Unhealthy foods may still be lower in calories than healthy foods.
That's according to nutritionist and fitness expert Isilda da Costa. "That is not to say that you should choose the unhealthy option," she explains, "but rather that you should think a little more about the choices you make, as it all comes down to what's in the food."
She compared nine popular foods deemed "healthy" and "unhealthy" to illustrate this point.
1. Vegetable chips vs salt and vinegar chips
Believe it or not, the vegetable chips contain slightly higher calories. They are filled with vegetable oil, and are thus high in fat –– and we all know 1 gram of fat is equal to 9 calories.
2. A handful of almonds vs a handful of candy
Almonds contain more calories due to their high fat content. When consuming nuts, always watch your portions, if you have weightloss goals.
3. Milkshake vs smoothie
They can end up containing the same number of calories, depending on how both are made.
The smoothie can be made with syrups and fruit concentrates, and is thus full of sugar. Even though fruit is healthy, in a smoothie containing three pieces of fruit, sweeteners and other calorie-dense foods like nut butter and various dairy fillers, the sugar can add up. So do your research when ordering a smoothie at your favourite smoothie bar, as it can be so dense that it adds up to over 500 calories!
4. Peanut butter vs hazelnut spread
Peanut butter is surprisingly higher in calories (but also higher in fat by far) than hazelnut spread.
5. Pizza vs sushi roll
One slice of pizza will have fewer calories than an eight-piece sushi plate. The problem with sushi is that there is a large amount of rice in a dish. This adds up the calorie content quickly, especially with mayonnaise and other sauces involved.
6. Dark chocolate vs white chocolate
White chocolate contains slightly more fat and none of the nutrition benefits that dark chocolate contains. The calories can vary greatly between brands, so look carefully –– but dark chocolate has far more antioxidants and is definitely worth enjoying now and again.
7. Diet soda vs regular soda
Sure, the diet soda has fewer calories. However, the the diet version has the effect of making us crave more sugar. So every once in a while, you may treat yourself to regular soda, if you wish.
8. Bad cupcakes versus good cupcakes
It's all about how the cupcakes are made.
9. Sweetener versus syrup
It may say "organic" on both bottles, but one may carry way more calories than the other.