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Get excited about nutrition, and learn as you go with these information-packed resources on a wide variety of nutrition-centric topics! Our bistroMD experts review the importance of the macronutrients protein, fat, and carbohydrates, as well as how to make them work most efficiently for you.

Which Low Calorie Foods are Scams?

Which Low Calorie Foods are Scams

If you think that the sweet tempting cookies sitting on the grocery store shelf labeled "100 calories" are better for you, then you are probably getting played by one of the biggest tricks in the book.

100 calorie packs may sound tempting if you are on a diet, but most of them can actually lead you to more trouble. Even though snacks are the main culprit of this war on fewer calories, there are other low calorie foods you should be wary of. Below is a top three list of some of the worst, with some healthier "swapping" suggestions.

3. 100 Calorie Cookie Packs

Popular cookie brands may try to persuade you with their healthy labels, but when it comes to cookies, the cut calories aren't worth the loaded sugar and fat content.

"Right Bites" from Keebler are a perfect example of this. These delectable bites, like the company's Mini Brownies, may be low in calories, but 40 of those calories come from fat, plus you get over 7 grams of sugar.

The same can be said for the Snack Well's brand. With snacks like their mint fudge shortbread cookies, you get 40 calories of fat with over 8 grams of sugar.

Let's not forget, without an adequate, good dose of protein and with high amounts of sugar, these snacks are likely to leave you craving more sweets in a couple hours or less.

Before you know it, you are going through 5 snack packs, instead of just one. At this point, you are well over the recommended caloric intake for a healthy meal.

Healthy Swap Suggestion: If you are craving something sweet, why not reach for fruit instead? Strawberries are a good option, as well as raspberries and blueberries. They also contain antioxidants, which your immune system loves!

To make them a little more interesting, dab with a small amount of low-fat Cool Whip. (But, no more than two tablespoons per serving)

If you are currently a BistroMD customer, but haven't tried our line of healthy snacks, we offer a variety of healthy and delicious options.

2. Reduced Sodium Soups and Such

In the category of the worst low calorie foods, there is nothing more deceiving than delving into a warm cup of soup, only to discover that your "heart healthy" version may not be so healthy.

Heart healthy soups have been popular sellers at grocery stores across the country simply because of clever marketing.

Even though Campbell's Healthy Request line of soups reduces sodium into the 400's down from their regular soup (760!), this is still a high sodium content for one serving. When looking for heart-healthy soup, look for labels that say "low in sodium" versus "reduced sodium."

Healthy Swap Suggestion: Brands like Amy's, Imagine Foods, and other more natural and organic food companies offer a variety of healthy and delicious soups. Most of these companies offer low calorie soups, with sodium content of only about 100-200mg per serving.

1. Falling for Low Calorie Fast Food

Probably the worst culprit in the realm of deceitful low calorie foods is the scam of low calorie fast food options.

Let's not forget: fast food is made to sell, and to sell FAST. This means it's cheaply made, and extremely unhealthy.

Even if you pull up to the drive-thru, and you see a ton of low calorie options on the menu, don't be fooled by the advertising.

Other than containing a ton of added fillers and chemicals, most fast food is still very high in sodium, which is a disastrous recipe for high blood pressure and cholesterol problems.

Most fast food is also cooked using hydrogenated vegetable oil, which contains unhealthy trans fats.

Healthy Swap Suggestion: If you still crave burgers and fries, there is a healthier way to get your fix, other than ordering from a window.

When shopping, purchase the leanest ground beef you can find. (Ideally 93/7). If you really want to switch things up, go for bison meat, rather than ground beef, and use whole wheat buns instead of the regular kind.

For more tips from our experts, please visit our healthy facts section for more information.

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