid sugar calories, your body doesn’t compensate by making you eat less of other foods. So these calories are tossed on top of the calories from your food — like that cup of granola.
When it’s all said and done, the key to healthy eating is moderation. There’s good and bad in everything we consume, but don’t be tricked by labels aiming to persuade you. Keep up those resolutions and thank us this Summer when you’re killing it at the beach.
Nick Bailey is a forward thinking journalist with a well-rounded skill set including writing, design, and photography. Nick now resides in Austin, TX after earning a degree in Mass Communication with an emphasis on journalism from Texas A&M University—Commerce.