Food No-Nos from "The Biggest Loser's" Nutritionist
Nutritionist Rachel Beller, M.S., R.D., helps people transform their eating habits on The Biggest Loser, and now she's showing you which foods you might want to avoid to keep your waistline in check — and how you can find healthier alternatives.
"The way you want to judge a bread is by the squeeze method. If you can squeeze a slice into a small marble, it's probably not going to have much nutritional value. Hidden sugars, high fructose corn syrup — it's going to turn into sugar right away once you eat it. What you want is something where you can actually see visible pieces of the grains within the bread, and is firm when you try to squeeze it. That's going to have whole grains and your body's going to work hard to break that down."
"Many granolas, per quarter of a cup to half a cup, will have 200 to 280 calories, and that's before you put anything on it. If you still want the crunch and you still want the taste, you can take a high-fiber cereal and tease it with a little bit of the granola. It's like you're diluting it."
"A lot of the packaged popcorn we buy at the market has a lot of stuff that I would not go near. It has hydrogenated fats, which aren't healthy, artificial colors, flavors, and if you cut the bag open [before popping], that does not look natural. What I like to do is a one-ingredient item: you take a brown paper lunch bag, put in a quarter of cup of organic kernels, fold it up twice, and put it in the microwave for a couple minutes. And it costs about 35 cents on average. Then spray it with a good, natural oil spray, and go savory or sweet with garlic salt or cinnamon sugar."
"When I see 'lite' on a yogurt, a red flag goes up. Basically, it means a lot of sugars or artificial sweeteners, which is not something we need or we want. What you could do is go Greek; it's got two thirds more protein, and you can add your own sweetener. I got The Biggest Loser contestants hooked on this vanilla stevia extract and you can find it at any health food store. Add a couple drops of that, or you could stir in a low-sugar jam, add some berries or some cinnamon."
"This is another example of a lot of unnecessary extras: hydrogenated fats, sugar and a lot of other things, when in reality, peanut butter is just peanuts. Maybe a dash of salt or none at all. That's all you need."
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