Most people think eating healthy is enough to keep their weight down and tone muscles. But, often, they're not eating as healthy as they believe they are.
In fact, plenty of "healthy foods" can actually make you gain weight. And these five so-called health foods are probably the worst culprits.
1. Whole Wheat Bread
If you think you're doing your body a favor by swapping sugar-filled white bread with whole wheat, you're only half-right.
Though most experts agree whole wheat bread is healthier than white bread, eating whole wheat carbs for every meal actually has the potential to make you gain weight.
This is because carbohydrates (even the complex version found in whole grains) are readily converted into glucose. Eating lots of carbs creates excess glycogen (glucose stores), which leads to fat buildup.
While whole wheat fibers are clearly a better choice than processed white flour, they should still be consumed in moderation. You can get the minerals and fiber found in whole wheat bread from much healthier sources. It's always a safer bet to skip the bread altogether.
2. Real Nut Butter
Natural nut butters are loaded with protein. But they're also chock-full of fat. If you want to avoid packing on extra pounds, decrease your consumption of real nut butters. A single tablespoon of raw almond butter is 100 calories. Although almond butter contains good amounts of fiber, protein, calcium and vitamin E, its high-calorie count can add up fast.
Instead of spooning out nut butters, try eating a handful of whole nuts. These contain the health benefits of nut butter but are lower in calories.
Avocados are nutritional powerhouses. You have probably heard they have the good monounsaturated fat that's awesome for heart health. Experts also claim that avocados are great for eye health, bone health, digestion, cancer prevention and natural detoxification.
So how can such a healthy fruit (yep, it's a fruit) make you gain weight? It all comes down to moderation. When eaten in moderation, avocados are a great superfood for your diet. However, when eaten in excess, they can potentially cause weight gain.
Avocados are high in calories and high in fat. This can cause you to feel tired after eating them, which can lead to overeating and weight gain.
4. Tropical Fruit
We can all agree: tropical fruit tastes amazing. Plus, fruits like pineapple, mangos, papayas and bananas are full of vitamins and antioxidants. Unfortunately, eating a bunch of these fruits could cause weight gain.
These fruits are loaded with natural sugar. Although natural sugars are easier for your body to process than processed sugars, they can still contribute to weight gain. Don't be afraid to grab a banana every once-in-a-while. But, if you find yourself craving fruit for your everyday snack, choose fruits lower in sugar like green apples, berries or pomegranates.
5. Natural Granola
Athletes who want to increase muscle mass usually go for granola. Granola is usually made with rolled oats, sugar and a combination of healthy fats like coconut oil and nuts. Some people stir in dried fruit for extra nutrients and flavor.
That being said, most store-bought granolas are high in sugar, which could potentially cause you to gain weight. Some brands are bigger culprits than others. If you're a granola addict, try to make your own granola instead of buying it at grocery stores. You can choose the toppings you like and sugars with a lower glycemic index like coconut sugar, honey, stevia and xylitol.
Eating healthy is the key to losing weight. But if you aren’t careful, what you eat can do just the opposite. Try to limit how much of these five foods you eat to help prevent gaining extra pounds.
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