When it comes to building a lean and healthy body, getting your nutrition right is of vital importance. But while most lifters have a general idea of what constitutes a “healthy” food, advertising and popular opinion can be misleading. That’s especially true when it comes to how many calories are in some of the foods that many consider to be good for you.
As examples, here are five surprising foods that are loaded with high calories.
Just the mention of “granola” conjures up images of lean bodies taking long hikes through the woods fueled by flavorless cardboard rabbit food that provides energy like nothing else. And, while it’s true that granola is great for energy, there is nothing magical about how it does so: it’s very high calories.
Typically consisting of oats and other grains, dried fruits, nuts, and heavy sweeteners, modern granola tastes great, but most varieties can wipe out your daily calorie allotment if you’re not careful. For example, CalorieKing.com estimates that most homemade granola checks in around 600 calories per cup!
Raisins and other dried fruits are a convenient way for you to get the vitamins, minerals, and fiber of fruit without have to lug around the fresh variety and take care to make sure it doesn’t go bad. Because they’re dehydrated, though, they don’t provide much bulk and are a concentrated source of calories. For instance, a quarter cup of raisins, which isn’t much, has over 100 calories.
Like dried fruit, fruit juices provide much of the benefit of whole fruit, but most or all of the fiber has been removed. That makes juice a concentrated source of calories that is easy to slug down. What’s worse is that calories in juice come almost entirely from sugar.
As an example, orange juice is often considered part of a healthy breakfast, but each eight-ounce glass contains about 120 calories and more than 20 grams of sugar.
Like granola, bran muffins are often lumped into the bucket of good-for-you foods that are fair game for anyone trying to lose weight or get healthy. But also like granola, many bran muffins are loaded with “extras” to give them more nutrients and make them taste better. As a consequence, most end up no better than cupcakes from a caloric standpoint.
It’s not uncommon to find bran muffins that check in north of 400 calories, with loads of sugar and fat.
Yet another food often lumped into the “healthy” category, frozen yogurt can be even more deceiving than muffins and granola because plain yogurt can be a great, low-calorie, high-protein addition to your diet. Frozen yogurt, though, is not much different than soft-serve ice cream, and in many cases is identical.
Its nutritional profile bears that out, too.
A one-cup serving of a typical frozen yogurt contains more than 200 calories, about 35 grams of sugar, a dollop of fat, and only around 5 grams of protein.
Eating well doesn’t have to be complicated, but there is deception waiting around every corner. These five foods stand as great examples of supposedly healthy foods that are nonetheless loaded with high calories. Make sure you read your food labels before you buy or eat any food, and then you won’t have to be surprised when you gain fat from the latest good-for-you goody.