With nearly 39% of adults globally classified as obese, the diet has never been more powerful.
Diet foods, such as those labeled”low-carb,” low-fat” or”fat-free,” are specifically marketed to individuals seeking to shed excess weight.
However, several diet foods may do your waist more harm than good.
Listed below are 21 diet foods frequently considered healthy that can, in fact, cause weight gain.
1. Smoothies and Protein Shakes
Smoothies and protein shakes are all the rage on social networking and in the wellness community.
While some smoothies and protein shakes are nutritious and exceptionally healthy, others are loaded with calories and sugar.
For example, some premade smoothies contain almost 14 tsp (55 g ) of sugar in only 1 bottle (450 ml).
What’s more, certain protein shakes package nearly 400 calories per bottle (450 ml).
Smoothies and protein shakes can readily be consumed too fast, stuffing your entire body with excess sugar and calories.
2. Low-Fat Flavored Yogurt
Fat is a filling nutrient that amplifies foods’ tastes.
When fat is eliminated to reduce the calorie content of particular goods, sugar is generally added to enhance flavor.
Many low-fat yogurts are packed with added sugars, which isn’t good for weight loss or overall wellbeing.
For example, 1 cup (225 g ) of Yoplait low-fat vanilla yogurt contains more than 1 teaspoon (29 g ) of sugar.
Interestingly, full-fat dairy could possibly be a better option than low-fat dairy.
In 11-year research in 8,238 girls, those who consumed more high-fat dairy products gained significantly less fat than girls who consumed low-fat varieties.
3. Fresh-Pressed Juices
Many people drink fresh juices made from fruits, vegetables, or a mix of both to increase health or promote fat reduction.
Although not all the juices are high in sugar and calories, most fruit juices really are.
Drinking fresh fruit juice frequently can contribute to excess calorie intake, which may cause you to gain weight.
Stick to juices that include mostly non-starchy veggies like kale and low-sugar fruits such as lemon to control your calorie intake.
4. ‘Healthy’ Sweeteners
With many people cutting white sugar in their diet, other sweeteners promoted as”healthy” have become increasingly common.
Agave, coconut sugar, and sugar are merely some of the numerous sweeteners out there.
Even though these products are usually deemed healthy, going ahead with any sweetener — natural ones that are not as processed as white sugar — can contribute to weight gain.
Agave, for instance, is high in calories than table sugar and extremely high in fructose, a type of sugar that can result in insulin resistance and fat accumulation.
Because any type of added sugar may lead to weight gain, it is important to restrict your overall consumption of sugar including alternative sweeteners.
5. Low-Calorie Cereal
When trying to lose weight, you might reach for low-calorie cereals to start daily.
While those breakfast foods may be reduced in carbs, they are frequently packed with added sugars.
Plus, many low-calorie bowls of cereal lack protein and healthy fats which help you feel satisfied.
A study in 30 men demonstrated a breakfast of toast and eggs provided greater fullness and led to fewer calories consumed throughout the day than did breakfast cereal
6. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is stuffed with fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
But since dried fruit is sweeter and smaller than fresh fruit, then it can be easily overeaten.
Plus, a serving of dried fruit retains more calories and sugar compared to an equivalent amount of fresh fruit.
Sticking to a 1/4-cup (50-gram) portion when snacking on dried fruit is an excellent method to avoid consuming too much.
Although dried fruit is suitable, fresh fruit is a healthier alternative.
7. Packaged Diet Foods
From diet cookies to fat chips, supermarket shelves are filled with packaged diet foods.
While these items may be tempting, most of them are unhealthy.
Many diet foods contain preservatives, unhealthy fats, and artificial sweeteners that will damage your body.
It’s best to replace these packaged, too processed foods with nutrient-dense, filling options.
8. Flavored Coffees
It’s well-known that caffeine acts as a mild appetite suppressant, which leads many people to up their java intake when attempting to lose weight.
Although coffee has lots of health benefits, you ought to refrain from particular coffee drinks when seeking to lose weight.
Many such drinks — such as lattes, frappes, and cappuccinos — are abundant in sugar and calories.
For example, a Starbucks Venti Cinnamon Dolce Latte made with skimmed milk and with no additional whipped cream — crams in 280 calories and 12 teaspoons (50 grams) of sugar.
Though a daily latte may seem harmless, sugary coffees could undermine your weight loss attempts.
9. Premade Salads
Salads chock filled with fiber-rich vegetables can be very weight-loss-friendly.
On the flip side, those doused in high-calorie dressing or topped with unhealthy ingredients aren’t.
Premade salads, such as those in grocery stores or fast-food restaurants, can be quite high in calories, sugar, and unhealthy fats.
Producing your own salad using healthful ingredients is a much better choice.
10. Protein Bars
A lot of people rely on protein bars to get a quick, convenient energy boost.
While some protein bars are healthy and healthy, others falter calories, sugar, and artificial ingredients.
For instance, one PowerBar ProteinPlus Chocolate Brownie product contains more than 6 teaspoons (24 grams) of sugar alongside 330 calories.
A healthier, whole-foods-based snack may supply exactly the identical protein and calorie material with much less sugar.
11. Diet Soda
Diet soda can be viewed as a healthy beverage because it contains 0 calories.
