breaded chicken fillet

Hey everyone!

You may remember a few weeks back I gave you my Top 10: Healthy Cooking Tips. Hopefully you picked up a few tips from that one and are preparing healthier meals.

Well today I’m going to present the flipside to my piece and tell you what I believe to be the Top Ten Ways To Ruin A Healthy Meal.

Many of you start off with the best of intentions but end up with high calorie healthy foods by not knowing or realizing how easy it is to spoil a meal and jack up the calories.

So here we go:

1. Condiments- I’ve said numerous times to be careful how much salad dressing you use as they can add hundreds of calories to a healthy salad. But other toppings like mayo, BBQ sauce, some mustard and spreads can also take an otherwise nutritious meal and simply ruin it with excess sugar, fat and calories. For instance, 1 tbsp. of Mayo has 50 calories of pure fat and 1 Tbsp. of BBQ sauce may have 60 calories of simple sugar. Plus some honey mustards can have up to 130 calories and 11 grams of fat! I always say use enough for flavor and no more.

2. Oils- Healthy Oils are often promoted as a healthy addition to your diet as they contain EFA’s, antioxidants and some nice flavor. But with 2 tbsps. containing 120 calories of fat, it adds up very quickly. Go for an oil spray instead!

3. Overeating- People tend to think if a food’s healthy then it’s okay to eat more. Well, it’s not. While foods like fruit, avocado, nuts, beans and some vegetables are great from a nutrition standpoint, they certainly have the potential to increase your waistline in abundance. Remember that calorically, 100 calories of beans is just the same as 100 of cookies, and while the nutrition each provides is different, healthier foods aren’t free passes to over indulge. Generally taking more calories than you burn, regardless of source, will lead to weight gain.

4. Unbalanced Nutrition- One of the keys to health is balanced nutrition. Many meals are slanted in one nutrients favor – for example a pasta meal for dinner will be primarily carbohydrates, while steak and eggs for breakfast will be mostly protein and fat. With each meal you should make sure calorically appropriate amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fats are present.

5. Cheat – But Not Too Much – This is really about when you have a cheat meal. People tend to think that if they cheat, since they’ve blown their diet, they might as well eat till their stuffed. How wrong they are! I encourage everyone to have a cheat meal, it satisfies your belly as well as your mind. But try your best to eat only one meal and keep it within a reasonable calorie amount. And don’t go for seconds!

6. Too Many Ingredients- The more ingredients you use to make a dish, the more chances you have to pack in the calories. Butter, creams, oils eggs, cheeses, milk, rice and other ingredients add up quickly. If you can, try shooting for no more than 4 ingredients per recipe.

7. Breading- It’s become common practice to bread and sauté everything from meats, to vegetables and even some fruits. Breading is usually empty calories with minimal nutrition and when fried, really turns your food to garbage. Try baking foods breaded with Soy protein powder or a crushed up healthy high fiber cereal.

8. Adding Cheese– I’ve seen people order healthy salads, eggs and soups in restaurant and then dump a pound of cheese on it! You have to realize just how much fat and calories cheese contains – a small, domino sized piece is over 100 calories and most of that’s fat. If you must use cheese, try the low fat variety and even then use only a dusting.

9. Salting- We are a nation of hypertension due to our high salt intake. Most packaged foods have too much salt with some already containing up to 1,000 mg to preserve freshness and add flavor. Each pinch of salt you add contains another 160 mg, so it’s easy to see why we easily exceed the recommended 2,400 mg daily allowance. Choose lower salt products and wean yourself off by using some creativity with spices instead. Your heart and health will thank you.

10. Blending / Juicing- Popularized over a decade ago, juicing became the thing to do and a quick way to get nutrients. The problem is when you juice or blend your fruits and vegetables, you’ll easily consume too many calories and you’ll have destroyed your body’s need to digest them, and burn calories in the process. I always say, eat your fruit and veggies, don’t drink them!

So what do you think of my suggestions? Do you have any to add? I’d love to hear them.


All information contained within this site, Angry Trainer, is for informational purposes only.  It’s not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any health problem – nor is it intended to replace the advice of a physician.  No action should be taken solely on the contents of this website.  Always consult your physician or qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health or on any opinions expressed within this website. Please see your physician before changing your diet, starting an exercise program, or taking any supplements of any kind.