Weight Facts

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In order to help individuals realize that just because something looks healthy, doesn’t mean that they should just dig right in, I have compiled the following pointers and tips to be discussed individually or in a group forum:

What’s really in a wrap?

Wraps often come in a variety of hues ranging from green spinach to red tomato. They can be eaten with one hand while you work at your desk and are chock full of flavor and ingredients, but not all wraps receive the “best choice” approval.

• Some wraps weigh in at a sensible 400 calories, while others can weigh in at over 3 times that much.

• Sometimes the wrapper or tortilla itself constitutes the majority of these calories - at 80 calories, on average, per ounce, a 5 ounce wrapper adds 400 calories.

• Order half a wrap and a salad.

• Look for wraps made with grilled chicken, fresh turkey, beans, lots of steamed or roasted vegetables.

• Skip the cheese and other high fat toppings such as bacon, Russian dressing and mayonnaise.

• Ask for extra raw or steamed vegetables to replace higher fat fillers.

Super Soups?

They taste great on a cold day or even during those heat waves when the air conditioner is on too high in the office. Some varieties might truly be food for the soul. Other varieties might give you too much sodium.

• The sign might read low-fat, but what does that say about calories and sodium? The 24-ounce super size might provide enough calories for 2 meals and sodium for 2 days.

• Opt for soups that are bean, tomato or vegetable based and skip varieties laden with cream and cheese.

• Inquire about soups that seem to have a creamy appearance. Creamy may mean skim milk and potatoes in one restaurant but in most it means cream.

• Leave off high-calorie add-ons such as sour cream, shredded cheese and croutons

Healthy Smoothies?

They might be appealing on a very hot day, or when you feel a cold brewing and you can order one with a vitamin C boost. While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a smoothie from time to time, if you’re relying upon them on a regular basis, for a quick and easy lunch, you might be getting more than what you’ve bargained for.

• Just because the yogurt’s fat-free, doesn’t mean that the tropical smoothie is healthful. Beware of high fat additives such as dried coconut or large amounts of sugar syrup and apple juice.

• Choose smoothies made with whole, fresh fruits to maximize on the health benefits of fiber, vitamins and minerals that they contain.

• Ask for a child size smoothie so you can enjoy the taste, without over-indulging. One cup each of non-fat plain yogurt and skim milk, blended with ice and a banana, can have nearly 330 calories.

• Consider a mixed fruit smoothie a great way to ensure you’re getting adequate servings of fruit. Enjoy a small one as a compliment to a salad or sandwich or split one with a friend.

By Leslie Messer, MS, RD.

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