Foodies abound these days; gourmet recipes, cooking shows by the dozen and easily accessible cutting-edge restaurants mean we're a nation of food lovers and self-styled connoisseurs. With events like potluck get togethers, leisurely dinner parties and al fresco food truck festivals, we often build our socialising around good food. However, nowadays we're also constantly reminded of the dangers of our diet, with new 'bad for you' ingredients added to an exponentially growing list every year and scare stories about even the most innocuous of drinks or every day meals threatening us from the pages of every healthy lifestyle magazine. Likely none of us need be reminded that obesity is becoming an epidemic in America, Europe and elsewhere but just in case we did, 'fitspo' blogs and memes appear unsolicited on our social networking newsfeeds daily, admonishing us that 'nothing tastes as good as skinny feels' and 'you've got to work for it'.
How then, to find a happy medium in the extremes of indulgence and deprivation? National campaigns tell us to eat natural, eat moderately, fit exercise into your daily routine. All pretty sound advice; but when we hear that even the most innocent foods are packed with additives, and hidden calories are everywhere, is there really any way to avoid compulsively checking labels and falling victim to the fitspiration craze? Perhaps, in an age of processed foods and health fads, we just need to educate ourselves a little better.
We take a closer look at foods we may not realise are packed full of calories, according to a trusty calorie-counting smart phone app. These foods are typically slated as a 'healthy alternative', with many have more calories in one portion than a fast food hamburger. Of course, that doesn't necessarily make them less healthy - some may be less processed, contain more 'good' fats and have a slow-release energy factor that keeps you fuller for longer. So while it may be advisable to limit your intake of the following foods if you're watching your weight, it's not advisable to replace any of them with a hamburger!
5 Oils and Nuts
1 Restaurant Salads
Yes, salads. You might think you're being restrained and virtuous when everyone else at lunch orders burger and fries and you get the salad. No one bothers telling you that some restaurant salads are far worse than even the humble burger. The worst of the worse is the Santa Fe Salad at TGI Fridays. When this salad was on its menu, it was at 1830 calories. The Cheesecake Factory still has its Santa Fe Salad on its menu and it packs 1720 calories with calorie-heavy avocado and corn and an indulgent dressing. On the Border has a Grande Salad with Taco meat coming in at 1320 calories while California Pizza Chicken has the Waldorf Chicken Salad for 1560 calories. In fact, California Pizza Chicken has several salads that fall above 1000 calories so it might be better to ditch the healthy idea and just get the pizza. This goes for all of the restaurants. Is it really worth wasting all those calories on a salad? We give you permission to go ahead and order that double burger with fries at your next business lunch. From a calorie perspective, you may be better off anyway.
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