Even if you are invested in a healthy diet, you will still need to consume fat, but fortunately, you can choose wisely between healthy and unhealthy fats.
To help you make the smartest choice, we bring you a list of 8 foods with hidden saturated fats – and these are not your usual suspects; in fact, some of the foods on this list usually seem quite harmless.
Foods that contain saturated fats aren’t necessarily high fat foods– but even a small amount of saturated fat extracted from a tropical oil can be harmful to your health since those oils are usually partially hydrogenated.
Keep reading to find out which seemingly healthy foods you should avoid to keep your cholesterol levels down, and to prevent other health problems, such as heart disease and other chronic diseases caused by the consumption of saturated fats.
1. “All Natural” Peanut Butter With “No-Stir” On The Label
Peanuts are a fantastic source of natural fat. If you can turn them into a paste by yourself or buy all-natural peanut butter, you will successfully avoid all the unwanted ingredients, such as corn syrup, for example.
But you need to know what you are buying, and for that to happen, you must read the label. If the words “no-stir” are on it, be sure to thoroughly scan the list of ingredients for palm oil. And if your peanut butter you were planning to buy has palm oil, just put it down, try some other brand, or make your own.
2. Breakfast Bars And Breakfast Cereal
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so you should make sure that your options are packed with vitamins and protein to provide you all the energy you need to go about your day.
However, cereal and breakfast bars seem to be quite a popular option, but are they healthy enough? The majority of breakfast cereals and breakfast bars contain a lot of sugar and saturated fats, and this is not how you want to start your day.
Switching to granola seems like the healthiest choice, but even then, you need to be mindful and read the labels – even 3 grams of saturated fat, which marketers define as “a healthy option,” is not a healthy option at all.
Zero grams of saturated fat is what you should be looking for, and you have good brands of cereal and breakfast bars, which are, indeed, healthy. You need to do your research and find the ones that are right for you.
3. Cookies, Candy Bars And Cakes
If you don’t want your blood cholesterol levels to go off the charts, you should keep your distance when it comes to cookies, cakes, and candy bars.
Even though there are options that are healthier than others, and it’s perfectly fine to indulge every once in a while, it’s also important to know what you are putting inside your body.
A little bit of dark chocolate every other day can even have a good impact on your health, as long as you choose a chocolate bar without any added tropical oils.
4. Salty Snacks Like Chips And Crackers
Salty snacks are already unhealthy for the simple fact that they have a high amount of sodium and are highly caloric. If you add the fact that some of those snacks, like bake crackers and potato chips, are fried in palm oil, what you get is a big no-no.
There are other alternatives to eat in between meals, so if we are realistic, these snacks are pretty unnecessary. However, we all like to eat things just because they taste well, and in that case, there are always alternatives. If you can’t live without salty snacks, try to look for brands that use canola oil instead, for example.
5. Instant Noodles
Instant noodles are the kind of food that can save your life – they taste well, they are easy to make, and they are usually super cheap so that you can fill your pantry with them. However, instant noodles have saturated fats– and high amounts of it! One single cup of instant noodles can contain even more saturated fats than a medium plate of French fries.
And to make things worse, the only reason instant noodles taste so well is that they are packed with many different chemicals and artificial flavors, as well as high quantities of salt, bringing no nutritional value to the table. Our verdict? Stop buying instant noodles and stick to the regular ones instead.
6. Microwave Popcorn
Popcorn might be the healthy snack you need in your life, but once again, you need to make sure that palm oil is not part of the list of ingredients. Easy to make, cheap and tasty, microwave popcorn is the ideal snack for a movie afternoon or some alone Netflix and chill time, but only if you can find a brand free from saturated tropical oils.
If you can’t, there is a healthy alternative, and it’s as simple – buy your real popping corn and make your popcorn in anair-popper. There is no better way to make sure your snack is low-fat.
7. Pancake Mix
Buying a pancake mix can be tempting because it’s a tasty option that will be done in no time. However, every saving has 2 whole grams of saturated fat, at least. So, you should ask yourself, is it worth it?
And the answer is simple – no. Pancakes are easy to make, so you can cook them from scratch while being aware of the full list of ingredients and even adjust them to your taste while creating the healthiest version possible.
8. Powdered Coffee Creamer
Is powdered coffee creamer nondairy? Yes. Does this also mean it’s nonfat? No. Powdered coffee creamer brings 0.5 grams of coconut oil to every 250ml cup. And this might seem like it’s not a big deal, but if you drink more than one cup every day, and you do this every day of your week, you can see what will happen to your cholesterol levels. You can always choose fat-free milk or vegetal milk – you can make the second one at home too!