7 Unhealthy Diet Foods

Eating well while dieting is important for steady weight-loss; but these diet food traps may send your diet off-track.

By Reader's Digest Editors
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Diet soda

Though it has fewer calories and less sugar than regular soda, diet soda may actually keep you from losing weight. New research suggests that dieters who choose to drink diet soda may actually add weight instead of losing it.

Smoothies

Although they can be packed with powerful nutritional benefits, smoothies can also carry loads of calories, fat, and sugar. Make sure your smoothie is filled with whole fruits and vegetables and low fat milk or milk alternatives. Skip smoothies laden with peanut butter, chocolate, or fruit syrups. Try these delicious and healthy smoothie recipes.

Artificial sweeteners

Research is still being conducted on the safety of artificial sweeteners, but some research to date has shown that they can actually make you hungrier than natural sugar. Look for foods that contain natural sugar, or little or no sugar at all, for dieting success.

Light salad dressings

Though they carry less fat and calories than full-fat dressings, light dressings are often high in sugar or high fructose corn syrup, which are added for flavor. Look for natural dressings that don’t list sugar as the first ingredient. Or make your own healthy salad dressings easily with these recipes.

Processed diet foods and snacks

Switching to a frozen diet meal from the freezer seems like a good choice when trying to lose weight, but often these foods are high in sodium and sugar. Check the nutrition labels on the foods that you purchase. Look for a short ingredient list that relies on whole foods, rather than ingredients you don't recognize.

Flavored yogurt

Yogurt is filled with calcium and protein that’s great for keeping your diet in check, but flavored yogurt can also carry loads of extra sugar and calories that sabotage your healthy eating. Try plain yogurt and adding in a small teaspoon of honey for sweetness.

Baked chips

Although these are a good alternative to saturated fat-laden chips, baked chips usually have tons of sodium, sugar, and empty calories. If you’re in the mood for something crunchy, try snacking on a bag of fresh, raw veggies or plain rice cakes.

Plus: 11 Healthy Ways to De-Stress With Food

Sources: LiveStrong.com, Consumer Reports, SELF, WebMD

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