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Insider Tips: A Nutritionist Shares 7 Guilt-Free Ways to Cheat!

Chocolate cake 

By Janis Jibrin, M.S., R.D., Best Life lead nutritionist

I generally practice what I preach: My diet is high in fruits and vegetables, pretty much all my grains are whole, fish is my primary high-protein food… you get the picture. Fortunately, I like these healthy foods, so none of this is a sacrifice, but I also like some very fattening and/or unhealthy foods—and I’m not willing to give them up.

How can you have your cake and stay trim, too? Here’s how I do it. Feel free to use these tricks or tweak them so that you can come up with your own creative ways to enjoy less-than-stellar fare without packing on pounds.

Just remember one ground rule: Your diet should be nutritious and you should stick to at a calorie level that keeps you at a healthy weight. (Of course, getting regular exercise helps a lot.) Once you’ve nailed that—at least most of the time—you should be able to use my indulging tips!

  • Don’t be in calorie denial. Know just how many calories are in your favorite treats, or in that extra slice of pepperoni pizza, or whatever it is you’re indulging in.
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70 More Calories in Baked Cheetos Than Crunchy and More Junk Food Hiding Behind Health Halos

I’ve often joked that the only reason baked chips are listed as healthier than their traditional counterparts is because you get less product per bag. Apparently, my jokes weren’t too far from the truth.

cheetos

We’ve discovered that Baked Cheetos in particular actually have 70 more calories than their crunchy counterparts. It’s an excellent example of how “positive” branding can make a consumer assume a product is healthy, even when it isn’t.

This is what’s known as a health halo. It’s the perception that one thing is healthy or has healthy qualities because something with similar qualities is healthy. Using the Cheetos example; we know baked foods are usually healthier than fried foods, so when consumers see the word “baked” on a label, they assume the product is better for them.

Health halos aren’t limited to Cheetos. You don’t have to search the grocery shelves too hard to find other foods getting more glory than they deserve.
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Healthy Surprise Delivers a Bounty of Vegan Snacks Each Month

Healthy Surprise is a company that ships out gluten-free, vegan, and raw snacks to the door steps of their subscribers. Founder Joe Winke stumbled upon the idea of sending healthy snacks to people after a friend sent him healthy food in the mail for his birthday. Who knew that making an assortment of healthy snacks and putting them in boxes would be a hit?

The snacks range from nuts to granola bars and cookies. You can find them in larger grocery stores or at your local health food store, and certainly online.

Joe and other “snackologists” try all of the snack items before they are placed in the boxes. Since people are particularly fond of kale, Healthy Surprise tries to send kale snacks every month in the boxes, but the rotation of different snack items changes monthly because they want subscribers to receive a healthy surprise each month!
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Dr. Oz Will Discuss the New Science Behind “Eat More, Weigh Less”

Dr. Oz will have all of our attention on this Friday’s episode of The Dr. Oz Show. He’s claiming that there are ways to eat more and weigh less. This is the premise for his upcoming “Snack Attack” episode.

Dr. Oz will be discussing new science that proves snacking on the right foods at the right time can turn a body into a fat burning machine. The episode will be teaching viewers what and when to eat. Dr. Oz will be displaying foods that target specific problems. One high protein snack is being called the “belly blasting tri-fecta.” He’ll also be giving food alternatives to curb salt cravings and kill a sweet tooth. Perhaps the most enticing snack Dr. Oz will discuss is one that he says will keep one full for two and a half hours. In addition to all these snacks, many more simple and quick snacks will be announced.

Gail Simmons will also be joining the show on Friday. Simmons is a trained culinary expert, a food writer, and a television personality. Simmons is a regular judge on Top Chef and is the host of Top Chef: Just Desserts. Simmons’ new book, Talking with My Mouth Full, was just recently released. The memoir is said to trace Simmons’ career, how she started as a young chef and became a professional eater. Hopefully the pro will weigh in on the snack menu as well.


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5 Factor Diet Offers New Snack Line

5-factor snack bars and chipsThe 5-Factor Diet is now offering snack bars and chips, which are available online to everyone, regardless of enrollment in the diet program. The 5-Factor Diet calls for two snacks per day, in addition to three meals.

The 5-Factor snacks are high in protein and fiber, which promotes fullness. The baked chips contain 210-220 calories and are made from lentils, soy beans and garbanzo beans. There are three flavors: Sea Salted, Barbecue and Sour Cream and Onion. “It doesn’t feel like you’re eating something healthy,” says Harley Pasternak, the creator of 5-Factor, on his site.

The bars contain 190 calories, and come in Very Berry, Peanut Butter Crisp and Apple Cinnamon flavors. They contain 12 grams of protein, nine grams of sugar and five grams of fiber. For a previous story, I asked Elisa Zied, MS, RD, CDN, author of Nutrition At Your Fingertips about her guide lines for snack bars. Her advice is to “look for one that has no more than 100-150 calories, and fewer than 10 grams of sugar (preferably less), two grams of saturated fat, no trans fats, and at least three grams of fiber.” So, although these bars have more calories than she suggests would be ideal, they do contain considerably more protein.


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