By Lynn Andriani

Here's why you should be wary of salad kits in a bag and other seemingly healthy items. Plus, one "junk food" that really isn't so bad after all.

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  • Apple And Banana Chips

    We knew fresh fruit trumps dried in almost every nutrition department -- but we were shocked to see just how big the difference is when it comes to <a href="" target="_blank">the two most popular fruits in America: apples and bananas</a>. <a href="" target="_blank">Elizabeth Somer</a>, registered dietitian and author of <a href="" target="_blank"><em>Eat Your Way to Happiness</em></a>, says these snacks -- which we'd considered only slightly less good for you than the real deal -- can be the caloric equivalent of a potato chip. Indeed, a raw apple has about 65 calories and 0.2 grams of fat, while some 1-ounce servings of the chips have 140 calories and 7 grams of fat (from canola or sunflower oil, and corn syrup). A raw banana, meanwhile, has about 90 calories and 0.3 grams of fat, versus 150 calories and 10 grams of fat in a serving of the crunchy version (many manufacturers deep fry the chips in coconut or sunflower oil so they crisp up).

  • Salads Kits In A Bag

    Somer says bottled salad dressing is one of the top sources of fat in women's diets, and it turns out that a little pouch of the stuff -- even if it is surrounded by great big handfuls of fresh, crisp greens -- can be extremely high in calories and fat. For instance, 1 serving of a Caesar-salad kit -- which comes with shaved cheeses, roasted-garlic croutons and dressing -- can contain 180 calories and 14 grams of fat. You don't have to avoid the dressing entirely, but it would be wise to use it <a href="" target="_blank">sparingly</a>.

  • Bottled Iced Tea

    Tea's benefits are well-known; <a href="" target="_blank">green tea, in particular, has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke</a>. However, Somer says many of the iced teas for sale at supermarkets and in restaurants are basically sugar water, containing anywhere from 12 to 21 grams of sugar per serving. Plus, <a href="" target="_blank">research shows homemade iced tea retains more antioxidants than store-bought</a>.

  • Bran Muffins

    We're never quite sure who the winner (or loser) should be in the Baked Breakfast Goods Olympics: muffins, bagels or croissants? But among the carb- and butter-laden competitors, a bran muffin appears to be a wise choice...right? Actually, Somer says, these healthful-seeming breakfast items can have up to 500 calories and 20 grams of fat. If you really want to order one alongside your latte, go for it -- but split it with a friend, since one muffin is often closer to the equivalent of 3 to 4 servings.

  • Chocolate Milk (Surprise!)

    And now, for some good news: Somer says that when you're craving something sweet, low-fat chocolate milk can actually be a healthy alternative to a cookie or a handful of candy (<a href="" target="_blank">it's also an effective -- and tasty -- post-exercise treat</a>). Horizon now makes a DHA Omega-3-fortified version that has 150 calories and 2.5 grams of fat per serving.

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