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The 10-calorie reality check

Ignorance is not bliss when it comes to counting calories. However, having a 10-calorie understanding of the foods you typically eat can help you with portion and calorie control.

PecanEvery calorie counts when it comes to dieting and the more savvy you are at counting calories, the more likely your healthy eating efforts will be successful. Short of carrying around a nutritional values book, it is impossible to know the number of calories in everything you eat. Unfortunately, calorie ignorance does not equate to weight-loss bliss.

The following is a list of 10-calorie portions, categorized into The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. The Good foods are mostly fruits and vegetables or foods that have more volume for fewer calories and will likely satisfy you before you overindulge. The Bad is a list of foods that are relatively healthy but have less volume and have a tendency to keep you eating – you know how hard it is to eat just one nut or one cracker. The Ugly is list of junk foods that offer little nutritional value and are high in fat, sodium, or sugar – these are the foods that are near impossible to stop even at a handful.

GrapesThe Good

1 large celery stalk
1 apple wedge (1/8 small apple)
1 navel orange segment
1 container sugar-free Jell-O snack
3 watermelon balls
3 grapes
3 strawberries
3 baby carrots
3 cherry tomatoes
10 Wheat Chex
11 fresh edamame (soybeans)
12 blueberries
16 pieces plain airpopped popcorn
18 roasted sunflower seeds
20 small roasted soynuts

Jelly beanThe Bad

1 Gummi bear
1 cashew half
1 pecan half
1 Wheatable cracker
1 small piece sugared dried pineapple
2 Skittles
2 small almonds
2 miniature jelly beans
2 Teddy Grahams
4 miniature marshmallows

The Ugly

1 Whopper (chocolate malted milk ball)
1 unfrosted animal cracker
1 peanut M&M Nacho
1 large Cheez-It
1 Tostitos chip
1 Sunchip
1 shoestring French fry
2 Fritos
2 baked Cheetos

The key to healthy eating is moderation. Pick and choose your snacks and portion sizes to fit into your diet plan. You can take advantage of the 100-calorie snack packs or you can assemble your own. Use the list above as a starting point.

Visit these websites for on-line calorie counters

Calorie Lab

My Calorie Counter

Calorie Control Council


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