Don't fall for misleading health food labels. For example, a low-fat option might be loaded with unhealthy oils, while veggie offerings can include unhealthy amounts of sugar and salt.
Here, the scoop on five supposedly healthy foods and what you're better off eating.
<b>Reality Check: </b>We think of turkey as healthier than red meat because it has less saturated fat, but in terms of total fat and calories, the two meats can be virtually identical. Unless the patty is made with 93 percent lean meat, steer clear, says dietitian Kate Geagan, author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/Green-Get-Lean-Waistline-Low-Carbon/dp/1605299898" target="_blank"><i>Go Green, Get Lean.</i></a> <b>Smart Swap:</b> Choose wild salmon burgers, which are full of omega-3 fatty acids to benefit your brain and heart and also contain vitamin D. Look for Trident Seafoods frozen salmon burgers in your grocer's freezer aisle.
Reduced-Fat Peanut Butter
<b>Reality Check:</b> Reduced-fat peanut butter spreads can be as little as 60 percent peanut. (By law, products labeled "peanut butter" in the U.S. must be at least 90 percent peanut.) Nutritionally void ingredients like corn syrup solids, sugar, and unhealthy oils make up the difference. <b>Smart Swap:</b> Pick a full-fat option labeled "natural," or look for a layer of oil at the top of the jar. Check out the ingredients, too, which should list only two or three items, with peanuts first.
<b>Reality Check:</b> "Most granolas are packed with ingredients like nuts and oils that send the calorie count soaring," says dietitian Brooke Joanna Benlifer. And since they often contain added dried fruit and sweeteners, their sugar content can be high, too. <b>Smart Swap:</b> Try multigrain Cheerios, which are lower in fat and sugar and contain 110 calories per cup. If it's too hard to cut out granola entirely, be sure to use it sparingly.
<strong>Reality Check: </strong>Whether they're made from whole root vegetables or have just a dusting of dried spinach, veggie chips are no substitute for actual vegetables. Plus, they're often fried and salted, meaning they could be loaded with calories and sodium, Geagan says. <b>Smart Swap:</b> Dig into air-popped popcorn, which has about 30 calories per cup and a higher concentration of antioxidants than some fruit. Still craving veggie chips? Choose a brand with at least two grams of fiber per serving.
<b>Reality Check: </b>"Instant oats have been heavily processed, so there's not as much fiber to satisfy you," says Benlifer. They also have a higher glycemic index than other oats, making your blood sugar spike and then crash, which can leave you hungry soon after eating. <b>Smart Swap:</b> Switch to steel-cut or "old-fashioned" oats with at least four grams of fiber per serving to stay satiated longer and help stabilize your blood sugar levels. For even more fiber, add berries or almonds.