Your healthy lunch could be anything but! Nutritionist Rachel Beller does “food autopsies,” where she analyzes the nutritional content of meals. And she says, a lot of times we’re downing tons of calories and carbs disguised as healthy foods. Here are a few foods to watch out for:

  • Sushi lunch. People often order sushi because they think, “Hey, it’s fish, it’s healthy!” But the typical order of an 8-piece California roll and an 8-piece spicy tuna roll is worse for you than eating a tuna fish sandwich. The amount of actual fish you’re getting is about one ounce. But the amount of rice you’re eating is the equivalent of eating six slices of white bread! Instead order brown rice, or ask for a hand roll, which will be the fish and veggies rolled in the seaweed, rice-free.
  • Spinach wraps. People make a similar mistake thinking these are healthy. Beller did a food autopsy on spinach wraps and found that the tortilla is essentially white bread with artificial coloring. And the wrap is like eating three slices of bread. So, you’re better off ordering a regular sandwich on whole wheat bread.
  • 100-calorie snack packs. They sound healthy, right? A lot of people eat those to control their portions. But that 100 calories of snack mix is the carb equivalent of 1/3 cup of white rice. And the diet soda you’re washing it down with is like drinking eight packets of artificial sweetener. Instead, she says drink water and make your own toaster-oven pizza for a snack. Use a small, 10-inch whole-wheat tortilla topped with marinara sauce, an ounce of low fat mozzarella, with mushrooms and tomatoes on top. It’s 150 calories, a lot more satisfying and has a lot more nutrients.

Lesson Expert

Betsy Chase

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