One of the biggest misconceptions about healthy eating is that if a food is healthy, eating even more of it is healthier. That sentiment could not be further from the truth. First, when you eat too much of one food, you can’t always properly absorb the nutrients you may be trying to obtain. This is the case with dairy products like milk and yogurt – the body most efficiently absorbs calcium when you eat 500 milligrams in one sitting.
If you’re a yogurt lover, you may want to indulge in two or three cups – each containing about 450 milligrams – at a time, but doing so makes the absorption of calcium less efficient. Your best bet is to divide your servings of yogurt (or other dairy foods) throughout the day.
It’s also important to eat healthy foods in moderation because eating too much of one food may mean sacrificing other healthy foods. This is a variety issue. The wider variety of foods you eat, the more vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals (plant chemicals that help prevent and fight disease) you potentially take in. Loading up on a single food is just not a smart move, as you may end up feeling full instead of choosing other foods to complement it with.
#1. Salad Dressing
Vinaigrettes, or oil-based dressings, have more unsaturated fat than artery-clogging saturated fat, which is a good thing. However, with 100 to 150 calories per a two-tablespoon serving, you need to be careful to not over-pour.
Reasonable portion: Two tablespoons
#2. Peanut Butter
This beloved spread is consumed in 94 percent of U.S. households. Two tablespoons of the nutty stuff contain 188 calories, 16 grams of fat, eight grams of protein, two grams of fiber and is an excellent source of niacin. It’s also a good source of vitamin E, magnesium, and phosphorus. But spoon that peanut-y goodness right out of the jar, and you may find yourself shoveling in thousands of extra calories.
Reasonable portion: Two tablespoons of a meal (like in a sandwich) and one tablespoon for a snack
Almonds are an excellent source of the antioxidant vitamin E and contain numerous flavonoids, which are shown to help prevent cancer and decrease the risk of heart disease. One ounce (or 23 almonds) contains 162 calories, 14 grams of fat, six grams of protein and three grams of fiber. One ounce is about a small handful, so if you’re digging into that bag four times a day, that can easily add up to close to 650 calories.
Reasonable portion: 23 almonds for a snack or two tablespoons of sliced almonds for a topper, like on salads or yogurt
These babies are chock-full of nutrition with a one-ounce serving (or one-fifth of the fruit) containing 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. However, an average avocado provides about 322 calories – if you eat the whole thing.
Reasonable portion: One-quarter avocado
image couresy: samsung.com, peanutbutterlovers.com, livescience.com, authoritynutrition.com.