Taste of Home
Granola is one of the original health foods, right? After all, what could be more natural and nutritious than fruit, berries, seeds and whole grains? “Don’t let the ‘natural’ label fool you,” says Harbstreet. “Granola often features added sugars like maple syrup, molasses, and honey—and lots of it. If you’re a fan of granola, look for brands with fewer grams of sugar and more grams of fiber. “Fiber helps slow the absorption of simple carbohydrates, or sugar, and can help contribute to satiety too,” Harbstreet says.
Of course, fruit is a source of natural sugars, but it also provides healthy vitamins, minerals and fiber. What could be unhealthy about fruit that is dried, cut up and ready to eat? “This seemingly healthy on-the-go snack can have as much sugar as a candy bar,” says Alysha Coughler, RD, at buildmybodybeautiful.com. Dried fruit is compact, so it’s pretty easy to find yourself at the bottom of an empty bag in no time. “You wouldn’t eat five whole apricots, but it’s easy to eat five dried apricots.” Look for dried fruit with little or no-added sugar. Better yet, makes these 28 healthy recipes that are packed with fresh fruit.
iStock / Kelly Cline
Popping a low-fat or “light” frozen entree in the microwave seems like a quick and easy way to stay within your calorie budget. “But with some meals containing 20 to 40 grams of sugar per serving, the effect on your blood sugars may not be worth the convenience,” says Coughler. When manufacturers take out the fat, they have to replace it with something, and that is usually sugar and salt. Steer clear of frozen dinners that are smothered in sauces or condiments. Instead, try one of these easy freezer meals.