Here are the three (3) “healthy” foods that expand your waistline —- Steven Sisskind, M.D.
Sushi seems like a virtuous meal … fresh fish and vegetables. But depending on what you order, the calories can really add up.
Some rolls are made with cream cheese or mayo, some are breaded and fried, and some can use up to a cup of white rice with just 1 little roll.
One cup of white rice packs a whopping 270 calories and 60 grams of starchy carbs. It has a Glycemic Index (GI) value of over 70, making it 1 of the highest GI foods you can eat.
High GI foods can cause spikes in your blood sugar and elevate your blood insulin level, which flips your body’s metabolic switch to fat-storing mode.
And let’s not forget about the salt. Oh, the salt!
To make sure your sushi is REALLY healthy, avoid the fancier (aka fattier) rolls like “rainbow,” “spider” or anything billed as “tempura.”
Ask your server if the chef can go lighter on the rice, and request whole-grain brown rice. Opt for hand rolls and nigiri, which tend to have less rice than cut rolls. Or skip the rice altogether and ask for sashimi, which is made without rice.
And stick with low-sodium soy sauce.
You hear the word “oatmeal” and automatically you think “healthy.” No surprise. Oatmeal made from rolled or steel-cut oats is a terrific source of heart-healthy whole grains. Oats are rich in a type of dietary fiber (soluble fiber) that helps lower your blood cholesterol.
Unfortunately, the instant kind has been pre-cooked via high-heat processing, so you can prepare it more quickly. That also means it’s broken down and digested more quickly by your body, leaving you hungry a lot quicker than the steel-cut version.
Also, a description like “maple and brown sugar” may sound healthier than “loaded with artificial colors and flavors … and sugar.” But that’s essentially what most of those flavored oatmeals are.
If you do go instant, be sure to check out the ingredient list and Nutrition Facts panel. Aim for a 1-cup cooked portion and pair it with a bit of protein (like low-fat milk, a scoop of low-fat cottage cheese, a sprinkle of almonds, or a RealMeal GF shake), so you won’t be ravenous before lunchtime.
A spinach wrap stuffed with lean turkey and veggies sounds healthy. But how much spinach is really in that wrap?
Not a whole lot.
In fact, probably not any, as most spinach tortilla wraps are made with spinach powder.
And that wrap probably is made with refined grains, not whole, so it’s severely lacking in nutritious fiber.
And did I mention how big the tortilla wrap is? When it’s tucked under and into itself, it looks harmless. But its giant diameter means it is probably packing about 300 calories.
If you want a wrap, purchase a small or medium whole-wheat tortilla that contains at least 4 or more grams of fiber. Or pair half of a store-bought wrap with a side of berries and greens. Save the other half for tomorrow’s lunch.
Or try using some nice green lettuce as a wrap. The crunch is perfect, and you’ll get some antioxidants in the process.
Are there any “healthy” foods that you’d like me to check out? Let me know and I’ll do some sleuthing for you.
Steven Sisskind, M.D.
With thanks to Steven Sisskind, M.D. @