However, a study ties diet soda consumption to weight gain — not weight reduction.
Research in over 2,000 people suggested that those who drank diet soda had larger waist circumferences than those who didn’t.
What’s more, those consuming diet soda were prone to get high blood sugar and higher blood pressure than people who abstained.
Diet soda has also been shown to negatively affect gut bacteria, thereby increasing your chance of diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
But keep in mind that association does not equal causation. While a couple of studies have associated a high intake of diet pop with weight gain, there is absolutely no solid evidence it is a cause of overweight or obesity.
Granola is a satisfying breakfast food beloved by most health-conscious people.
However, while granola can contain nutritious ingredients like oats, seeds, nuts, and coconut, many are packed in additional sugars.
To control your sugar consumption, select granolas with no more than 6 g of sugar per serving.
Better still, make your own granola at home by baking oats, cinnamon, nuts, coconut, coconut oil, and dried fruit at low temperature.
Sports drinks can be beneficial for athletes and anyone engaging in protracted, intense workouts.
However, these beverages are simply unnecessary for the ordinary individual.
Sports drinks can be filled with sugar and may give rise to excess calorie consumption.
Plus, any type of carbonated drink can spike your blood sugar levels, which can result in insulin resistance and weight gain.
For example, research in over 7,500 kids and teenagers noted that those who drank sports drinks weighed significantly greater than their peers.
14. Diet Peanut Butter
Diet peanut butter is lower in calories and fat than regular peanut butter.
Even though this might seem like a fantastic selection for weight reduction, diet peanut butter regularly harbors unhealthy oils and sugars that are added.
Natural peanut butter made with limited ingredients is a better option for weight loss.
Research proves that restricting added sugar may encourage weight reduction, so choosing natural peanut butter with no extra sugar would be your ideal alternative.
Low-calorie condiments like salad dressings and ketchup might be a hidden source of added sugars that could contribute to weight profit.
Surprisingly, many low-calorie dressings are packed with sugar.
For instance, just two tbsp (31 g ) of Ken’s Steakhouse Lite Honey Mustard dressing contains 2 teaspoons (8 grams) of sugar.
Additional condiments that tend to be high in sugar include sausage and tomato sauces.
16. ‘Healthy’ Sweets
Many desserts and candies are marketed as healthy choices to more calorie-laden sweets.
Even though they may contain fewer calories than traditional desserts, low-carb goods, candies, and other confections can be packed with sugars and artificial ingredients.
To be able to reduce calories while maintaining taste, producers replace fats with sugars or artificial sweeteners.
Added sugars may result in weight gain. At exactly the same time, artificial sweeteners such as sugar alcohols can cause digestive symptoms like bloating, gas, and diarrhea.
In Addition, ingestion of artificial sweeteners like aspartame and sucralose is linked to an increased risk of obesity and may even encourage sugar cravings and dependence
Many people try to cut high-fat foods when trying to shed weight.
However, research demonstrates that this could be counterproductive.
1 review determined that low carb and nonfat foods contained more sugar than regular versions of the very same foods.
Consuming even tiny amounts of added sugar may lead to weight gain, blood sugar issues, and an elevated chance of cardiovascular disease.
What’s more, dieting and nutritional supplements restraint probably increase the chances of future weight reduction.
18. Frozen Yogurt
Frozen yogurt is a popular dessert that’s widely considered healthier than ice cream.
Since frozen yogurt is frequently associated with health, it is often over-consumed.
Many frozen yogurt institutions allow you to fill your cup, making portion control difficult.
Moreover, the enticing, sugary toppings offered at most frozen yogurt shops can stuff your dessert with much more calories and sugar.
To maintain your intake under control, opt for the tiniest yogurt cup available and choose natural toppings such as fresh fruit, unsweetened coconut, and nuts.
Sushi may be a healthy or unhealthy meal based on which it holds.
Rolls full of ingredients like tempura shrimp or sweet sauces can be packed with carbs.
Choose sushi rolls that contain healthy ingredients like fresh vegetables, avocado, fresh fish, or broiled fish and opt for brown rice over white to improve your fiber intake.
20. Coconut Water
Coconut water is among the most common natural beverages around.
Even though coconut water provides vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, it will contain sugar and calories.
1 cup (240 ml) of coconut water has 45 calories and 6 grams of sugar.
While coconut water is a lot lower in calories and sugar than drinks like juice and soda, it’s best to limit your intake of any sweet beverage.
21. Diet-Specific Processed Foods
Many grocery stores offer diet foods targeting vegans and vegetarians, in addition to those following low-carb meal programs.
These products are often full of artificial ingredients and added sugars that could negatively affect health.
Furthermore, these specialty items are often pricey, which can add up if you’re eating these types of foods daily.
Focusing on whole, unprocessed foods instead of convenient, packaged foods is obviously healthier — regardless of your dietary tastes.
The Bottom Line
Though many diet programs are branded wholesome, they may destroy your weight loss efforts.
Products like sodas, frozen yogurt, and low-fat snack foods can negatively affect your health and even allow you to gain weight.
What’s more, research shows that dieting isn’t the best way to drop weight (26Trusted Source).
Following a whole-foods diet rich in healthy fats, proteins and fresh produce is the ideal method to maintain the weight off for good.