“With nearly 39% of adults worldwide classified as overweight, the diet industry has never been stronger (1).

Diet foods, such as those labeled “low-fat,” “low-calorie” or “fat-free,” are specifically marketed to people looking to shed excess weight.

However, many diet foods may do your waistline more harm than good.

Here are 21 diet foods often considered healthy that may, in fact, cause weight gain.

Protein Shakes and Smoothies

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Smoothies and protein shakes are all the rage on social media and in the wellness community.

While some smoothies and protein shakes are nutritious and exceptionally healthy, others are loaded with calories and sugar.

For example, some premade smoothies contain nearly 14 teaspoons (55 grams) of sugar in just one bottle (450 ml) (2).

What’s more, certain protein shakes pack almost 400 calories per bottle (450 ml) (3).

Smoothies and protein shakes can easily be consumed too quickly, stuffing your body with excessive calories and sugar.

Low-calorie cereal

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When trying to lose weight, you might reach for low-calorie cereals to start your day.

While these breakfast foods may be low in calories, they are often loaded with added sugars.

Plus, many low-calorie cereals lack the protein and healthy fats that help you feel satisfied.

A study in 30 men demonstrated that a breakfast of eggs and toast provided greater fullness and led to significantly fewer calories consumed throughout the day than did breakfast cereal (7).

Dried Fruit

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Dried fruit is packed with fiber, vitamins and minerals.

However, since dried fruit is smaller and sweeter than fresh fruit, it can be easily overeaten.

Plus, a serving of dried fruit holds more sugar and calories than an equal amount of fresh fruit.

Sticking to a 1/4-cup (50-gram) portion when snacking on dried fruit is an excellent way to avoid consuming too much.

Although dried fruit is convenient, fresh fruit is a healthier option.

Flavored Coffees

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It’s well known that caffeine acts as a mild appetite suppressant, which leads many people to up their coffee intake when trying to drop weight (8, 9).

Although coffee has many health benefits, you should refrain from certain coffee drinks when trying to lose weight (10).

Many such beverages — including lattes, frappes and cappuccinos — are abundant in calories and sugar.

For instance, a Starbucks Venti Cinnamon Dolce Latte made with skimmed milk — and without added whipped cream — crams in 280 calories and 12 teaspoons (50 grams) of sugar (10).

Even though a daily latte may seem harmless, sugary coffees could sabotage your weight loss efforts.

Protein Bars

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Many people rely on protein bars for a quick, convenient energy boost.

Although some protein bars are healthy and nutritious, others bulge with calories, sugar and artificial ingredients.

For example, one PowerBar ProteinPlus Chocolate Brownie product contains over 6 teaspoons (24 grams) of sugar alongside 330 calories (11).

A more nutritious, whole-foods-based snack can offer the same calorie and protein content — with much less sugar.


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Granola is a filling breakfast food beloved by many health-conscious people.

However, while granola can contain nutritious ingredients like oats, nuts, seeds and coconut, many are saturated with added sugars.

To control your sugar intake, choose granolas with no more than 6 grams of sugar per serving.

Better still, make your own granola at home by baking oats, cinnamon, nuts, coconut, coconut oil and dried fruit at a low temperature.

Sports Drinks

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Sports drinks can be beneficial for athletes and anyone participating in prolonged, intense workouts.

However, these beverages are simply unnecessary for the average person.

Sports drinks can be filled with sugar and may contribute to excess calorie consumption.

Plus, any type of sugary beverage can spike your blood sugar levels, which can lead to insulin resistance and weight gain (14).

For example, a study in over 7,500 children and teens noted that those who regularly drank sports drinks weighed significantly more than their peers (15).


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Sushi can be a healthy or unhealthy meal depending on what it holds.

Rolls filled with ingredients like tempura shrimp or sweet sauces can be packed with calories.

Choose sushi rolls that contain healthy ingredients like fresh vegetables, avocado, fresh fish or grilled shrimp and opt for brown rice over white to boost your fiber intake.”

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Read More … Article Source: https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods-that-make-you-fat#section21