Matt's Munchies, Fitness Foods & Diet Sabotage, Dietary Guidelines Report on Total Fat

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Matt’s Munchies Mango Apricot and Banana Coconut Premium Fruit Snacks Matt’s Munchies Mango Apricot and Banana Coconut Premium Fruit Snacks - If you're unfamiliar with Matt's Munchies, get acquainted: The chewy snacks are basically tiny squares of the best-tasting fruit leather on the planet. And these new flavors? Amazing! Each package has 90 - 100 calories, 0 - 2.5g fat, 0 - 10mg sodium, 18 - 21g carbs, 2g fiber, 14 - 15g sugars, and 1g protein (PointsPlus® value 2 - 3*). They're just now hitting stores, and you can get 'em online: Click here for Mango Apricot, and click here for Banana Coconut.

Marzetti Simply Dressed & Light Vinaigrette Dressings - It's summertime, which means it's salad time. (No-cook meals are essential when it's hot out.) Welcome this new line of dressings to your salad arsenal. Made with basic ingredients (and without preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial flavors), the lineup features Light BalsamicLight Red Wine Italian, and Light Roasted Tomato. Mmmmm! Use 2 tbsp. for 35 - 50 calories, 2.5 - 3g fat, 180 - 250mg sodium, 2 - 6g carbs, 0g fiber, 2 - 5g sugars, and 0g protein (PointsPlus® value 1*). We've got plans for you, Light Roasted Tomato...

SodaStream Naturals Sparkling Drink Mixes - Trying to scale back on conventional soda? At-home gadgets like SodaStream are a great way to satisfy your need for bubbly drinks, and these fruity low-calorie mixes are perfectly sweetened with natural sugar. Choose from Apple-Peach, Cranberry-Raspberry, Fresh Lemon, Green Tea-Lychee, Kiwi-Pear, and Passionfruit-Mango. Each 2.5-tsp. serving (which makes 8 oz. prepared) has 40 calories, 0g fat, 0mg sodium, 10g carbs, 0g fiber, 10g sugars, 0g protein (PointsPlus® value 1*). Click to find, or order online. Just make sure you have (or get) a SodaStream machine...

Uh-Oh... Study Finds Fitness-Branded Foods May Inspire More Eating & Less Exercising

Fitness-Branded Foods May Inspire More Eating and Less Exercising

Before you reach for those "Fit Crisps" or that "Fab Fit Mix," read up... Results of a new study suggest that fitness-branded foods may have negative effects on weight control. The study found that weight-conscious participants ate far more of a given snack mix when the product name and packaging promoted fitness. Even worse? These same snackers went on to exercise less afterward. This isn't the first study to suggest that health-related buzzwords can lead us astray -- a 2014 research study found that health-based terms led consumers to believe certain packaged foods were more nutritious than others. How can you avoid falling victim to scenarios like these? Follow HG's ABCs...

A: Always read labels. The cold hard facts are on the back of the package. Read the nutrition label, paying close attention to calories, serving size, and servings per container. Also scope out the ingredients list. This is where you'll find out if a snack truly meets your nutritional needs.

B: Beware of the health halo. "Fitness" isn't the only health-related term that can steer us in the wrong direction. Organic, whole-grain, gluten-free... People often assume products with these claims are lower in calories than their standard counterparts, but that's often not the case. Don't be fooled! Click here for more on common food-label claims.

C: Consider the facts. Weight loss and weight management are largely about calories in (the ones in the foods you consume) versus calories out (the ones you burn). Just because a food encourages or supports a fit lifestyle, that doesn't mean it's an exercise replacement! In fact, many foods geared toward active consumers have more calories than standard snacks, because they're meant to help athletes replenish themselves.

Bottom line? Don't let marketing claims get the best of you! Be a savvy shopper and stay informed -- you'll come out ahead...

The Buzz...

Dietary Guidelines Report on Total Fat Remember the 500-plus-page report released by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee earlier this year? The report is meant to help the government develop the next set of Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Well, it was recently pointed out by some eagle-eyed pros that the report doesn't suggest a limit for total fat consumption. The report reads, "Dietary advice should put the emphasis on optimizing types of dietary fat and not reducing total fat." WHOA. An interesting revelation, but remember: Each gram of fat has 9 calories, more than twice the amount in each gram of carbs or protein... and overconsumption of calories is a cited concern in the American diet. ***All aboard the Ditch Artificial Ingredients Express! The latest hop-on: Papa John's. Yup, the home of the Double Bacon Six Cheese pizza plans on "removing as many unwanted ingredients as we can," even comparing itself to Panera Bread and Chipotle. We're certainly eager to see how this change affects the menu... ***Is there a magical diet mushroom? Maybe! Results of a recent study suggest that extracts of the Reishi mushroom could prevent and reverse symptoms of obesity. Hey, Papa John's: How about a Reishi-mushroom thin-crust pie? ***If you find yourself getting antsy when you sit too long, you're not alone. Research suggests that the more time you spend sitting, the higher your risk of experiencing anxiety -- whether you're watching TV, sitting in front of the computer, or just staring into space. Yet another reason to Housewalk! ***Lastly, cooked food often tastes better than raw… Just ask the chimps. A study out of a chimpanzee sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of the Congo reportedly found that once they tasted the difference between raw food and its cooked counterpart, the chimps vastly preferred the taste of the cooked version. In fact, when given a faux oven, the chimps would regularly choose to put food into the "oven" before eating. Awww! And that's all we've got. 'Til next time… Chew the right thing!

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Happy July 6th, National Fried Chicken Day. Our take on TGI Friday's Sesame Jack Chicken Strips is not to be missed...

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*The PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values for these products and/or recipes were calculated by Hungry Girl and are not an endorsement or approval of the product, recipe, or its manufacturer or developer by Weight Watchers International, Inc., the owner of the PointsPlus® registered trademark and SmartPoints
® trademark.

SmartPoints® value not what you expected? Click here for more info on how the values are calculated, plus more FAQs about PointsPlus® and SmartPoints® values on our website.

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