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Dieting? Avoid unhealthy 'health foods'

March 22, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Americans' battle with the bulge is a big one. A new poll shows that one in four Americans are seriously trying to lose weight. But seemingly healthy foods could be sabotaging efforts. Consumer Reports shows us some unhealthy health foods.

There are a lot of foods out there that look like they're good for you, but looks can be deceiving. That's what Consumer Reports ShopSmart found when it played diet detective to come up with a list of unhealthy health foods.

"You could be sabotaging your waistline and your health by eating foods that are loaded with fat, calories, or sugar," said ShopSmart Deputy Editor Sue Perry.

Take veggie chips: They may be made of vegetables, but they're often fried in oil and loaded with fat.

And while one cup of trail mix can have lots of vitamins, it can also have almost 700 calories.

"If you're looking for a healthier snack, try air-popped or low-fat popcorn," said Perry. "But instead of butter, sprinkle on a little grated parmesan cheese. It has less fat."

And when it comes to breakfast, hold off on that cup of granola cereal. It can contain about 400 calories.

"For a better breakfast, try a bowl of oat-based cereal like Cheerios," said Perry.

And before you take a bite of that wrap, take a step back, because wraps can be huge, high in calories and, sometimes, fat.

"A better choice for lunch: a sandwich on whole-grain or whole-wheat bread," said Perry. "But check the ingredient list. Whole grain should be first on the list."

In fact, checking the labels on everything you eat is the way a true diet detective finds food that is truly healthy.