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5 Healthy Foods Hiding Extra Carbs and Calories!

5 Healthy Foods Hiding Extra Carbs and Calories!

In my daily conversations with people, I am always awe struck by the ideas they have about what makes a food healthy or unhealthy. Here are the top 5 foods that I have seen pushed as healthy, and why we need to take a step back and evaluate before diving in!


People often choose soup at lunch for a lighter option and while this can be the case when it contains the right ingredients, often it is the opposite! Soups may seem like a healthy choice because they look fresh and often full of vegetables. To make sure your soup is the healthiest choice it can be, follow these simple rules.

  • Choose a broth-based soup instead of a cream-based soup. Broth based soups contain less fat from cream and butter and therefore fewer calories
  • Opt for a low sodium version whenever possible. Because soups are made to be shelf stable, they are loaded with sodium for preservation purposes. Look for a “heart-healthy” or “low-sodium” label on the box or can
  • Load up on vegetables; the more, the better. Choose a vegetable soup over a chicken noodle to bulk up your fiber intake for the day!

Juice and smoothies

Have you seen all the options for fresh squeezed juices and smoothies at the supermarket these days? They may look temptingly refreshing, especially when boasting 200% Daily Vitamin C and 1 full serving of vegetables. But be sure to read the label. These drinks may not have a lot of added sugar, but they will still be loaded with carbohydrates and natural sugars. Think about how many whole fruits and vegetables would have to be juiced to fill up that large bottle. Those eaten with a meal or throughout the day will provide more fiber than the bottle, leading you to feeling more full and satisfied for a longer period of time!


Just hear me out! Of course I am not talking about the lettuce or spinach itself. Those are perfection. I am talking about the toppings: the croutons, bacon, cheese, ranch dressing, and dried fruit. Try to build your salad with as many vegetables as possible.

  • Load it up with cucumbers, carrots, celery, mushrooms, broccoli, peppers
  • Add 1-2 tablespoons of oil-based dressing such as balsamic. Try to avoid those fat-free dressings as often fat-free means more sugar!
  • Adding some deli turkey, grilled chicken or hard-boiled eggs is a great way to add some protein. Protein plus fiber will make you a happy, content person with less of a need to snack after lunch.


Trail mix, on top of yogurt, or in a bar. Granola is packed with whole grains. While whole grains have many health benefits, as a granola they may be full of calories and often sugar, usually in a very small portion size. Be sure to read serving sizes and eat with a source of protein to slow the breakdown of the sugar into your bloodstream.

Energy bars

They are everywhere! There are so many options it can seem overwhelming. When choosing a bar, check the ingredient list. The fewer ingredients, the better. And if they are a whole food such as “egg whites” that is great. Just be aware that often they are loaded with dried fruits such as figs or cranberries and therefore loaded with carbohydrates. A better on-the-go snack may be 5 whole grain crackers with peanut butter or a handful of baby carrots!

If you have specific questions about your diet please speak with your physician, registered dietitian or CDE!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.