Articles

10 Superfoods that Suck

Written by Keith Hansen

September 14, 2016

1. Nuts

Almonds, walnuts, cashews, pistachios...take your pick because it doesn’t matter: all of them are packed with fat. Healthy fats, sure, but each gram of fat has more than double that of carbs or protein. Add a little salt(I doubt many of you are eating unsalted nuts) and these fat packed morsels become downright dangerous in the wrong hands(yours).

2. Acai Juice

Acai made the list because it sounds exotic, but you could have chosen orange juice, Naked juice, or any of the Bolthouse juices because all of them have more sugar and calories than a Coke.

Oh? They’re natural sugars? Well, the sugar in Coke comes from corn and isn’t corn natural?

Your body doesn’t care where the sugar comes from. The problem with drinking your calories is that they pass through the stomach quickly, and this means hunger comes knocking sooner.

Eat your fruit in its whole form whenever possible.

3. Steel cut oats

1200px-Bowl_of_dry_steel-cut_oats_with_full_spoonSteel cut oats are being picked on because they go against our core recommendations for weight loss: pick foods you enjoy, and pick foods that are easy.

Steel cut oats are neither of those things.

Many of you probably haven’t had steel cut oats because there is no “instant pack”. These oats take 30 minutes to cook, almost as long to consume(incredible levels of chewiness), and just about as long to clean up.

Did I mention the flavor? Good luck eating these without adding a sweetener, fruit, or something. Only a masochist can eat plain steel cut oats. 

I have dry heaved trying to choke down steel cut oats for breakfast when in a hurry.

4. Brown Rice

People cite brown rice as the healthier choice(over white rice) because of it’s higher mineral content, lower glycemic index(50 vs. 89), and it’s status as a whole-grain.

What you don’t know: phytic acid located in the nutrient-dense outer layer of brown rice blocks most of the minerals from being absorbed. When they remove the outer layer of brown rice(the nutrient dense but hard to absorb part) to make white rice they are kind enough to add nutrients back in the enrichment process.

As for the glycemic index? You know, the thing that is supposed to predict how long we stay full? Potatoes score an 85 on the glycemic index but I bet a big potato leaves you full for a long time. Scrap the glycemic index(unless you are a diabetic).

5. Yogurt

I love dairy for the protein, calcium, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids, but yogurt made the list because of it’s goopy nature.

Fullness of the stomach is one of the main indicators for hunger, and yogurt is too close to a liquid to leave you full for long.

Do you remember when your mom would tell you to drink a big glass of water to hold you over until dinner? That worked for a little bit, but as soon as the water passed the hunger came back.

Yogurt is like water, my friend.

6. Dried fruit

108564Our brain loves sugar(because it only runs on sugar) so when you suck all of the water out of an apple and concentrate the natural sugars into a tiny, easy-to-eat bite our brain loves that too.

Pro-tip: stick to hydrated fruit. It will fill you up for fewer calories and help keep you hydrated.

7. Granola

From Wikipedia: ...hiking, camping, or backpacking because it is nutritious, lightweight, high in calories,

See the italicized part? That’s the part you are looking out for.

Granola and other trail mixes are made to pack as many calories in as small of a package as possible for people hiking, and you aren’t hiking. 

8. Olive Oil

Olive oil is my kitchen go-to because of high omega-3 fatty acids, but beware: each tablespoon packs 120 calories.

You may be adding a lot more drizzle to that salad  than you think if you aren’t measuring.

Something else to keep in mind: olive oil loses a lot of it’s health benefits when heated and combined with it’s low smoke-point it makes a poor choice for the stove/oven.

9. Almond butter

Homemade-Almond-Butter-3Almond(any nut) butter runs a close second to Olive oil for calorie density coming in at 100 calories per tablespoon.

What makes it dangerous is how tasty it is and I can recall quite a few people that have killed a jar in a few days(you know who you are).

If you are trying to lose weight stay away from nut butters. Just don’t.

10. Smoothies

Tropical Smoothie, Smoothie King, homemade, whatever. All of them are full of sugar, taste delicious(encouraging you to drink more), and don’t leave you full as long as eating those fruits whole.

Stop drying out, pulverizing, and extracting helpless fruits. Eat them in their whole form and reap the benefits of lasting fullness.

Conclusion

When the goal is fat-loss keep this in mind: just because something helps your health doesn’t mean it helps you lose weight.

There are many more “superfoods” that didn’t make the list because they are a great fit for a weight-loss diet.

Lay off of these superfoods until you get your bodyfat to where you want it and explore some of the other options.

When you have a significant amount of weight to lose the best thing you can do for your health is to lose weight.

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