It’s a disappointing truth that looks can be deceiving, and this is especially true of food. Just because a food has health benefits doesn’t mean you get to eat as much of it as you want. In fact, some of the healthiest foods out there are best eaten in moderation. Unfortunately, “everything in moderation” and “too much of a good thing” are life slogans that apply even to health food! Take a look at our list of the top 11 health foods you need to eat less of:
1. Quinoa. Containing 9 essential acids, this is a plant-based complete protein. Vegans and vegetarians love it for this reason, but beware: one cup of cooked quinoa has 222 calories compared to 205 calories in white rice.
2. Eggs. When you’re trying to lose weight you know upping the amount of protein in your diet is key. One of the most popular ways people go about getting more protein is by eating more eggs (which, turns out, are definitely beneficial to your diet!). However, two eggs contain about 160 calories.
3. Protein Bars. Sometimes, you have to have an on-the-go option for a snack or even meal replacement, which is where protein bars come in. We can’t emphasize enough how important it is to scour the nutrition labels on these for ingredients and also excessive sugar. But even bars with balanced sugar and protein ratios are still often high in calories: up to 300 calories per bar! And unless you’re getting a ton of protein, it’s unlikely that bar will be a stand-alone snack.
4. Fruit Smoothies. An awesome way to get vitamins, minerals, and a serving of fruit for breakfast, smoothies can also be high in calories. To avoid this, use water as your liquid and add greens and a good protein powder (our 310 Shake is a great option!) to make it a whole meal.
5. Bananas. A dieters favorite, bananas have tons of vitamin benefits from vitamin A to fiber to potassium. However, all that nutrition comes with a price tag of 120 calories per fruit – which is almost double the amount of other fruits.
6. Nuts. Healthy fats, lots of protein, delicious crunch… It’s easy to turn to nuts as a healthy snack instead of chips or crackers. The problem is that one ounce of nuts (about 12 almonds) has an average of 175 calories, which can really add up if you don’t watch your portions.
7. Wine. There have been studies proving a little red wine really does have health benefits, but the key word is little. One small 5-ounce glass of red wine is usually around 123 calories.
8. Avocado. An amazing source of healthy monounsaturated fats, avocados are also really high in calories: about 250 calories per fruit, depending on size!
9. Nut Butters. As a way to add healthy fats and protein to a snack, there are few tastier options than your favorite nut butter. Whether it’s almond, cashew, peanut, or pistachio, nut butters are notoriously high in calories: just 2 tablespoons delivers around 200 calories!
10. Olive Oil. It really is a great oil to cook with, and has been proven to lower heart disease. But like any oil, it’s high in calories: 1 tablespoon has 120.
11. Granola. Often touted as a health food, granola can actually be anything but healthy. Even if you do find a granola made without too much added sweeteners, it can still deliver around 550 calories per cup. Just because a food is healthy doesn’t mean you can throw caution to the wind and eat as much of it as you want. Portion control is still something to keep in mind… Even when snacking on foods that are legitimately healthy for you! The moral of the story isn’t to stop eating avocado or start avoiding nuts, but instead to educate yourself on what a portion looks like and stick to that. Before slathering your sandwich with peanut butter or digging into a tub of hummus with carrots, check the label for how big a serving size is, and limit yourself to one serving.