From smoothies to brown rice – the ‘healthy’ foods you should NEVER eat if you want to lose weight

WE all know that in order to lose weight we generally need to eat a balanced diet coupled with exercise.

But those diets can often include "healthy foods" such as smoothies and brown rice, which one expert has said you should never eat if you actually want to lose weight.

Australian dietitian Susie Burrell said many people overindulge on foods that are branded healthy options which often have lower calorie counts and are low fat.

Writing on her blog she said often the actual nutritional profile of these foods, such as the amount of sugar per serving, can often mean we are consuming more than we should be.

She warned there are five foods that you should steer clear of if you wan't to lose weight.

1. Smoothies

Smoothies are practically the poster child for health and wellness but Susie said the amount of sugar in one smoothie could push you over your daily allowance.

The NHS states that adults should have no more than 30g of sugars a day and that children should have no more than 24g a day.

While some may argue the sugars in fruit smoothies are healthy ones – rather than processed sugars – Susie said one smoothie could have between 60 to 80 grams of the sweet stuff.

She added: "While the individual ingredients used to make a typical smoothie — milk, yoghurt, fruit, honey, nuts and seeds — are all healthy, nutrient-rich foods, when they are blended into a massive drink your typical café or juice bar smoothie is far from a healthy, balanced choice."

Susie said that if your goal is to lose weight then you should stick to smaller smoothies with just 3-4 ingredients.

2. Brown rice

Carbohydrates are an important part of any diet and the NHS says that a third of your diet should be made up of foods such as potatoes, bread, rice and pasta.

Susie said brown rice is better than white rice, but added that it is a concentrated source of calories if you have too much.

She said: "A single cup of cooked brown rice offers almost 40g of carbohydrate or the equivalent of 3-4 slices of good quality bread."

It's important to consider, she said, how much rice is packed into meals such as sushis and stir frys and how much you are actually able to consume in a single sitting.

To keep an eye on your portions Susie suggests half a cup of cooked rice is enough for one person and said you should bump your meals up with extra vegetables.

3. Dips

Dips can be great addition to meals as they bring an abundance of flavour, but Susie said while they may look healthy they are actually high in fat and easy to overeat.

She said dips such as hummus contain around 200 calories per half a cup.

This doesn't take into account the tortilla chips or crackers you use – and who even counts the amount of times they use the dips!

Susie said it's important that you take time to check the labels and to use just 1-2 table spoons per serving.

4. Dried fruit

Dried fruit is often present in "health" foods such as cereal bars and protein balls, but Susie said it's important to remember that dried fruit is packed full of calories and concentrated sugars.

If you want to satisfy that sweet tooth then Susie says it's better to opt for a fresh piece of fruit as this is harder to over eat.

She said that a fresh piece of fruit has around 15-20 grams of natural sugars and that a small packet of dried fruit is the same – but easier to overeat.

Susie said: "This means that healthier baked goods or protein treats based on dried fruit are not always low in sugars and in general you will be better off choosing fresh fruits that have a much higher water content to keep your sugar and calorie intake controlled."

5. Crackers and low calorie crisps

Crackers, lentil chips and popped chips have become popular alternatives toyour standard bag of potato crisps in recent years.

Susie said just because they are low calorie, it doesn't mean they are healthy.

She said these are often low nutrient snacks that are energy dense – making them easy to over eat.

Susie added that if you want to snack on something like this then the only healthy option is plain popcorn.

She said you should keep the other snacks for parties rather than a daily snack.

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