These healthy foods are making you gain weight (and some that won't)

Thought you were doing your body a favor by eating these "healthy" items? Our tips will help you steer clear of the snack traps that just add calories and instead give you healthy substitutes.

  1. Breakfast bars are good for you, right? Be sure to read the label before you buy. Most cereal bars have way too much sugar and not enough whole grains or fiber. Our favorites are All-Bran bars (130 calories, 5 grams fiber) and Kashi Go Lean Roll! bars (190 calories, 6 grams fiber).
  2. Cheese is a great source of calcium, right? Not always. Calcium levels vary greatly. Hard cheeses have about 200 milligrams per ounce (20% of the Daily Value). But calcium can range from 40 milligrams (in soft goat cheese) to 270 milligrams (in low-fat Swiss). Your best bet is to grab some cottage cheese. Eaten by the cup, not the ounce, is a fair source (140 milligrams per cup) of calcium.

    Get more facts on cheese, like sodium and cholesterol facts.

  3. The Acai berry is a magic cure-all, right? This berry, like all berries will not magically make you lose weight or give you good health, so why pay a fortune for this one when you're local grocery store sells others that are less expensive and are just as good for you?
  4. Coconut oil will make you fat, right? Coconut oil, is rich in a type of fat rarely found in other foods, called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). When coconut oil is substituted for olive oil or corn oil (which, when eaten, are sucked up by fat cells) MCTs go straight to the liver instead of going directly into circulation and are burned up quickly. You can spread this on your toast instead of butter to still get that buttery taste you're craving.

    Get more info on how to substitute coconut oil for other foods here.

  5. Organic cane sugar is better for you than regular sugar, right? Not if it's organic chips, organic soda, or organic cookies. Cane sugar is still sugar and fried chips are still fried, no matter what kind of compost was or wasn't heaped onto the potatoes. Sorry!

    Get more myths and facts on organic food here.

More Myths and Facts About the Foods You Love:

Does the Mediterranean Diet Really Work?
The Benefits of Citrus Fruit (Other Than Vitamin C)
Healthy Cocktails (Yes, Really)
These 9 Foods Will Make You Less Stressed
9 Myths About Your Salad

Reprinted with permission from Hearst Communications