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Guess Which Are the Healthy Lunch Foods?

Biggest Loser nutritionist Rachel Beller and author of Eat to Lose, Eat to Win: Your Grab-n-Go Action Plan for a Slimmer, Healthier You exposes the big caloric bombs exploding inside these so-called healthy choices.

That cranberry-blue cheese salad—or the junk on the right?

Sneaky ingredients hide among those leafy greens: Thick vinaigrette, dried cranberries, candied walnuts, and a blanket of blue cheese are the caloric equivalent of eating a snack bag of potato chips, one slice of pizza, two string cheeses, and a doughnut!

Do it better: Go for a heavy-on-the-greens salad with colorful vegetables, lean protein, a little dressing, and toppings like water chestnuts and hearts of palm.

That chicken-and-veggie spinach wrap—or the stuff on the right?

You see green and assume you’re getting spinach in a thin wrap that has fewer calories than bread. But that green hue comes from a very small dash (2 percent) of spinach powder mixed with food coloring, and the wrap has as many carbs as three slices of bread. Amount of actual veggies: pitiful.

Do it better: Top whole-grain toast with spinach, tomato, avocado, and grilled chicken for a meal full of real greens. Ask the deli guy, and he’ll make it open-faced too. Bonus points if you include a side of carrot, red pepper, and celery sticks!

Those sushi rolls—or the pile on the right?

Nothing deep-fried, no gravy or butter sauces, lots of fresh ingredients. What could go wrong? Well, one California roll equals two sandwiches filled with imitation crab (processed fish) and very few veggies. Add a spicy tuna roll, and you’re essentially eating an additional 1½ tuna sandwiches with full-fat mayo. You might as well eat half a loaf of white bread in one meal.

Do it better: Even at the grocery store sushi counter, you can ask for rolls that are “easy on the rice,” and add a side salad.

Reader's Digest
Originally Published in Reader's Digest