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Beware These Empty Calories!

10 foods that can pile on the pounds

The Next Culprit continued...

Crackers. Crackers may seem like they would be good snack choices. But if you look on the ingredient labels, they're usually just white flour with partially hydrogenated fat -- neither of which does much for the nutritional value of your diet. Calories and fat can add up quickly here, too. A 2-ounce serving of Ritz Bits, for example, totals 302 calories and 17 grams of fat, while the same size serving of cheese crackers comes to around 285 calories and 14 grams of fat.

Packaged frozen snacks. Walk down the frozen-food aisle and you'll find scores of packaged savory snacks just waiting to be popped into the microwave: hot pockets, pizza rolls, egg rolls, etc. Trouble is, these are full of partially hydrogenated fats and oils. Just one pepperoni pizza pocket totals around 510 calories and 26 grams of fat.

The Final Word

So what's the final word on these empty-calorie foods Americans to love so much?

When it comes to empty-calorie foods, it's all about moderation. A little is fine; a lot can get you into calorie overload. You can have your cake and eat it, too -- as long as the piece of cake is petite, and choosing empty-calorie foods instead of nutrient-rich ones is the exception, rather than the rule.

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Reviewed on December 09, 2004

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