PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — In your quest to get fit, are you unknowingly sabotaging your own diet? If you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to eat healthier, make sure you aren’t actually eating more.
“I often see people think because a food is healthy that it’s okay to go a little crazy on it, and they lose track of portioning,” says Your Real Food coach Kathy Parry.
Many foods that people view as healthy or even carry the label healthy can be the very ones people overeat.
“If something tends to be low fat, people will overconsume,” says Parry. “Grapes, for example, very high in sugar.”
In a study in the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research, 50 college students looked at pictures of healthy and unhealthy food, and words associated with “filling” and “not filling.”
The researchers found unhealthy foods were linked to feeling full.
“I do believe we are conditioned – unhealthy foods do fill us up, because they actually do because they’re loaded with fat. So fat makes us feel more full quickly,” Parry says.
Then, another group of 70 students was asked to order popcorn, and they were told it was either healthy, unhealthy, or nourishing. Those who were told it was healthy ordered more.
“’Healthy’ means it’s good for me,” Parry said. “So we even tend to remove the parameters of portioning when we hear healthy.”
What does this nutritionist see as some of the common foods people overeat because they perceive them as healthy?
Of pretzels, Parry says, “We love crunchy and salty. People will overeat.”
Then, there’s also trail mix, Parry says, “It often has dried fruit in it, which is full of sugar.
Granola bars and yogurt, too.
“So many of them, again, are loaded with sugar, they can have upwards of over 25 grams of sugar. Again, that’s as much as what’s in a candy bar,” Parry says.
This adds up to a lot of calories, a lot of sugar, and weight gain.
“Put a portion on a plate, say this is how much I’m going to eat, wait 20 or 30 minutes, if you’re still hungry, have a little more,” Parry says.
If you’re going to binge on something, for the most part, vegetables are your best bet. Aside from carrots and parsnips, which can wreck your body’s sugar processing, it’s hard to overdo it on veggies.