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5 "Diet" Foods to Avoid, Even in the Lunch Hour Rush

I try not to watch television anymore. Unless we have a program on TiVo, I know that at some point I’ll see a commercial for “fat-free” (insert product name here) that will make me want to tear out my hair. So many people who want to diet and be healthy get caught in the trap of buying “healthy” or “diet” foods, without realizing that they may actually be doing themselves more harm than good.

The meal most people seem to have trouble with, for a host of reasons is lunch. Either:

     They forgot to plan in advance, so they go out.
     They only have a few minutes between meetings.
     They work through lunch, and stick to the vending machine.

We have so much difficulty with lunch because it comes at, quite possibly, the least convenient time of the day. We’re busy at work or running to pick the kids up or getting errands done. There’s just no time! In the hopes of not abandoning our diet entirely, we reach for “health” foods, assuming that, eating something is better than eating nothing at all.
There are 5 foods you shouldn’t eat if you’re pressed for time but still trying to be healthy. The surest way to become discouraged on a diet is to cut out all the unhealthy foods you adore, replace them with “healthy,” “diet” foods, and still see no movement on the scale.
In hopes of keeping you motivated and satiated throughout the day, I’ve created a list of 5 foods you shouldn’t eat.

  1. Fat-free anything: Any food that’s had the fat removed from it is, almost by definition, highly processed and loaded with sugar, gums and fat replacers to maintain taste and consistency. Remember, fat isn’t bad, so long as it’s the right kind and amount.
  2. Salad dressing: Obviously, this doesn't apply to all kinds of dressing, but mostly fat-free dressing. You can actually make a salad less healthy than a fast food hamburger by overloading on salad dressing. Opt for oil and vinegar, a squeeze of lemon or lime, or any of our other Beyond Diet approved salad dressing in the Beyond Diet recipes section.
  3. Sushi: This one fools us big time. We see healthy fish, but completely miss what it’s wrapped in. White rice, processed and stripped of nearly all nutrients, is a big blunder. If you like sushi, ask the chef to make it sans rice.
  4. Veggie chips: The thing to remember about potato chips is that it isn’t the potato that makes them terrible, it’s the chips. Anything fried in oil (and covered in salt and other preservatives) is something to stay away from. Consider baking your own vegetable chips in olive or coconut oil instead.
  5. Smoothies: These are great…when you make them yourself. Smoothie shops often use frozen yogurt or ice cream as a mixer. While the latter is very high in fat, both are laden with sugar. There are healthy options, just make sure you know what your smoothie is mixed with.