Here at HG, we're always on the lookout for "food fakers," a.k.a. seemingly innocent items that have way more calories and fat grams than you'd expect. We've got a bunch of better-for-you recipes to take the place of common culprits...
Instead of Store-Bought Kale Chips: Baked Kale Chips
Entire recipe: 33 calories, 0.5g total fat (0g sat fat), 179mg sodium, 6g carbs, 2.5g fiber, 1.5g sugars, 3g protein
® value 0*
Have you ever taken a good hard look at the nutritional info on packaged kale chips? Spoiler alert: The numbers can look a lot like those for regular potato chips! And there are typically several servings in that less-than-impressively sized package. If you want crispy kale, no need to load it up with oil. This recipe for baked-not-fried kale chips
is where it's at. Want another veggie-chip swap? Try making beet chips
Instead of Store-Bought Granola: Hungry Girl-nola
Entire recipe (about 1 cup): 165 calories, 1.25g total fat (<0.5g sat fat), 70mg sodium, 35.5g carbs, 4g fiber, 10g sugars, 4g protein
® value 4*
"But granola is made of healthy things!" It is, for the most part: oats, nuts, dried fruit, etc. But the trouble comes in two waves. First, it's often cooked with oil and sugar. Second, the serving size is usually a measly 1/4 cup. ZOINKS! Want a bigger scoop? Make our recipe
! Puffed grains and freeze-dried fruit maximize the serving size, while sugar-free syrup takes the place of oil and sugar.
Instead of a Restaurant Salad: BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad in a Jar
Entire recipe: 292 calories, 5.5g total fat (2g sat fat), 704mg sodium, 28g carbs, 6.5g fiber, 10g sugars, 34.5g protein
® value 6*
Not all restaurant salads are bad news, of course. But the sad truth is that they usually have a lot more calories than you'd suspect. Think of all the toppings, the dressing... It adds up. So before you order in lunch, grab a big ol' mason jar, and pack up a perfect lunch salad like this one
Instead of Shake-Shop Smoothies: PB Chocolate 'Nana Smoothie
Entire recipe (about 16 oz.): 152 calories, 4.5g total fat (0.5g sat fat), 244mg sodium, 19.5g carbs, 4g fiber, 9g sugars, 12g protein
® value 5*
First rule: Smoothies are liquid meals or snacks, not mere thirst quenchers! Plus, many store-bought smoothies are loaded with heavy ingredients like peanut butter, granola, sugary syrups, and high-fat dairy add-ins. The keys to this sweet recipe
are almond milk, protein powder, and powdered peanut butter! This one's a keeper...
Instead of Frozen Multi-Serving Pizza: Sausage-Topped Pizza Swap
Entire recipe: 290 calories, 8g total fat (2.5g sat fat), 834mg sodium, 33g carbs, 7g fiber, 3g sugars, 19g protein
® value 7*
A frozen pizza is fine from time to time, but you have to be careful when making your selection. Many mid-sized pizzas contain 3 - 5 servings, yet the true yield is closer to 2 portions. You're better off whipping up a single-serve pizza like this one
, which can be made with turkey sausage or the meatless kind. High-fiber pita crust for the win!
Instead of Restaurant Veggie or Turkey Burgers: Hungry Mac 'Bella Stack Burger
Entire recipe: 234 calories, 2g total fat (0g sat fat), 946mg sodium, 45g carbs, 9.5g fiber, 12g sugars, 14.5g protein
® value 6*
Have you heard the term "health halo?" It refers to foods that seem super healthy, whether they are or not -- a common trait among food fakers. Veggie and turkey burgers frequently come with health halos that they didn't earn. Rather than rolling the dice, make this mushroom-patty version of the classic McD's Big Mac
, or give this Mediterranean turkey burger
a try! Both are huge and SO satisfying.
Instead of Sandwich-Shop Wraps: Spicy Black Bean & Avocado Turkey Wrap
Entire recipe: 258 calories, 7.5g total fat (1g sat fat), 775mg sodium, 35.5g carbs, 10.5g fiber, 3.5g sugars, 21g protein
® value 6*
Wraps often get lumped together with salads in the healthy part of restaurant menus. The problem comes in the form of the tortilla; it's frequently WAY larger than any standard tortilla you'd buy at the grocery store. We're talking steering-wheel size. Hello, empty carbs! Pick up high-fiber tortillas with around 100 calories each, and make your own yummy wrap, HG style
Instead of Gluten-Free Bakery Goods: Fudgy Flourless Chocolate Cake
1/8th of cake: 100 calories, 2.5g total fat (1.5g sat fat), 310mg sodium, 22g carbs, 4.5g fiber, 5g sugars, 5.5g protein
® value 3*
Repeat after us: Just because it's gluten-free, that doesn't mean it's low in calories. If you're skipping gluten because you have celiac disease or are intolerant to it, that's fantastic self-care. But you should still look at the nutritional info if calories and sugar are of concern. Made with natural calorie-free sweetener and black beans (which you cannot
taste!), our gluten-free chocolate cake
is so fudgy and delicious, your head may very well fall right off your shoulders...
We may have received free samples of food, which in no way influences whether these products are reviewed favorably, unfavorably, mentioned with indifference, or mentioned at all. Click for more about our editorial and advertising policies.
*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.