If you have a gluten intolerance, that little “gluten-free” label can be a literal lifesaver. But if you don’t have a gluten intolerance, you’re really not doing yourself any favors by avoiding the ingredient. “Gluten-free does not equal healthier,” says clinical nutritionist Stella Metsovas, BS, CCN. “These products just replace wheat flour with brown rice flour, which isn’t much better for you.” She adds that many gluten-free products can be loaded with sugar and starch. “You’re getting tons of carbs, and very few nutrients, with these packaged foods,” says Metsovas.
“Salad dressings can be filled with sugar,” says Metsovas. She’s spotted ones with up to 50 g in one serving! That’s bad as it is, but there’s another problem with a skimpy salad and sugary dressing. “Dressings with high sugar cause your blood sugar to spike, so you’ll be hungry and craving more sugar soon after you finish,” she says.
If your only options are dressings with a lot of sugar in them (and you can’t eat your salad dry), Metsovas says you’re better off skipping the salad and grabbing a sandwich instead, since it’ll keep you feeling full for longer.
Yes, baked chips are healthier than their fried counterparts, but there is a catch. “Fried chips make you feel full faster because there’s more fat in them,” says Metsovas. “If you’re not mindful, you can eat a lot more baked chips because they have less fat.” This wouldn’t be a problem, except for the fact that more chips (baked or otherwise) means more carbs, which means a higher number on the scale.
Thankfully, Metsovas has a solution for when you just have to have your baked chips: “Try to have something mixed in with baked chips, like raw almonds. That way you’ll get some fatty acids in your
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