Special Report

17 'Healthy' Foods That Are Actually Ruining Your Diet

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6. Avocado

Avocados are famous for being rich in essential omega-3 fatty acids, which can promote brain and heart health and may help lower the risk of certain cancers and chronic conditions such as arthritis. Avocados certainly are a healthy fruit, but they are also high in calories. “And you can certainly overeat on healthy foods,” Maher said. They are not bad for you, but they provide a lot of energy through calories, which is not what you want when trying to lose weight, she explained. On more about weight loss, these are the best ways to keep the weight off.

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7. Diet foods

While you might think diet foods can help you lose weight, the opposite might be true. Take diet fruit yogurt, for example, Maher said. Such yogurts have a lot of dyes and artificial sweeteners to make up for the taste and sugar that have been lost during processing. Such artificial ingredients make you crave sugar more and more, she added. Because the brain is denied the energy it expects from the sweetness, it may increase the appetite for calorie-rich food in the future. Sweet cravings, and increased appetite for calorie-rich food, ensue. This applies to diet soda, too — and these are at least 10 ways drinking diet soda could be killing you.

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8. Dried fruit

Though fruits have natural sugars, dried fruit often has added sugar, Maher said. Theoretically, there are fewer calories in a dried fruit compared with a fresh fruit, but there may be significantly more sugar — and you’re missing on the water content that makes you feel fuller, she noted. You can easily overeat because of their small size and lose the calorie benefit. Most dried fruits, which are a more concentrated source of nutrients, contain more than 50% sugar. High added sugar consumption has been linked to obesity. (These are the states with the highest obesity rates.)

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9. Sports drinks

A single sports drink can have as many as five teaspoons of sugar and a total of 90 calories. Experts at the Nutrition Source and the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School of Public Health advise that you only drink those “infrequently and sparingly, if at all.”

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10. Hummus

Hummus is by all means a healthy snack, as long as you watch your portions, according to Donovan Maycock, a nutritionist at Perfect Solutions, a weight-loss center in San Antonio, Texas. It’s also important that the hummus is made with olive oil rather than canola oil or some other kind that is not as healthy, according to Maycock. Canola oil is generally considered safe and contains high amounts of healthy fat, but there are some concerns that it turns rancid when exposed to heat in the production process, destroying the omega-3s and possibly even creating trans fats. This is also what makes certain items in fast-food chains the absolute unhealthiest you can eat.

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