With nearly 39% that adults worldwide classified as overweight, the diet industry has actually never been more powerful (1).

Diet foods, such as those labeling “low-fat,” “low-calorie” or “fat-free,” space specifically marketed to human being looking to burned excess weight.

However, many diet foods items may perform your waistline an ext harm 보다 good.

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Here space 21 diet foodstuffs often considered healthy that may, in fact, cause weight gain.

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Smoothies and also protein shakes room all the fury on society media and in the well-being community.

While some smoothies and protein shakes are nutritious and exceptionally healthy, others room loaded v calories and also sugar.

For example, some premade smoothies contain nearly 14 teaspoons (55 grams) of sugar in simply one party (450 ml) (2).

What’s more, certain protein shakes pack nearly 400 calories per party (450 ml) (3).

Smoothies and protein shakes can easily be consumed also quickly, stuffing her body with extreme calories and also sugar.

2. Low-Fat Flavored Yogurt

Fat is a filling nutrient the amplifies foods’ flavors.

When fat is eliminated to reduce the calorie content of particular products, street is usually included to heighten flavor.

Many low-fat yogurts are loaded with included sugars, i m sorry isn’t good for load loss or all at once health.

For instance, 1 cup (225 grams) the Yoplait low-fat vanilla yogurt includes over 7 teaspoons (29 grams) of street (4).

Interestingly, full-fat dairy may be a far better choice than low-fat dairy.

In an 11-year research in 8,238 women, those who consumed more high-fat dairy assets gained less weight 보다 women that consumed low-fat ranges (5).

3. Fresh-Pressed Juices

Many world drink new juices make of fruits, vegetables or a mix of both in order to improve health and wellness or rise weight loss.

Although not all juices space high in sugar and calories, many fruit juices are.

Drinking fresh fruit juice on regular basis can contribute to overfill calorie consumption, i beg your pardon may reason you to gain weight.

Stick to juices that contain largely non-starchy veggies prefer kale and low-sugar fruits favor lemon to regulate your calorie intake.

4. ‘Healthy’ Sweeteners

With many civilization cutting white street from your diet, alternate sweeteners marketed together “healthy” have end up being increasingly popular.

Agave, coconut sugar and also date street are just some of the plenty of sweeteners available.

Even despite these products are frequently deemed healthy, walk overboard with any kind of sweetener — also natural ones the aren’t as processed together white sugar — can contribute to load gain.

Agave, because that example, is higher in calories than table sugar and also extremely high in fructose, a form of sugar that can contribute to insulin resistance and fat accumulation (6).

Because any type of added sugar can reason weight gain, it’s essential to border your full consumption of sugar — including different sweeteners.

5. Low-Calorie cereal

When do the efforts to lose weight, you can reach because that low-calorie cereals to start your day.

While this breakfast foodstuffs may be short in calories, they are often loaded with added sugars.

Plus, many low-calorie cereals absence the protein and also healthy fat that aid you feeling satisfied.

A examine in 30 men demonstrated the a breakfast that eggs and also toast detailed greater fullness and also led to considerably fewer calories consumed throughout the day than did breakfast grain (7).

6. Dried Fruit

Dried fruit is packed v fiber, vitamins and minerals.

However, due to the fact that dried fruit is smaller and also sweeter than fresh fruit, it can be quickly overeaten.

Plus, a offer of dried fruit holds an ext sugar and calories 보다 an same amount of new fruit.

Sticking come a 1/4-cup (50-gram) section when snacking on dried fruit is fantastic way to protect against consuming also much.

Although dried fruit is convenient, fresh fruit is a healthier option.

7. Packaged Diet Foods

From diet cookies to fat-free chips, grocery save shelves space brimming with packaged diet foods.

While these items might be tempting, the bulk of them room unhealthy.

Many diet foods items contain preservatives, unhealthy fats and also artificial sweeteners the may harm your body.

It’s ideal to change these packaged, overly processed foodstuffs with nutrient-dense, filling options.

8. Flavored Coffees
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It’s famed that caffeine acts as a gentle appetite suppressant, which leader many world to up your coffee intake once trying to drop weight (8, 9).

Although coffee has numerous health benefits, you should refrain from specific coffee drinks when trying to lose weight (10).

Many together beverages — consisting of lattes, frappes and cappuccinos — are numerous in calories and also sugar.

For instance, a Starbucks Venti Cinnamon Dolce Latte made with skimmed milk — and without included whipped cream — crams in 280 calories and 12 teaspoons (50 grams) of street (10).

Even despite a everyday latte may seem harmless, sugary coffees might sabotage her weight ns efforts.

9. Premade Salads

Salads chock full of fiber-rich vegetables have the right to be very weight-loss-friendly.

On the various other hand, those doused in high-calorie dressing or topped with unhealthy ingredients space not.

Premade salads, such as those in grocery stores or fast food restaurants, can be really high in calories, sugar and also unhealthy fats.

Making your very own salad v nutritious ingredients is a better choice.

10. Protein Bars

Many civilization rely ~ above protein bars for a quick, convenient energy boost.

Although some protein bars are healthy and also nutritious, rather bulge with calories, sugar and also artificial ingredients.

For example, one PowerBar ProteinPlus chocolate Brownie product consists of over 6 teaspoons (24 grams) of street alongside 330 calories (11).

A more nutritious, whole-foods-based snack can offer the same calorie and also protein content — v much much less sugar.

11. Diet Soda

Diet soda is frequently viewed together a healthy and balanced beverage due to the fact that it has 0 calories.

However, research ties diet soda consumption to weight get — not weight loss.

A examine in over 2,000 civilization indicated that those that drank diet soda had actually larger belt circumferences 보다 those that did not.

