Besides the obvious junk foods, there are 5 foods that you may never have suspected of packing on the pounds.
- Diet Soda, Really? Research conducted at the University of Texas Health Science Center found that the more diet sodas a person drinks, the more likely they will gain weight. The San Antonio Heart Study at UT revealed that those who drank the most diet soft drinks gained the most weight. “On average, for each diet soft drink our participants drank per day, they were 65 percent more likely to become overweight during the next seven to eight years, and 41 percent more likely to become obese,” said Sharon Fowler, M.P.H., faculty associate in the division of clinical epidemiology. An article by Mark Hyman, MD, noted that artificial sweeteners are hundreds to thousands of times sweeter than regular sugar, activating our genetically programmed preference for sweet taste. They trick our bodies into thinking that sugar is coming, causing the body to pump out insulin, the fat storage hormone, which lays down more belly fat.
- Diet Microwave “Dinners.” They’ve got catchy, healthy sounding names, they come in handy single-person servings, and they’re super convenient. But the benefits stop there. Trouble is, most of the real nutrients in diet microwave meals were sucked out of them in processing. And while they boast their lack of fat content, they’re also loaded with salt, which will cause you to retain water and become bloated.
- “Healthy” Breakfast Cereals. Their ads show slim models eating hearty bowls of “enriched cereals.” Besides the fact that very few are made with intact whole grains, it’s what they add to cereals that can harm your health. Anything from the sugared bits of fruit often included to refined carbohydrates can make cereal highly fattening. Most breakfast cereals spike your blood sugar and insulin levels. Then, when you sugar-crash at lunchtime, you’ll want to snack up with refined carbs and a sugary drink. So, read those labels on the sides of cereal boxes, especially those with “low-fat” or “whole grain” emblazoned on the package. Most of them are usually loaded with sugar. And, check the portion size, which in most cases is ridiculously small to allow for low “per-serving” sugar labeling.
- Whole Wheat Bread. Again, it sounds healthy, with photos of sun-kissed wheat fields blowing in the wind on the package. But virtually all the grains in these breads have been pulverized into fine flour that will spike your blood sugar. The uncomfortable truth is that whole wheat bread has a glycemic index (how quickly foods spike blood sugar) that’s just as high as regular white bread, according to a Harvard Medical School publication.
- Low-Fat Yogurt. It says low fat, so it must be good for losing weight, right? Wrong. Most low-fat yogurt is over processed, which essentially means they’ve removed the fat (the stuff that makes it taste good) and substituted all manner of other ingredients to compensate for the fat—like sugar, high fructose corn syrup or some artificial sweetener.Gary Taubes and Dr. Peter Attia of Nutrition Science Initiative note that the sugars and additives that replace the missing fats in yogurt, drive up insulin resistance, which can contribute to obesity.