Five healthy foods that have more calo­ries than choco­late

The Western Star - - Sport - MELISSA MEIER

TRY­ING to eat healthy, but strug­gling to lose weight? The prob­lem could lie in your por­tion sizes. Sure, choos­ing avo­cado in­stead of but­ter or whole­grain crack­ers in­stead of a packet of chips is a wise idea – but of­ten these “health­ier” foods can con­tain more calo­ries than you might think.

To give you some per­spec­tive, let’s use choco­late as a ref­er­ence value. Two squares (that is, 20 grams) of 70 per cent dark choco­late con­tains 491 kilo­joules (117 calo­ries). Let’s see how that stacks up: One avo­cado = 1379 kilo­joules (330 calo­ries)

Avo­cado is rich in healthy fats that are good for your heart – but that makes it very en­ergy-dense. So, in­stead of the whole avo that you’re usu­ally served at Sun­day brunch, stick to just a quar­ter of an avo­cado per meal.

One ta­ble­spoon of olive oil = 681 kilo­joules (163 calo­ries)

In com­par­i­son to carbs and pro­tein that con­tain 17 kilo­joules (4 calo­ries) per gram, fat con­tains 38 kilo­joules (9 calo­ries) per gram. So when you’ve got pure fat – like olive oil – a lit­tle goes a long way. That’s not to say it’s not good for you, but pour­ing oil over ev­ery­thing like you’re Jamie Oliver can send the calo­rie con­tent sky­rock­et­ing.

A slice of whole­grain bread = 537 kilo­joules (128 calo­ries)

Yes, bread is a healthy food. And no, carbs are not in­nately bad for you. When you opt for a whole­grain va­ri­ety, you’ll get a dose of long-last­ing en­ergy as well as fi­bre to sup­port a healthy gut.

Two slices of re­duced-fat ched­dar cheese = 589 kilo­joules (141 calo­ries)

Cheese also makes the cut on this list of healthy foods with more calo­ries than choco­late. It’s prob­a­bly no sur­prise, how­ever, that I’m not talk­ing about the creamy camem­bert you usu­ally dig into on a Satur­day af­ter­noon. In­stead, I’m talk­ing about re­duced-fat lower sodium op­tions like ri­cotta that pro­vide pro­tein for mus­cle growth and cal­cium for strong bones.

One ta­ble­spoon of peanut but­ter = 622 kilo­joules (149 calo­ries)

Your favourite toast top­per is healthy too, as long as you’re opt­ing for a nat­u­ral va­ri­ety. Again, peanut but­ter is rich in healthy fats that sup­ply a lot of en­ergy, so stick­ing to sen­si­ble por­tions is key. The ver­dict

I’m not try­ing to tell you that choco­late is bet­ter for you than these healthy whole­foods – that’s cer­tainly not the case. I’m sim­ply try­ing to demon­strate that be­ing mind­ful of por­tions and un­der­stand­ing where calo­ries come from is key for suc­cess­ful weight man­age­ment. Of course, the nu­tri­ent-den­sity of your diet is para­mount, so fo­cus on sen­si­ble por­tions of healthy core foods and a healthy weight should fol­low.

Melissa Meier is an ac­cred­ited prac­tis­ing di­eti­tian. You can fol­low her on In­sta­gram @hon­est_nu­tri­tion.


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