What’s more, those consuming diet soda were an ext likely to have high blood sugar and high blood push than civilization who abstained (12).

Diet soda has also been discovered to negatively influence gut bacteria, thereby increasing your danger of diabetes and also other metabolic conditions (13).

But keep in mind the association does no equal causation. If a couple of studies have connected a high intake of diet soda with weight gain, there is no solid proof that it is a cause of overweight or obesity.

12. Granola

Granola is a filling breakfast food lovely by countless health-conscious people.

However, when granola can contain nutritious ingredients choose oats, nuts, seeds and also coconut, many are saturation with added sugars.

To regulate your sugar intake, choose granolas v no more than 6 grams of sugar per serving.

Better still, do your very own granola at house by baking oats, cinnamon, nuts, coconut, coconut oil and also dried fruit in ~ a low temperature.

13. Sports Drinks

Sports drinks can be valuable for athletes and also anyone participating in prolonged, extreme workouts.

However, these beverages are simply unnecessary because that the average person.

Sports drinks have the right to be filled with sugar and may add to overabundance calorie consumption.

Plus, any type of sugary beverage have the right to spike your blood sugar levels, which have the right to lead to insulin resistance and also weight get (14).

For example, a examine in over 7,500 children and teens listed that those who frequently drank sporting activities drinks weighed significantly an ext than your peers (15).

14. Diet Peanut Butter

Diet peanut butter is lower in calories and also fat than consistent peanut butter.

Although this may seem like a good choice for load loss, diet peanut butter consistently harbors unhealthy oils and included sugars.

Natural peanut butter make with limited ingredients is a far better choice for load loss.

Research mirrors that limiting added sugar might promote load loss, so selecting natural peanut butters v no included sugar is the best choice (16).

15. Low-Calorie Condiments
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Low-calorie condiments choose salad dressings and ketchup may be a hidden resource of added sugars the can contribute to weight gain.

Surprisingly, countless low-calorie dressings space packed v sugar.

For example, simply 2 tablespoons (31 grams) the Ken’s Steakhouse Lite love husband Mustard dressing save on computer 2 teaspoons (8 grams) of sugar (17).

Other condiments that tend to be high in sugar encompass barbecue and also tomato sauces.

16. ‘Healthy’ Sweets

Many desserts and candies are marketed as healthy options to more calorie-laden sweets.

Although they might contain under calories than traditional desserts, low-calorie small goods, candies and also other confections have the right to be packed with sugar and artificial ingredients.

In order come decrease calories while maintaining taste, manufacturers change fats v sugars or fabricated sweeteners.

Added street can contribute to load gain. In ~ the exact same time, fabricated sweeteners prefer sugar alcohols can reason digestive symptoms prefer bloating, diarrhea and also gas (18).

Plus, consumption of artificial sweeteners prefer aspartame and also sucralose is connected to an increased risk the obesity and also may even encourage street cravings and also dependence (19).

17. Low-Fat Foods

Many people shot to reduced out high-fat foodstuffs when attempting to shed weight.

However, research reflects that this have the right to be counterproductive.

One review identified that low-fat and nonfat foods items contained an ext sugar than continuous versions that the same foods items (20).

Consuming even small amounts of added sugar have the right to lead to weight gain, blood sugar problems and an enhanced risk that heart condition (21, 22, 23).

What’s more, dieting and dietary restraint likely rise the chances of future weight acquire (24).

18. Frozen Yogurt

Frozen yogurt is a popular dessert that’s widely thought about healthier than ice cream.

Because frozen yogurt is often associated with health, it’s commonly over-consumed.

Many frozen yogurt facilities let you to fill your very own cup, making portion control difficult.

Additionally, the enticing, sugary toppings readily available at many frozen yogurt shops have the right to stuff her dessert v even much more calories and sugar.

To save your input under control, opt for the smallest yogurt cup easily accessible and pick natural toppings choose fresh fruit, unsweetened coconut and nuts.

19. Sushi
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Sushi can be a healthy or unhealthy meal depending on what the holds.

Rolls filled with ingredients favor tempura shrimp or sweet sauces deserve to be packed v calories.

Choose sushi rolls the contain healthy ingredients favor fresh vegetables, avocado, new fish or grilled shrimp and opt because that brown rice over white to an increase your fiber intake.

20. Coconut Water

Coconut water is just one of the most well-known natural beverages around.

Even despite coconut water provides vitamins, minerals and also antioxidants, the does contain sugar and also calories.

One cup (240 ml) the coconut water has 45 calories and also 6 grams of street (25).

While coconut water is much lower in calories and sugar 보다 beverages choose juice and also soda, it’s best to border your usage of any type of sweet drink.

21. Diet-Specific handle Foods

Many grocery store stores sell diet foods items targeting vegans and vegetarians, and those adhering to low-carb meal plans.

These commodities are often filled with synthetic ingredients and added sugars that deserve to negatively impact health.

Additionally, these specialty item are frequently expensive, i m sorry can add up if you space eating these varieties of foods daily.

Focusing on whole, unprocessed foodstuffs rather than convenient, packaged foods items is always healthier — no issue your dietary preferences.

The Bottom Line

Though many diet foods items are branded healthy, castle may ruin your load loss efforts.

Products favor smoothies, frozen yogurt and low-fat snack foods can negatively affect your health and also even reason you to obtain weight.

What’s more, research shows that dieting is no the best way to lose weight (26).

Following a whole-foods diet wealthy in healthy and balanced fats, proteins and fresh develop is the best means to keep weight off for good.

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But keep in mind that association does no equal causation. If a couple of studies have linked a high input of diet soda v weight gain, there is no solid evidence that the is a cause of overweight or obesity.


Written by Jillian Kubala, MS, RD — update on December 3, 2018

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