The world is an uncertain place. Stock markets rise and fall, fashion trends come and go, and the things we could always count on one day vanish: Derek Jeter is gone, David Letterman is going, and Tom Brady has been deflated.
But in a world of confusion, at least there’s one thing you can rely on: Some foods will always be healthy and reliable. Like Mom says: Just eat your vegetables.
Except not. Thanks to the brilliance of food marketers who can’t leave a good thing well enough alone, even these stalwarts of nutrition have somehow been rendered fattening. Here are five types of vegetables that you’d be better off avoiding—no matter what Mom says.
Drenching vegetables in flour and oil makes for a meal in which most of your calories come from flour and oil. No vegetable is healthy enough to stand up to the onslaught.
How Bad Is It? One serving of blanched green beans has 22 calories and 0 grams of fat. One serving of tempura green beans has 230 calories and 11 grams of fat. We know, some places make the tempura so light and flaky, it seems like that thin layer of deliciousness can’t possible add that many calories. But you can’t argue with the math—you’re eating 10 times as many calories.
Oh, those clever food marketers. You can just hear the wheels spinning: If people think one fried vegetable—the potato chip—is bad for them, let’s fry other vegetables and hope they don’t notice they’re the same thing! We’re sorry to break this to you, but veggie chips are just as bad, if not worse, than potato chips. (And in a recent study, potato chips were ranked the worst food for weight gain out of all the foods that exist on the planet!)
How Bad Are They? One serving of Terra Sweet Potato Chips has more calories, fat and saturated fat as a serving of Cape Cod Potato Chips. Though we like other products from their line, don’t assume it’s healthier just because the shade of potato is different. And if you really can’t quit the chips cold turkey, try one of our 10 Best Chip Alternatives for Weight Loss and stock to one serving to minimize damage to your midsection.
The juice craze has probably done more for the diet industry than any other trend in recent history. And not because it helped people lose weight, but because it made people pack on pounds and go out searching for weight loss help.
How Bad Is It? One small cup of Kale Orange Power Juice from Jamba Juice has 190 calories and 33 grams of sugar. That’s as many calories as a Krispy Kreme glazed doughnut. And the doughnut has 23 fewer grams of sugar, too.
Smoothies are like juices on steroids. While they do contain more good-for-you fiber, they usually come with even higher calorie and sugar counts. Bottom line: Drinking your vegetables is the least tasty way to get a sugar high.
How Bad Are They? A small Amazing Greens Smoothie at Jamba Juice is 420 calories and a whopping 54 grams of sugar. That’s as many calories as three cans of Coke and as much sugar as four giant Pixie Stix. Nobody wins here.
Whether it’s artichoke or spinach, these dips sound so much better than “green-speckled sour cream dip, ” but that’s really what they are. Nothing sets your night of healthy eating off course like a big bowl of one of these party favorites.
How Bad Are They? Two tablespoons of Marzetti Dill Veggie Dip gives you 110 calories, almost all of them from fat. And while there are plenty of vegetables pictured on the label, you’ll have to supply those yourself. You could eat two tablespoons of Kraft Mayo with Olive Oil straight from the jar and still get less fat and calories than you would from this “veggie” snack.