Hands up if you're guilty of this: you’re trying to watch what you eat, so you snack on some yoghurt or crackers to keep those crazy hunger pangs at bay.
Sorry to tell you, but what you're scoffing down might be doing your waistline more harm than good.
And crackers aren't the only nutritionally deceptive culprits derailing your diet. Be spoke to Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist Jaime Rose Chambers to get the lowdown on the foods you need to ditch if you’re watching your weight.
“Whether they're made from rice, wheat or any other grain, a refined 'white' cracker will still be low fibre, high GI option that provides very little nutritionally,” says Jaime. “This often means we need to eat much more to fill us up adding extra calories to our diet. Go for crackers that say 'wholegrain' or have added grains and seeds.”
Even if your juice looks healthy with the words “organic” and “freshly squeezed” all over the packaging, don’t be fooled, says Jaime. “A fruit juice will give you a huge hit of sugars which comes with the big drop in energy shortly after. A straight veggie juice doesn't have much to it and is unlikely to satisfy your hunger, plus juicing also removes all that lovely fibrous pulp,” she explains. “Go for a blended fruit and vegetable mixed juice and try to make it into a smoothie with some added milk or yoghurt for protein and fat.”
Feeling virtuous because you chose the protein ball instead of the sugary snack at the vending machine? Sorry, but it’s almost as bad for you, says Jaime. “They might look like the healthy answer for that 3.30pm choc fix but more often than not they're just a chocolate bar in disguise with a science experiment worth of ingredients and sweeteners that can really upset your stomach.”
OK, so they're not in the same league as sugary cakes and biscuits, but raw desserts still contain calories – and a lot of them. “They are often considered a healthy option and made in bulk so eaten in greater quantity on top of our regular diet, adding hundreds of additional calories,” says Jaime. “They need to be treated like any dessert or 'treat' food in that they're enjoyed on occasion when trying to lose weight.”
It might seem like the best choice, but skip the diet version when you’re picking your yoghurt. “Yes, it's very low in calories but it's also not very filling and those artificial sweeteners can wreak havoc on appetite management,” explains Jaime. “Go for a low fat or regular Greek yoghurt and sweeten it yourself with some passionfruit or a handful of berries.”